Glenn McGrath on Jasprit Bumrah, ICC World T20, Shane Warne-Steve Waugh episode and more

A champion bowler turned philanthropist, Glenn McGrath’s career was an illustrious and fulfilling one. Not only did he end up as the fast bowler with most Test wickets, but McGrath was also a part of Australia’s World Cup winning squads on three consecutive occasions between 1999 and 2007.

Since his retirement, the Australians have still won the 50-over World Cup once by beating New Zealand in the home final in 2015. However, it is the T20 World Cup that has eluded the cricketing powerhouse so far. In their five attempts so far, the best Australia could manage was reaching the final in 2010 edition in the Caribbean, where they were beaten by England.

There have been talks that the Australians do not take Twenty20 (T20) cricket seriously, to which the former Aussie pacer does not agree. With the ICC World T20 2016 just a month away, McGrath, who is in Chennai to work with the pacers at the MRF Pace Foundation, spoke to the TOI. Excerpts: READ: Josh Hazlewood fumes over an lbw decision; uses cuss word for the third umpire.

On ICC World T20 and Australia’s chances

McGrath feels that India are the favourites to win the mega event. According to him, India play the format well and with the favourable conditions, they are in the best position to win it. Having said that, McGrath also feels that Australia too can win the title that has eluded them so far. He believes that Australia take their T20 game very seriously and they also play well in Indian conditions. So, there is no reason why the title drought cannot end this time.

On players’ approach towards T20s

McGrath feels that there has been a remarkable change in the way the players approach T20s these days. The bowlers have learnt to have better control and the margin of error has reduced while the batsmen show no fear in chasing big totals. McGrath played most of his cricket in the era when 200 was a defendable total in 50-over games and now even 300 is not a safe total. He attributes the same to a marked change in attitude of the batsmen worldwide.

On Jasprit Bumrah

McGrath has worked with Jasprit Bumrah some two years back at the foundation and he feels that the young bowler has improved a lot. He further opined that batsmen world over will keep facing difficulties in handling Bumrah if he keeps bowling those Yorkers on a consistent basis. His unusual action will keep testing the batsmen, who will need time to adjust to it.

On Steve Smith

McGrath said he is a huge fan of the young Australian captain Steve Smith and finds him a conventional cricketer. He also suggested that though the batsman may not be at par technically with some of his contemporaries, but he gets the results, which is more important. McGrath also rates him very high as a player and says that Smith is someone very to bowl to.

On Shane Warne – Steve Waugh episode

On this tricky one, McGrath chose a more cautious approach. He called both Steve Waugh and Shane Warne excellent players who are great friends with him. He tried to justify Waugh’s part by saying that being a captain; one has to take some tough decisions and Steve has been a great captain who has led the team by example. At the same time, he also defended Warne by saying that was his personal opinion and thanked the spinner for helping him take so many wickets.