McGrath for 'controlled aggression'

Aussie pace legend feels it's tough to be a fast bowler in India

McGrath for 'controlled aggression'

Glenn McGrath calls himself a traditionalist at heart. He doesn’t believe in the suggestions of ball tampering to counter the heavy slant of the game towards batsmen nor does he endorse sledging beyond a point. He does, however, advocates for “controlled aggression” in bowlers, and wants the current lot to work on their skill levels.

“The T20 has improved the skill level of the batsmen but as for the bowlers I am a bit disappointed because skill level of the bowlers has dropped ,” said the 45-year-old legendary pacemen during a promotional event as the brand ambassador of Australia's Hardys Wines for their Indian distributors.

“They don’t even have to be that consistent because you can bowl six different deliveries and you don’t have to land them exactly right. We saw during the World Cup with Mitchell Starc and Lasith Malinga, to a degree just how effective the bowler can be if he can bowl very good yorkers. A lot of bowlers tried but not everyone succeeded.”

“I think being a fast bowler is all about being aggressive.  But being aggressive is also about your body language, the lengths you bowl, may be a few short balls, if you get hit for a four, you don’t drop your shoulders. It all goes into making a good quality fast bowler. It’s all about good controlled aggression.”

The Australian, who has been training young bowlers at the MRF Pace Academy in Chennai, was impressed with the Indian talent but had no answer to the dearth of genuine raw pacers in the country.

“I think to be a fast bowler in India is as tough as it gets. Now, why there have been no bowlers, who can bowl upto 150 plus I am not sure,” said McGrath who is the director of the foundation.

“But if you look at the top (north) of India, people are actually physically bigger and stronger. Maybe, looking for more fast bowlers from that region can be a good option. Because you look just across the border and they produce fast bowlers all the time. I think being taller does help but it's not a pre-requisite. Look at Dale Steyn, he can still bowl fast and is the best in the world.”

The 45-year-old McGrath has been open about his praise for Varun Aaron, whom he tutored for a while, but urges the youngsters to step up in this highly competitive age.
“I come over to Chennai three times a year. I like how they do thing’s there. I think the coaching is good and the facilities are good and just the way they go about it I really like because that’s the way I used to train.”

Towering at six foot five, McGrath counts his control over the ball and bounce among his best weapons.

“When you speak to guys like Sachin (Tendulkar) and Brian Lara, they would rather face somebody who bowls around 150 and skids the ball, than somebody who bowls 130-140 and gets that bounce.  I had a plan to each batsman, I would set the field and even if the captain set the field I would be able to bowl to it. That's I think what helped me.”

 

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