SK Flashback: Bruce Reid, a potential Australian legend, if not for his injuries
A fast bowler whose career began with a four-wicket haul in his first Test match and ended with a five-wicket haul in his last match should ideally find a name for himself amongst the greats of the game.
But rarely are things ideal in the world; the name Bruce Anthony Reid does not ring a bell with many cricket followers.
Fast bowling requires more than just the art to bowl fast and swing the ball. As the great English bowler, Fred Trueman, said, “To be a great fast bowler, you need a big heart and a big bottom”.
A short but impressive career
Bruce Reid probably had everything that was needed to be a successful fast bowler but his body did not support him. At 6’8’’ (203 cm), he was a tall cricketer who had the knack of straightening the ball into the right-hander as well as slanting it away. And along with this, he had a natural steep bounce.
All this made him a lethal left-arm pace bowler and he immediately became Australia’s mainstay. He had made his debut against India in 1985 at Adelaide alongside Merv Hughes and Geoff Marsh.
But constant injuries ensured that he could barely play only the half the number of matches played by Hughes and Marsh. He played 27 Tests between 1985 and 1992 and took 113 wickets at an impressive average of 24.63. He also played 61 ODIs with moderate success.
The Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) was his favourite hunting ground. Reid took 13 wickets against England in the Ashes and took 12 wickets in the same year against India at this iconic ground.