Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Deadly Derek Underwood

The new greatest English spinners of my cricketing lifetime are Graeme Swann and Derek Underwood.

Here is Underwood in action - firstly against Australia at Headingley in 1972 and then against Pakistan at Lord's in 1974. As you can see, he bowled appreciably quicker than the average spinner.

Underwood's nickname was 'Deadly, because, as well as being an invaluable stock bowler, he was just that in helpful conditions.

The Headlingley pitch was controversial, as the grass had been attacked by Fusarium fungus, while the Lord's wicket was affected by rain.

My instinct is that Underwood was a better bowler than Swann, but there is a limit to how closely you can compare players from two different eras.

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