Craig McDermott © Getty Images
Craig McDermott © Getty Images

The defeat to India in the virtual quarter-final on Sunday night at Mohali ended Australia’s stay in the ongoing T20 World Cup 2016, and Steven Smith and company head back home having lost a lot more than what they found. The tournament marked the retirement of Shane Watson from international cricket, as their star all-rounder had already called it quits from the other format. Their exit also brought an end to a glorious association with their bowling coach, former speedster Craig McDermott, who not only heralded the recovery of the Australian bowling attack, but turned them into one of the best.  FULL CRICKET SCORECARD: India vs Australia, Super 10 Group 2, Match 31 at Mohali

Looking back from where it all began, when McDermott was approached once again for the role 18 months later after he had quit from the first stint, Australia have come a long  way. They stand as the world No. 1 side in Test cricket, and have discovered and developed a good battery of young fast bowlers who look set to serve them for years to come. ALSO READ: Craig McDermott not to renew contract with Australia post ICC World T20 2016

McDermott’s biggest success in his overall tenure as the Australian bowling coach has to be their 4-0 mauling of India at home, when his wards ran through a batting line-up that consisted Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Virender Sehwag and VVS Laxman. ALSO READ: Craig McDermott: The man behind Australia’s pace bowling resurgence in Ashes 2013-14

And that was not all, Australia’s rampant show in the Ashes 2013-14 saw Mitchell Johnson dismantling the best of the English batsmen, racking up as many as 37 wickets in five Tests to play a humongous role in their 5-0 whitewash of their arch rivals.

There was more. South Africa was tamed in their backyard, with Johnson and the old warhorse in Ryan Harris teaming up to hand Australia an impressive away series wins. Australia’s planning, preparations and execution was impeccable in all these series, and McDermott played a huge role in the dressing room.

McDermott’s philosophy of teaching his young wards remained the same. The bowlers were asked to pitch the ball up and make it move. The captains were told to be patient, and not to worry about boundaries being hit through cover. This came off extremely well against India in 2011-12, and the way Australia bowled in their last Test series — during the two-Test tour of New Zealand — it can be said that Australia are on the right track.

The win in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 was another feather in the cap for McDermott and his wards, but it came after a tough run against a certain Virat Kohli. The Indian batsman notched up as many as four Test hundreds during the Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2014-15, and all that Australia could conjure up was Darren Lehmann claiming in a press conference that they had not yet started planning on Kohli.

What Lehmann meant was Australia hadn’t paid heed to the dangers that Kohli posed, but it remained a fact that they have continued to struggle against the Indian batsman.

The biggest failures came in England in 2015. Despite having deep resources, Australia could not derive a way to excel in England. If Australia can be excused for failing in England in 2013 because they had just began their rebuilding phase, the results should have been positive in 2015. But they lost Harris right before the series, and everyone, from Johnson to Mitchell Starc struggled on the tracks where their own batsmen were shot out repetitively for paltry scores.

Nevertheless, as McDermott sets out of the Australian camp to focus on his business that revolves around cricket coaching, he leaves behind a strong group of talented fast bowlers who will be around for many years to come. Starc has been away from action for an injury, but he will return to action soon, perhaps in a month or two. Then there is Peter Siddle, who was, at one point of time, being groomed as Australia’s leader of pace attack. There are the likes of Josh Hazlewood, who in particular, looks like a carbon-copy of McDermott from his playing days. There are James Pattinson, Jackson Bird, and Nathan Coulter-Nile, who too have a lot to offer.

(Devarchit Varma is senior writer with CricketCountry. He can be followed on Twitter @Devarchit)