James Anderson was phenomenal, Jasprit Bumrah is a freak, says Michael Clarke

February 8, 2024
Michael Clarke found himself spellbound by the virtuoso display of India's Jasprit Bumrah and England's James Anderson in the riveting second Test

New Delhi, Feb 8 (IANS) Former Australia captain Michael Clarke found himself spellbound by the virtuoso display of India’s Jasprit Bumrah and England’s James Anderson in the riveting second Test between the two countries in Visakhapatnam, which the hosts won by 106 runs.

Clarke labelled the Indian pacer a “freak” after Bumrah’s mesmerising exhibition of reverse swing mastery helped him extract nine wickets in the second Test. With the odds stacked against him on a pitch devoid of assistance for fast bowlers, Bumrah’s uncanny ability to extract movement and wreak havoc among England’s batting lineup left Clarke awestruck.

From bamboozling Ollie Pope with a lethal reverse-swinging yorker to shattering Ben Stokes’ stumps with a delivery of sheer wizardry, Bumrah’s heroics propelled India to a stirring comeback victory, earning him the coveted Player of the Match award.

“Phenomenal effort, physical, mental and the demands for a fast bowler are more for a fast bowler now than ever. James Anderson, with the ball, was phenomenal in the second Test, on a flat batting pitch that did not have much for the fast bowlers. And Bumrah, what can you say! He is a freak. His skill use in conditions that are not conducive to fast-bowling, uff, it’s unbelievable. He is a freak,” Michael Clarke told ESPN Around the Wicket show.

But amidst the fervour surrounding Bumrah’s heroics, Clarke was quick to acknowledge the enduring brilliance of England’s stalwart, James Anderson. Despite facing scrutiny and skepticism over his age and adaptability, the seasoned campaigner silenced his critics with a masterclass in seam bowling. Anderson picked up five wickets across the two innings and bowled 35 overs, Anderson orchestrated a virtuoso performance, claiming vital wickets and providing much-needed control to England’s bowling attack.

“A big part of greatness is longevity, no matter what you do. He has gone through those highs and lows. Yes, he has had some injuries. But, to be able to play this amount of cricket over that amount of time is phenomenal. Again, I think he showed his class and skill in that Test match,” he added.

“His record in England is crazy. There is always talk that he can only play in his own backyard. But he continues to show that’s not the case. I think he is a significant part of this team as well. I think Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum like him being a part of this group. And it doesn’t look like he is going to stop. If he keeps bowling the way he bowled in the second Test match, he has got a lot more cricket left in him,” he concluded.



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