After more than two-and-half years break due to the pandemic, former Australian pace bowling legend Glenn McGrath is back here 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. Also, you see that the Indian bowling line-up for quite some years now has 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 as well.
How can India sustain this?
I think just keep doing what they are doing. I think there are a lot of academies, like NCA and what we do here is, there is a lot more focus on fast bowling now and that is important. Just continue bringing the young guys through. Recently two of our guys Avesh Khan and Prasidh Krishna, the way they are coming through, to see Prasidh last night bowl a wicket maiden in the penultimate over shows they can handle pressure.
Thoughts on the exciting Umran Malik, who has been here 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 in him and would 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 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 so 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 leg-spin bowling but his never-say-die attitude that you can win from any position. Hopefully, it will inspire the cricketers coming through. The impact he had not just in Australia, in England when he was at Hampshire and at RR (Rajasthan Royals), his legacy will definitely live on.
Special year for MRF pace foundation
The last twelve months have been a special one for the MRF Pace Foundation as four of its trainees 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 currently this year and doing well. This is what we have been working towards.”