CHENNAI: With seven wickets in hand, 280 runs on the final day always looked achievable but the pressure is always on the batting side, in this context India, as one wicket can change the complexion of the game. These are some tacit observations of former Australia fast bowler Glenn McGrath on the just-concluded World Test Championship title match that Australia won beating India by 209 runs.
He also doffed his hat to Australia captain Pat Cummins for leading his team to a creditable win. ‘’It was a professional display by Australia. Full marks to Pat (Cummins) for the way he led the side. Considering the fact many of the players did not have much game time and straight away played the WTC final, it was a fantastic performance,’’ said McGrath, who is here for MRF Pace Foundation fast bowlers camp as Director of Coaching.
McGrath also spoke about the stand between Travis Head and Steve Smith in the first innings that his team in command against India. McGrath had special praise for Smith with played a lot of maturity and responsibility. “It’s an important partnership (Head-Smith) without a doubt. And you’ve got to work out your strengths, and your weaknesses and Travis Head is in good form. But he’s (Head) an aggressive, quick scorer. So sometimes to have a guy at the other end who’s just pushing the singles, keeping the scoreboard ticking over, it’s perfect. So that partnership was vital. I think Smith knows the game very well and played at the right tempo,’’ said McGrath after coaching youngsters along with chief coach M Senthilnathan.
On the final day when India needed 280 runs in 90 overs with seven wickets in hand, the stage was perfectly set. But Australia needed the first session to clean them up. “Full marks to Bolland for that brilliant over where he got Kohli and Jadeja. I think that set the tempo for an Australian win,’’ said McGrath. ‘’I think to add on the last day with what was there seven wickets in hand, it sounds gettable, but there’s a lot more pressure. One wicket can change it. So from a bowling perspective, you know if you get enough balls in the right area, you’re going to create at least seven chances, if not more.”
On Shubman Gill-Camron Green catch controversy he said: “Sometimes technology is not good. Get your hands under it. I didn’t see it live. I’ve only seen sort of still shots. I think most of those catches are out. We find ways to give it not out. So I was happy with it. And if it was India taking the catch. I would have been happy too, I’m not just saying from an Australian perspective but...’’
On the Ashes, he said: “It (WTC triumph) should give them a lot of confidence and I think Aussies are in a great position. There is a lot of talk about ‘Bazball’ and I am a big fan. I like the attitude of backing yourself and being positive. It’s an aggressive mindset and if you get on top of the bowlers, you can score quickly. Playing against Australia is going to be a different ball game for England because they have got a quality bowling attack. It’s going to be an interesting series. The first Test match is incredibly important and whoever gets off to a good start can carry the momentum. I expect close matches.”