After more than 2-1/2 years’ break due to the pandemic, Australian pace bowling legend Glenn McGrath is back at the MRF Pace Foundation where he is the director of cricket. Excerpts from a media interaction on Saturday:
Your take on the fast-bowling revolution in India over the last decade
I think it is great but it is also a different mindset they have had here. India has always been about good batting conditions and bowling conditions for spinners. But what I have heard is that pitches are a little different now and there is more in it for the pacers, which I think is great.
The Indian bowling line-up for quite some years now has had a quality fast bowling attack. When you have a strong bowling line-up in your national team, it filters down with more people wanting to become fast bowlers.
How to sustain this?
Just keep doing what they are doing. I think there are a lot of academies, like NCA, and what we do here is focus more on fast bowling and that is important. Just continue bringing the young guys through. Recently we saw two of our guys Avesh Khan and Prasidh Krishna come through, and to see Prasidh bowl a wicket maiden in the penultimate over [against Delhi Capitals] shows they can handle pressure.
Thoughts on the exciting Umran Malik, who has been at the pace foundation in the past…
If you have a bowler bowling at that pace, I am sure the selectors will be very interested and love to have someone bowling at that pace for your country.
It is about being able to bowl your three lengths — a good-length ball, a good bouncer and a yorker.
Bowling a yorker is a lot tougher and the fact that he is able to bowl one at that pace makes him very dangerous.
Finally, a few words on Shane Warne and his legacy…
It is still tough to believe he is not here anymore. I spoke to him two days before he went on his trip and he was full of energy. He was probably the happiest I have heard him sound for a long time. What he did to the game of cricket not only through his leg-spin bowling and his ‘never-say-die’ attitude is inspiring. that you can win from any position should inspire cricketers coming through.
With the impact he had not just in Australia, in England when he was at Hampshire, and at RR (Rajasthan Royals), his legacy will live on.
Special year for MRF Pace Foundation
The last 12 months have been special for the MRF Pace Foundation as four of its trainees have graduated to international cricket.
Speaking about it, McGrath said, “we had Prasidh Krishna, Chetan Sakariya, Sandeep Warrier (in 2021) and Avesh Khan (2022) make their debut for India. I think that’s brilliant and that is what we are about. Getting the young guys to come through, help them move through the State-level and hopefully to play for India.”
M. Senthinathan, head coach at the academy added, “we also have 18 of our trainees playing in the IPL this year and doing well. This is what we have been working towards.”