Former Australian cricketer Glenn McGrath’s pre-series prediction of his side blanking England 5-0 did not happen, but he felt that the 2-2 result in the Ashes was a fair result. The pace bowling legend is in the city on his third visit this year for his periodical camp at the MRF Pace Foundation, where he is the Director of Coaching. He spoke on the Ashes, the future of Test cricket, Jasprit Bumrah and more.
On the Ashes
It was a great contest. Every day someone would get in front, and then the (other) would fight back; it ebbed and flowed through the day. It was great viewing for fans. To have a series like that is good for Test cricket. We must look after Test cricket, protect it and keep people coming to it. A series like that is one way to do it.
On England’s Bazball
They have proved that in England and did well in Pakistan. It is quite an aggressive form. But the team I was lucky enough to play in, we went out and backed ourselves. That’s what the Australian team did. It is not something new. The scoring rate may be a little (quicker). I like the concept, and it is about backing your players. Without a doubt, it has made Test cricket lively. How it goes in Indian or Australian conditions, we will wait and see. It is a challenge; we will see what the future has in it and whether it is sustainable.
He is a quality bowler. If he has put the work off the field, I don’t see why he can’t return to where he was. Just the way the last few strides and (he) explodes through the crease, it takes a toll on the body with the effort and energy put in. It is about getting back to the swing of things. The lay-off should help because fast bowlers need that time away to put strength back in their bodies. It depends on his strength work, how his back is, and if he has done anything to his action. Two or 11 months away from the game won’t make much difference. He has been there before and achieved. The big question is can he get back there? I will watch him to see if he returns to where he was.
Australia’s World Cup chances
They are in the top four teams to make the semis. I put India, England, Australia and Pakistan as the top four sides. They (Australia) perform well in the big tournaments and have experienced players, with some younger guys coming through. They have enough games in the sub-continental conditions to prepare for the World Cup. Maybe New Zealand is an underdog.