In a game dominated by batsmen, it is rare that a bowler emerges out of nowhere and goes on to play a huge role in the success of his team in his very first series. Yet in the history of Test match cricket, 6 of the 9 players to win the Man of the Series award in their debut series, are bowlers.
It shows that all it takes for the bowlers to emerge successful is to stick to what they do best in the domestic arena.
While many of the players may have already played International cricket in other formats, to succeed in Tests requires the virtue of patience, to be relentless against the batsmen and to plot and execute the plans. Most of the bowlers emerging onto the International scene these days have shown the right aptitude and thinking, but rarely execute their plans to perfection from the word go.
Let us take a glance through the 6 terrific bowlers to win a ‘Man of the Series’ award in their debut Test series.
#1 Stuart Clark – Australia tour of South Africa, March 2006
A forgotten Aussie pace bowler, in the mould of the legendary Glenn McGrath, Stuart Clark made his Test debut in March 2006 in South Africa, flying in as a replacement for his role model, McGrath. He had been in the Test squad before but was yet to win a baggy green.
When he did get it at Cape Town against a strong South African batting line-up, he made it count with a five-wicket haul in his debut innings. He followed that up with 4 more wickets in the second innings, to take a match haul of 9/89.
After taking two wickets apiece in Durban in the second Test of the tour, Clark was back at his best in Johannesburg. He took 3/81 in the first innings and ripped through the South African line-up with a 4/64 in the second, to finish the series with 20 wickets at an average around 15. With the gift of accuracy, Clark relentlessly tested the batsmen outside the off-stump and proved to be a menace in the absence of McGrath.