Glenn McGrath sees future in day-night Tests

Pace great McGrath is excited for India's pink Test debut in Australia later this year. He warns it will not be easy for Virat Kohli and his men.

Simon Birmingham (Australia Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment) with Glenn McGrath (left) in Mumbai on Wednesday.   -  PAUL NORONHA

 

For Glenn McGrath, Test cricket is the ultimate format of the game. The former Australian pace ace is not in favour of the proposed four-day Tests, but sees a future in day-night Tests. He is looking forward to the pink ball clash between India and Australia later this year.

After its initial reluctance, India played its first-ever pink-ball Test against Bangladesh in November 2019, and it turned out to be a one-sided affair. Virat Kohli’s men clinched the Test in just three days.

But it won’t be as easy Down Under. “Obviously, there will be other challenges that the Indian team hasn't come up against in day-night Test cricket. T20 is taking the world by storm, just that it's bringing a lot more people to the game. We need to filter that in Test cricket and keep it alive,” McGrath said on the sidelines of an event organised by Tourism Australia.

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“I am a big fan of day-night Test cricket. I’m not a big fan of four-day Test cricket. I'm very much a traditionalist. If we can bring something new that's going to keep people coming to the game, then that's brilliant and day-night Test cricket is that. When you bowl, you bat it can make a big difference. Different tactics, so it just brings a different awareness and different things you have to do,” McGrath added.

McGrath has no doubt that India will initially find it difficult to adjust with the pink ball in Australian conditions. “Australia has got a lot more experience. They have played a lot more day-night Test cricket now, they know how it works,” the 50-year-old said.

But then, he is also excited to see how the star-studded Indian team overcomes the odds. “Virat [Kohli] is a quality captain. They will be up for the challenge. I am not expecting them to give a walk-over. Australia has lot more advantage in day-night Tests. That will be in their favour and also, the home advantage,” McGrath, who donned the Baggy Green in 124 Tests, said.

At a time when most of the Test-playing nations are taking baby steps towards day-night cricket, McGrath also agrees that it is important to make it a regular affair. “I think that’s obviously the best way to move forward. The way to gain experience is by getting out there and playing it. We do need to keep Test cricket the ultimate. If you're successful at Test level. Nine times out of 10, you will be successful at the shortest level as well. You'll be pretty successful in the shorter version, get your name in the IPL contract.”

“It all works hand-in-hand. I like the fact we've got three formats, and I think we need to do everything to keep them as healthy as possible,” McGrath said.

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