McGrath: 'Umesh, Bumrah should do well in Champions Trophy'

Even as Glenn McGrath picked Australia as the favourite to win the Champions Trophy, he was particularly pleased with the Indian pace attack.

Glenn McGrath at the MRF Pace Foundation for yet another stint with the emerging pacemen in the country.   -  K. PICHUMANI

Glenn McGrath picked Australia as his team to triumph in the upcoming ICC Champions Trophy in Engand.

Here at the MRF Pace Foundation for yet another stint with the emerging pacemen in the country, McGrath shared his thoughts with the media.

“Australia is certainly looking good for the title. Then you have India, which is a strong side, apart from England, the host. These two sides should also be in the semifinals.”

The last spot in the semifinals, McGrath said, would be a toss up between New Zealand and South Africa. “If Martin Guptill fires for New Zealand early on, then it is a very dangerous side.”

McGrath did not rule out Pakistan’s chances. “You never know what is going to happen there. They can beat anyone on their day, still have a good bowling attack.”

Then, casting his eyes on the big India-Pakistan duel, McGrath said, “India is the favourite going into the match. It is a better all-round side.”

McGrath was particularly pleased with the Indian pace attack. “Umesh Yadav is bowling really well, and (Jasprit) Bumrah is bowling at good pace with potent yorkers. They should do well in the tournament.”

Virat Kohli, McGrath felt, needed to temper his aggression to be among big runs again.

The Aussie legend felt the scores for the tournament would be in excess of 300 unless the famous English weather played a part. “In my time, even 200 used to be defendable. Now even 300 is not enough. I don’t know whether it is the nature of the wickets, they have become flat, or is it just the way the game is played now.”

Talking about the young Basil Thampi, named the Emerging Cricketer in the Indian Premier League (IPL), he said, “He has spent a lot of time at the MRF Pace Foundation. The way he has bowled in the IPL, in the tough situations on the big stage, I am really proud of him.”

The Aussie added, “It is good to see pacemen coming through from India. Given the conditions, India is not a great place to be a paceman. At the MRF, we focus on a lot of things, including bowling yorkers.”

McGrath named Mitchell Starc as the best paceman in world cricket at present. “He swings the new ball, reverses the old, bowls an aggressive length, can be quick.”

Asked about the dispute between Cricket Australia and the players over contracts, McGrath said the issue “had the potential” to disrupt the Aussie campaign in the Champions Trophy. “Hopefully, they find a middle-point,” he added.

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