From being a trainee to a chief coach, it has been an amazing journey at the MRF Pace Academy for Australian pace bowling great Glenn McGrath.
In Thiruvananthapuram to oversee the fast bowlers camp, McGrath is happy that India has produced a battery of fast bowlers over the years. “India is the toughest place to be in as a fast bowler. But if you succeed here, you can be successful anywhere,’’ he said.
The fast bowler also defended India’s tactics of using spin-oriented pitches for the home matches. “What makes India as we know are the conditions. They know how to bat and bowl well in these conditions. So if you prepare a bouncy track that is not India,’’ he said.
McGrath said the shoehorned schedules are taking a toll on fast bowlers who don’t find time to work on their fitness during off season. “There is a lot of cricket played these days. It puts a strain on your body, but you have to know how to recover and find time to put strength back on your body.”
“Guys like James Anderson, Stuart Broad and Courtney Walsh played for many years as they knew how to manage their bodies. I worked hard on my fitness, and I had an easy action which made my comeback from Injury easier, ‘’he said.
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McGrath said Jasprit Bumrah should take a call to reduce his workload to increase his longevity in the game. “He is exceptional, and he is unique. The way he bowls, his run-up, and his delivery stride are very unique. But his bowling action and the way he goes about it does put a lot of stress on his body, so he needs to stay strong. If he does that, he can play quite a few years for India. The current international schedule, the IPL and other T20 tournaments makes it harder for fast bowlers like Bumrah to play in all three formats but some bowlers can do it.”
On Ashes, McGrath felt that the drawn result was fair and also mentioned his liking towards England’s Bazball tactics.
“The Ashes was an amazing series. From the first game till the last, every session changed. No team really got on top apart from the fourth Test which was washed out. I thought the series was exceptional for Test cricket. Two teams went with totally different strategies. England with what they call Bazball and Australia with little more conventional methods. Both had their place in the game. I am a great fan of Bazball and it has taken the game to the next level, especially with the way the openers go about.”
The legendary pacer picked his top four teams for the ICC World Cup that will happen in India later this year where he included India and Pakistan along with Australia and England. However, he also mentioned: “Let us not write off New Zealand. They lift themselves in these tournaments.”
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