Michael Clarke heaps praises on Anderson & Bumrah post-Vizag Test

While spinners dominated the first Test between India and England in Hyderabad, the pacers had more of a role to play in the second Test in Visakhapatnam. The five-match series is intriguingly poised at 1-1 after India won the second Test by 106 runs.

Ahead of the series, a lot of the discussion revolved around the effectiveness of the pacers, as wickets were expected to be spin-friendly. So far, spinners have found a decent amount of assistance but two world-class pacers have excelled with their immaculate skill sets. India’s spearhead Jasprit Bumrah is the leading wicket-taker in the series, with 15 wickets from two games at a mind-boggling average of 10.67. He took a six-for in the first innings of the second Test and followed it up with three wickets in the second essay.

Meanwhile, James Anderson didn’t play the first Test of the series, as England went with Mark Wood, who is known for his searing pace. The decision backfired, as Wood failed to pick a wicket in the 25 overs he bowled across the two innings. Anderson replaced the Ashington-born in the second Test and made an instant impact. In the first innings, the 41-year-old picked up three wickets and followed it up with two in the second. Both the bowlers received huge praise from former Australian captain Michael Clarke. The 42-year-old hailed the efforts put in by Anderson and Bumrah on a pitch that wasn’t conducive for the seamers.

“James Anderson, with the ball was phenomenal in the 2nd 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.

To be able to play this amount of cricket over that amount of time is phenomenal: Michael Clarke

Because Anderson’s numbers are incredible in England, sometimes people get the impression that he isn’t as lethal away from home. However, Clarke didn’t agree with this school of thought and opined that the veteran still has a lot to offer to the England team.

“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,” Clarke added.