Rahane, Gill, Jadeja confirmed what ought to be executed: McGrath tells Australian batsmen


Sydney, January 7

Least impressed by the Australian batsmen’s “timid” approach in the ongoing Test series against India, pace legend Glenn McGrath has asked them to take a leaf out of Ajinkya Rahane and Shubman Gill’s book.

McGrath rued the approach taken by the Australian batsman so far in the four-match series, which is locked at 1-1 at the moment.

“I think, probably majority with India, the way they bowled, a little bit with just the mindset of the Australian batsmen, as I mentioned before, they were timid,” McGrath said during a conference call organised by official broadcasters Sony.

“They are looking to survive rather than to go there and score runs and dominate the bowlers.”      

The pacer, who dominated batsmen with pinpoint accuracy and sharpness in his heydays, added, “When you have got batsmen looking to survive on pitches that are just offering little bit to bowlers, then it is only a matter of time before they get out.

“I think, you look at the way (Ajinkya) Rahane batted, (Shubhman) Gill batted, Rishabh Pant, (Ravindra) Jadeja… those guys they showed what should be done.”     

McGrath lavished praise on the Indian bowlers and called himself a “big fan” of Jasprit Bumrah.

“You can’t take anything away from Indian bowlers. The way Jasprit Bumrah has bowled this series has been amazing. I am a big fan of Bumrah, I have spoken to him a few times and I liked the way he thinks and the way he goes about it.”     

McGrath praised the Indian attack for the lengths they have hit.

“He (Bumrah) quite enjoys bowling in Australian conditions. A Mohammed Siraj coming in, I just think they bowled very good lengths, sometimes you can get carried away with the bounce in Australia and bowl too short, but they have bowled good lengths,” he added.

He was also effusive in his praise for senior off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, describing his performance as exceptional.

“Ravi Ashwin, the way he has bowled. He always bowls well in the first Test and then something seems goes missing the rest of the series, sometimes, but the way he bowled in Melbourne was exceptional as well,” said the bowler, who has 563 Test wickets to his credit.

In the absence of Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav and Ishant Sharma, McGrath said the onus would be on Bumrah and Ashwin in the remainder of the four-match series.

“You have got a couple of young guys coming in, Siraj playing his second Test, (Navdeep) Saini playing his first, so a lot will rest on Jasprit Bumrah, maybe Ashwin and (Ravindra) Jadeja, they are all very experienced,” he said.

He said it remained to be seen how newcomers Siraj and Saini stand up to pressure situations.

“Once the pressure of Test cricket comes, if Australia are doing well, that’s when you need the experience, and that’s where experience will come into play and whether that will impact these young bowlers a little bit more.

“Australian batting line-up have the ability to put the pressure back on bowlers and that is going to be the big test. If Australian batsmen do put pressure how do Siraj, Saini stand up? That is the big question.

“But I’m looking forward to the two exciting bowlers, who have a big impact in shorter version, IPL probably more so,” he said.

McGrath also said that both the teams will be lifted by the inclusion of star openers Rohit Sharma and David Warner in the third Test.

“I think it is a big lift for both sides. With Rohit coming in with his experience, he is quite an aggressive batsman as well, very similar to David Warner.”        

The India-Australia match at the Sydney Cricket Ground will be the 13th Pink Test and McGrath said both teams would be donating their Baggy Pink caps.

“So, here we are again… number 13. Things are a little bit different with COVID and crowd restrictions and what you can do at the ground, but looking forward to it.

“Both teams will be donating their Baggy Pink caps and they will sign them, they will go for auction,” he said. PTI



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