Sports Cricket 23 Feb 2016 McGrath’s pace ...

McGrath’s pace notes: Bumrah gets thumbs-up

Published Feb 23, 2016, 1:53 am IST
Updated Feb 23, 2016, 8:36 am IST
Former Australian pacer Glenn McGrath is excited about the emergence of Jasprit Bumrah.
Jasprit Bumrah
 Jasprit Bumrah

Chennai: As someone who has been craving to see pacers use yorkers as lethal weapon, former Australian pacer Glenn McGrath is excited about the emergence of Jasprit Bumrah. It was McGrath who gave the stamp of approval to the unusual action of the 22-year-old Gujarat bowler a couple of years ago when Bumrah was here at the MRF Pace Foundation for a stint. The Australian also taught Bumrah how to use his unique action to his advantage.

McGrath who is back in Chennai to supervise a bunch of fast bowlers spoke about the upcoming World T20 and shared his concern on flat tracks taking the sheen off the contest between bat and the ball in Australia.  



Q Is it a concern that Australia have been rolling out flat tracks? In the recent series against India, even though they won the ODI series, they didn’t play to their strengths...

Yes, it’s been an issue for quite sometime. A lot of them are drop-in wickets. And they produce them so well that they don’t change during the course of play. A Test match wicket should deteriorate. We should look at the Adelaide day/night Test where they left a bit of grass on. Fair enough, the game was over in three days, but it was an exciting game. You expect Perth to be quick and bouncy, but it’s not the case anymore. If I was playing these days I would be looking forward to batting. Wickets are too much in favour of the batsmen these days.


Q Bowlers with unusual action like Jasprit Bumrah, are they really mysterious or is it just an illusion?

When Lasith Malinga first burst on to the scene, batsmen found it tough to handle him. And he is still tough to face. So, it comes back to execution. Bumrah seems to have good pace. He is bowling a lot of yorkers and it’s a dangerous delivery in limited-overs game. By bowling yorker, you can surely protect certain parts of the ground. Batsmen haven’t seen much of Bumrah and he is enjoying the benefit. Will he continue to be threatening? We have to wait and watch. He was with the MRF Pace Academy for a brief time. I love to see bowlers to be unique.


Q With India playing the World T20 at home, do you pick them as favourites?

Yes, for sure. They play T20 with a lot of confidence. India and other sub-continental teams approach this format well. I am sure, Australia take T20 cricket as seriously as others. When we played the first T20 against New Zealand, we did it with a bit of fun, giggling and sporting retro outfits. But it has evolved a lot since then. Nowadays, teams don’t have fear while chasing big totals. When I started playing, 200 in ODI was defendable. Now, even 300 is easy to chase. It has something to do with the attitude of the batsmen. And skill levels of bowlers have also dropped a bit.


Q Couple of your trainees — Ankit Rajpoot and Nathu Singh — were in big demand during the recent IPL auctions..

Ankit and Nathu have a lot of potential. I would like to see them play for the country. It’s great that they went for a lot of money in the auction. But they should not get carried away. They should work harder now.

Q Shane Warne recently lashed out at Steve Waugh and said he was the most selfish captain he played under. Your comments..

That’s Shane’s opinion. I thought Steve was a very good captain. He is a good friend of mine and so is Shane. People say things differently, but Steve has always been a good team man. He led by example. I can’t fault Steve in any way. Talking about Shane, I have to say that I think of him for a lot of my wickets. It’s important for a pacer to complement well with a spinner. He built pressure from the other end and it helped me. Similarly, he thinks of me for a few of his wickets.


Q Current Oz skipper Steven Smith has been impressive…I am a big fan of Smith. He belongs to a new breed of cricketers. I love his attitude. He gives everything he has out in the middle. While batting, he has got a long routine. He’s quite fidgety, but he gets the results though. He is a tough guy to bowl to. The attitude is the one that separates a good cricketer from a great one.