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The Trundler is a stable and reliable medium-pace bowler who does not boast outstanding playing skills but is an irreplaceable team member.

There are several options for classifying fast bowlers based on either the speed aspect or the serving characteristics. In the first case, the Trundler, as a rule, closes the list or occupies one of the bottom lines:

High-speed bowler type Feeding speed, km / h
Fast Over 138
Fast-medium From 130 to 137
Medium-fast From 121 to  130
Medium Less than 121

It should be borne in mind that even in the most popular classification of bowlers, there is always an element of subjectivity (for example, Fast-medium and Medium-fast can swap places). Also, fast bowlers may not serve the ball at the above-average speed in professional cricket and still fall into this category. A prime example is Anil Kumble, whose maximum is 110 km / h.

Experienced fast bowlers can also vary the feed rate depending on the specific episode, match and court specifics, and who exactly is opposing them. For example, Brett Lee, whose average feed speed is 145 km / h, can reduce it to 120 km / h, making it difficult to maintain and update statistics. That is why the Trundler can literally “roam” from category to category, which is not a mistake in the strict sense of the word.

As a rule, the Trundler gravitates towards seam-type serves, where catching the ball plays a key role (the thumb at the bottom of the seam, the index and middle fingers wrap the ball from above at a short distance from it). If the serve is done correctly, the seam remains vertical until it touches the ground while the ball rotates around the horizontal axis. One of the key differences from the spin-type serve, in this case, is the absence of a pronounced Magnus effect – the ball changes trajectory when it rebounds from the pitch and not in the air since it is not Trundler’s task to spin it.

It is noteworthy that Trundler cannot be called one hundred percent all-rounder. Even though he, as a rule, is the main player, he has special playing preferences, which also relate to the state of the pitch. The Trundler, for example, performs much better on hard, uneven terrain. Unlike spin bowlers, he can squeeze the most out of an imperfect pitch since the very essence of his tactics is to provide the ball with the most unpredictable bounce angle possible, thereby complicating the task of the opposing batsman.

The second most preferable for him are grass pitches and, finally, the list is closed by the so-called “flat paths”, that is, playgrounds processed with rollers to the smoothest possible state. If the Trundler is forced to play this particular pitch, then, as a rule, he resorts to more aggressive tactics, which does not always pay off.

Nevertheless, despite all of the above, the Trundler rarely leaves the base, as he is distinguished by the discipline that captains value very much. Trundler is especially useful in limited-overs where the opposing batsmen cannot afford to wait for the right chance and are forced to look for scoring opportunities on their own. Some of the best Trundlers of all time include the following bowlers:

  1. Mudassar Nazar (Pakistan). He took part in 76 test matches and 122 ODI games from 1976 to 1989. Known as the team’s golden hand, he was uniquely skilled at breaking batsmen partnerships by helping out teammates in situations where faster bowlers were defeated.
  2. Steve Waugh (Australia). The legendary captain of the national team, who led her to 16 test wins in a row. It is noteworthy that Waugh was primarily a batsman. Still, he repeatedly saved the team, taking an attacking position: for example, Steve showed an outstanding 4/33 statistics in the 1998 World Series match against Sri Lanka, thanks to which the Australians were able to win with three goals in reserve.
  3. Gavin Larsen (New Zealand). Fans remembered him primarily due to his brilliant performance at the 1992 World Cup. The tandem of Larsen and Chris Harris proved to be very convincing in the matches against Australia and Zimbabwe, which helped the team to break into the semifinals of the competition.
  4. Chris Harris (New Zealand). While Larsen’s stats look more compelling, without Harris, the New Zealand team’s progress would hardly have been possible. The player was the living embodiment of the main quality of any good Trundler – namely, stability. He took part in 23 test matches, taking 16 wickets, and in 250 ODI games, adding 203 more.
  5. Alec Bedser (England). In the nine years spent at the test level, he took 236 wickets – a record that lasted more than ten years. He was known for his equanimity and unfailing politeness on the pitch (Alec won the Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 1947).

Interestingly, even though Alec ended his career quite early, he went down in history as the inventor of the special hit (Bedser’s “Special Ball”). The influence of the legendary Trundler on the success of the national team was so great that in 1996 Queen Elizabeth II awarded him a knighthood.

Nisha Bhavani
Author: Nisha Bhavani Position: Cricket Expert

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