Australian legend Glenn McGrath is at the MRF Pace Foundation here for another session with emerging pacemen. After imparting technical knowledge to the bowlers, he shared some time with the media on Wednesday.
Predictably, the focus was on India’s five-Test series in England. “The Indian pacemen will be bowling with the Duke ball. The seam is larger and the ball does more; it reverses too. I personally enjoyed operating with the Duke ball,” said McGrath.
Despite being a seam bowler, McGrath achieved telling success in England since he could adapt. “You have to pitch it up a little more. I found that the surfaces for the Tests had some bounce too. The pitches for the county games were slow.”
McGrath also backed Indian captain M.S. Dhoni. “I have a lot of respect for him and the things he has done with the Indian team. I am surprised at people calling for his head.”
While he said the nature of the eleven will depend on the surface, McGrath added, “It is the pacemen who will win you matches in England.”
The former Australian pace ace said Varun Aaron and Ishwar Pandey, two young pacemen in the touring party to England, had made good progress, mentally and technically.
Rhythm and action
McGrath felt the county matches ahead of the Test series will be crucial. “The Indian bowlers have been playing too much T20 cricket lately, which brings with it some negatives. Now, they need to get back their rhythm and action for the longer format, which they can do during the side games.”
McGrath believes the Indian team has the talent to do well away from the sub-continent. “Once they win abroad, they will grow in confidence.”
On the resurrection of Mitchell Johnson as an intimidating, match-winning Test bowler for Australia, McGrath said, “Dennis Lillee worked on a couple of technical issues. As he bowled better in matches, he became mentally stronger. When bowling at 150 kmph, you are going to hurt sides.”
McGrath credited Australia coach Darren Lehmann for playing a major part in the team regaining the No. 1 ranking in Tests. Dwelling on the football World Cup, McGrath was realistic about Australia’s chances. The final, he predicted, would be between a Latin American team and Germany.
Glenn McGrath talks about Ishwar Pandey and Varun Aaron (Video: V. Ganesan)
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