Former Australian speedster Glenn McGrath feels technology has transformed pace game
By TN Vimal Sankar | Express News Service | Published: 18th July 2017 09:41 AM |
CHENNAI: When the MRF Pace Foundation was set up in 1987, nobody knew how much of a role they would have in producing world class seamers. But 30 years down the line, alma mater has produced Javagal Srinath, Zaheer Khan, Chaminda Vaas, Glenn McGrath, Mitchell Johnson and Brett Lee, to name a few. Under the guidance of Dennis Lillee, the world of cricket was gifted with bowlers who could run through batting line-ups. But cricket is not the same anymore. With different formats and a hectic schedule, the art of fast bowling has also changed.
And in order to cope with the demands of modern day cricket, the academy and coaches too needed a more contemporary outlook. In 2012, roping in Glenn McGrath after Lillee bid adieu was the beginning. Five years after he took over, McGrath feels that younger generation are very lucky with technology playing a major role in coaching these days. “I came here 25 years back as a trainee and now I am a coach. While the coaching technique still remains the same, the advancements is technology has been huge. For example, back then, we used to have a video recorder with a start, pause and play button. It was much harder to analyse things. Now, there is slow motion and different shots from different angles that help the player watch and learn new things more clearly within a very short period of time,” he said.
Moulding the next generation of pacers is tricky as they play a number of games in various formats these days. While strides in the field of technology is of immense help, injuries still remain a frequent problem for fast bowlers. Mental strength and thought process of a player matters to overcome these situations. Following the right technique can also be a game changer. “
There are two reasons why we work on technique. One is to get more out of your action so that you can bowl quicker using less energy and the second one is, you can have less injuries. But in the end, when you are bowling at 140-150 mph, there is so much stress on the body and it could take a toll on the player,” he added.
A number of variations of the current crop of fast bowlers have improved drastically. While batsmen have evolved by leaps and bounds, adjusting to various conditions and formats, the bowlers have not been able to produce similar results. “I don’t think the skill level of bowlers has improved at the same pace. It all comes back to control, when you play Tests, ODIs and T20 and one needs to execute the plan properly.”