Cricket News

Optimum use of the Duke ball key to India's success in England: McGrath

Australian legend Glenn McGrath said India has to quickly adapt to the conditions and experience will play a big part in the series. 

Published: 05th June 2018 12:17 PM  |   Last Updated: 05th June 2018 04:40 PM   |  A+A-

Australia’s pace legend Glenn McGrath (left) with coach M Senthilnathan (centre) at the MRF Pace Foundation in Chennai on Monday | D Sampathkumar

Express News Service

CHENNAI: Australia legend Glenn McGrath believes that the upcoming Test series between India and England will be an interesting one. He said that if India adapt quickly and are able to make optimum use of the Duke ball, the visitors will have a strong chance to succeed in England, which they have not done in the recent past. “The key to India’s success is how well they bowl with the Duke ball. Another key factor is that there are not that many matches before the Test series.

"They have to adapt quickly to the conditions. Most of the guys have played in England before, so experience will play a big part. If they feel they are short on match practice, they have to rely on experience,’’ said McGrath, who is currently at the MRF Pace Foundation in Chennai, along with M Senthilnathan. After beating Pakistan in the second Test under three days, England skipper Joe Root said on Sunday that his team can defeat India too.

“India is a much better team than Pakistan. So it will be not easy as they (England) think. As I said earlier, it all depends upon how quickly India adapt to the conditions.” Cheteshwar Pujara did not have a great time with Yorkshire in county cricket. Virat Kohli’s much-awaited Surrey stint also ended abruptly due to a neck injury. The entire batting line-up will be playing in the Tests after white-ball cricket. What will be their biggest challenge? “Playing the ball which swings is the toughest.

England bowlers are good at home. From India’s point of view, whichever player uses his technique well will score runs. "Pujara may not have got runs in county, but just being there and getting used to the conditions will help him.” India captain Kohli will be undergoing a fitness test on June 15. In case Kohli does not recover in time, what would be the impact? “It will be a big blow for the Indians if Kohli does not recover on time."

He is the team’s best batsman and when you do not have the best player in your ranks, it will be difficult. Having said that, Kohli is a hard-working player and if he is fit he will do well in England.” Former England spinner Graeme Swann had said that he would prefer India to play three seamers and a spinner, since a couple of pitches will aid spin there. The lone spinner would be R Ashwin.

Agreeing with Swann’s formula, McGrath said,”Shane Warne always said if the pitch supports seam, it also helps spin. You have to bowl in partnerships. Shane and I bowled in partnerships to be effective.” Among the Indian seamers, Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar were impressive in this year’s IPL. With their current form, will they do well in England? “Bhuvneshwar and Bumrah have got pretty good control. In England, the ball moves a bit, so they should do well.” 

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