Australian pace bowling legend, Glenn McGrath, on Tuesday, said that taking wickets in the subcontinent is a big challenge but patience with the pitch will give you fruitful results.
McGrath spoke to cricket.com.au on bowling in India and what Australians need to do in order to dominate the upcoming Test series in India.
He said, “People say I was not an over-attacking bowler, or a defensive bowler – to an extent that was probably right but it meant I could have really aggressive field placements (in Australia) and that’s how I looked to take wickets.
“In the sub-continent, you don’t have that bounce, you don’t have that seam, you don’t have that carry. Okay, how are we going to take wickets? The new ball will still carry through quite well, so you’re looking to take wickets caught in the slips, caught behind with the new ball.”
Bowling in India is not easy as well all know. McGrath, however, has a trick to crack the flat pitches in India.
“You go through a patch when the ball really does nothing – it’s not carrying through, it’s not reverse swinging, so then you really have to dot it up (stop the scoring). Give them no easy runs, bring in maybe a short mid-wicket, a short cover and just ring the field up. Work on the ball, the wicket’s going to be abrasive and after a while it will go reverse swing.
“As soon as that ball starts reverse swinging, it’s a little bit more in favour of the bowler and you can attack a bit more. And be prepared to bowl long spells, build pressure and look to take wickets that way. So that’s my mindset in the sub-continent.”
Batsmen are confused
McGrath made a very valid point on the Australia’s batting approach while batting in India.
“Our batsmen have been more the issue in the sub-continent, they don’t know whether to attack or to defend. At times they look like they over-attack, and at times they look like they over-defend – there’s no in-between.”
“In Sri Lanka, it just seemed that they went really hard or they just closed up shop. And they tried different things but it didn’t work, so they have to come up with a plan of ‘okay, what shots are we going to play to keep the score rotating’.”