The Aussie great and all-time leading wicket-taker amongst pacers was in Chennai to train young bowlers at the MRF Pace Foundation.
Speaking about the performance of India’s bowlers in the recently concluded tour of South Africa, the master of seam-bowling lauded the pace unit but said that adding consistency in future tours to come would be the key.
“They are going well as a unit. If the bowlers can pick 20 wickets, then it’s perfect. Their pacers Mohammed Shami, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah and Hardik Pandya did the job. They are confident and are a quality attack at the moment,” McGrath told the Press Trust of India.
“I think the pitches in Australia won’t be that helpful as they were in South Africa. But they will still be better for pacers than what it is in India. It is great to pick so many wickets in one series. But to be the No1 side consistently, you need to have a solid attack. Indian pacers have got the ability but they have to go out there and do it series after series consistently,” he added.
India are slated to tour Australia at the end of the year for a four-match Test series.
Nagarkoti was subsequently picked up by Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in the player auction. The Rajasthan-born bowler is among several youngsters to have benefited from stints in the pace academy.
“It’s been a great year for these boys. Nagarkoti impressed in U-19 WC and got picked by KKR. Playing in IPL is a bonus for him. He is young and has a big career is ahead of him. But it’s up to him to work further,” McGrath said about the pacer.
“When you bowl at good pace, there will be a load on the body. It’s tough getting to the top, but tougher staying there.
“Being slim doesn’t mean you are not strong. He has good wrist, rhythm and approaching the crease well. It’s a good sign.”
India will take on hosts Sri Lanka in the Nidahas T20I Trophy tri-series opener at Colombo on Tuesday. With Virat Kohli being provided a rest following his heroics in the long and gruelling tour of South Africa, Rohit Sharma will lead the Men in Blue in the T20I tournament which also involves Bangladesh.
Speaking to the media, the stand-in skipper compared the T20 format to the Premier League in England due to its unpredictability.
“T20 is such a format where any team can win on that particular day. The game can change in a span of one over, it can slip away. On a given day, any team can beat anyone. How do I explain it? It’s like the English Premier League. Some teams may be stronger, but anyone can win on a given day,” Rohit stated.
The Mumbai batsman, who had stated that India are not the favourites in the tri-series, said the tournament allowed his side to test their bench strength in the run-up to the 2019 ICC World Cup.
“It’s always important to know your bench strength. We’re lucky that we have got quality players who are waiting to do well. They have been consistently performing in A tours, Ranji Trophy, IPL. It’s the right time to blood them. We want to see how they play here and not rush them in ICC tournaments directly as we don’t want them to be taken by surprise. We want to see where they stand as individuals,” he said.
India have rested several big guns for the tournament apart from Kohli. Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Kuldeep Yadav, MS Dhoni and Hardik Pandya have all been given a well-deserved break from cricket with several youngsters getting a chance in the Nidahas Trophy.
That has not gone down too well with Sri Lanka head coach Chandika Hathurasinghe who expressed his disappointment with India’s move to rest the big stars.
“If you go by the ratings, India is the No1 team, so they always start ahead of the other teams. Whoever comes for India is a very strong team. We have to start well because we haven’t been doing well at home,” Hathurasinghe said.
“We can’t control their selection. We are playing the India team so whoever they play on that day we prepare for them. If the stars are there it’s good for the spectators, but unfortunately at this stage, they’ve come with a different team,” he added.
Wake up and smell the coffee, is the saying. And it must have been a strong one (with an extra shot) for the ICC to have finally thrown some weight behind initial plans to restrict Twenty20 cricket’s growing power.
The Guardian‘s exclusive report this week has revealed cricket’s governing body will meet in Kolkata next month to discuss a series of proposals, which will help to regulate the 20-over format’s lust and operate tighter controls on the movement of freelance cricketers.
For lovers and fighters to save Test cricket, this is a welcome shot in the arm.
Among anticipated rule changes, all domestic leagues could face having to pay 20% of a player’s contract value to their home board as mandatory compensation for a cricketer’s tournament involvement, say in a PSL or Big Bash, while those under the age of 32 could be restricted to only being allowed to play three domestic T20 leagues every year.
Stars like Darren Sammy, Chris Gayle and Marlon Samuels might be affected, with the West Indies Cricket Board being one of the chief instigators behind the push for tighter directives, given the full ICC member has fallen victim to player exoduses for too long.
England and Australia are apparently behind the proposals but it remains to be seen whether India will exercise their say, given the BCCI prohibits its international stars from appearing in tournaments outside of the Indian Premier League, in huge part due owing to the extravaganza’s lucrative TV deal.
These changes are a good thing to try and level the playing field between all formats, increasing the fair circulation of cash flow in a game where too many fingers are in too many pies.
Ahead of the inaugural Test and one-day international leagues set to begin in 2019, there’s no time like the present with much of the onus on offering a bit of payback to cricket boards that have invested a lot in player development but been disregarded for dollar signs elsewhere. Indeed, the way things are going at present doesn’t breathe sustainability.
Anything to properly monitor the work of hired guns in cricket is essential but it’s going to need an almighty whack, and more, from the powers that be to breach a glass ceiling that has been covered in cement for a long while now.