Manchester: Jasprit Bumrah’s amazing skill-set gives India a realistic chance of winning the World Cup but a “freak” called David Warner might just retain it for Australia, feels 2015 World Cup-winning captain Michael Clarke.
Former Aussie skipper Clarke explained why India and Australia are top three contenders while making it clear that the coveted Cup may not “come home” for the hosts contrary to what the likes of Kevin Pietersen and Michael Vaughan are wishing. One of the most delightful batsmen to have played the game, Clarke is in awe of the legend of Bumrah which has been on the upswing for two years now.
“I think there is nothing that he (Bumrah) doesn’t have. He is fit and healthy. I hope he stays that way as he would play a big part in India’s success in this World Cup,” Clarke observed.
But Bumrah will face quite a challenge from Australia, especially Warner, who has already scored 447 runs in six games with two hundreds.
“I did expect an exceptional performance from David because he is an exceptional player. He is a freak. He is the X-factor in this team. If Australia go on to win the World Cup, David Warner will be the highest run-getter in my opinion,” said Clarke and then went on to separately analyse what made the two individuals special.
Questioned as to what makes Bumrah such a difficult proposition for batsmen, Clarke elaborated, “With the brand new ball, he can swing and seam it. When the ball is doing nothing in the middle overs, he has the extra pace to trouble batsmen.”
“He can bowl close to 150 clicks and then at the death, he bowls those yorkers as good as anyone else. And if there is reverse swing, he is a genius,” the former Australian captain summed up the Indian pace spearhead in a nutshell.
Virat Kohli or for that matter no captain could have asked for a better ‘Go To’ option than Bumrah, according to Clarke. “As a captain, probably, you need someone like him to throw the ball to when you need wickets. He can open the bowling, bowl that 35th over when nothing is happening or bowl those last four overs at the death, which can win India a World Cup final,” said Clarke.
Would Bumrah been as good as Wasim Akram had there been just one new ball instead of two? “I think he would have. He is that good that he would have found out ways to adapt,” the former Australian skipper said.
Nothing makes Clarke more happier than to see Warner in prime form putting all the controversies behind him. Warner was roundly criticised for his slow batting against India but that is the approach which is now giving Australia a real chance against a lot of other teams. “ODI is different from T20s and it has taken him a bit of time to get back into ODI format. He has been patient at the start of his innings.”