McGrath disagrees with Warne’s views on Steve Waugh

"I thought Steve Waugh was a great captain and a very good leader. He was a fantastic team-man and led by example," said McGrath.

Glenn McGrath, former Australian cricketer and director of cricket at MRF Pace Foundation, in Chennai.   -  K. Pichumani

Australian fast bowling legend Glenn McGrath’s partnership with leg spin maestro Shane Warne was once the most lethal pace-spin combination in international cricket. It was a pairing of skill and accuracy that created enormous pressure from either end.

The lethal McGrath struck with bounce, subtle movement and control, constantly probing around off-stump. If the delivery was not leaving the batsman, it would hit the top of off-stump.

And Warne would tease and torment the batsmen with his flight, dip and turn.

Despite their potent on-field partnership and friendship off it, McGrath does not agree with Warne’s outspoken views on their former captain, the formidable Steve Waugh.

Warne had termed Steve Waugh as the “the most selfish cricketer I have played with.” McGrath thought differently about his former skipper.

“I thought Steve Waugh was a great captain and a very good leader. He was a fantastic team-man and led by example,” McGrath said.

On Steve Waugh dropping Warne for the fourth and final Test of the 1999 series in the Caribbean, McGrath said, “Great captains have to make these decisions. It was a huge decision but Steve had to make it. In the end we won the Test and levelled the series.”

Indeed, Australia, winning the Test at St. John’s Antigua by 176 runs, made it 2-2 to draw the series. Colin Miller, who came in for Warne, returned figures of 17-5-39-2 and 21-10-27-1.

McGrath, the ruthless scalp-hunter, remembers the Test well. Known for his great rivalry with Brian Lara he said, “I got Lara for a 100 in the first innings and then dismissed him cheaply in the second. In the end, we won the Test,”

“Like Warnie, Steve too is my friend. But sometimes, tough decisions have to be made,” concluded the pacer.