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  • Glenn McGrath’s Cricket World Cup formula for Australia against India: Quick wickets equals victory

    2019 - 08.21

    Former Australian fast bowler Glenn McGrath.DL: What do Australia’s fast bowlers need to do to counter India’s batsmen?

    GM: We have the bowlers to do it, hopefully there’ll be a little bit in the wicket for the fast bowlers. India has always been a quality batting outfit, there’s never been any doubt about that. It was their bowlers, more-so, who let them down in the tri-series earlier this summer. To see the turn-around in the Indians has been incredible because you would hardly have given them a chance to make the last eight the way they played earlier! They’re really switched on – it’s the World Cup and it’s obviously important to them. Australia needs to take early wickets. The importance of early wickets was highlighted the other night when New Zealand played the West Indies. [The Kiwis] were only two or three down at the 30-over mark and then scored 230 runs off the last 20 overs. They showed if you have wickets in hand you can do anything. There’s a need to take early wickets [today]. India has an outstanding batting line up and while M.S.Dhoni has been a little bit out of form he still adds a lot as a proven finisher.

    DL: A lot has been said about Australia’s bowlers, what are your thoughts on India’s attack?

    GM: Their bowlers have really turned it around. They have guys who are bowling at 150 km/h, they have control, are taking wickets and bowling well in partnerships. Mohammad Shami is one  . . . bowling in the high 130s [and taken 17 wickets at 13.29]. Ravi Ashwin offers good control as well; a quality spinner. They’ve worked things out . . . maybe they were thinking about the World Cup during the Tri-series.

    DL: What does Australia need to do to win this semi-final?

    GM: Score more runs than India [laughs]. Australia needs to focus on what they do well. They have a strong batting line-up, a very good fielding team and very good bowling attack. They just have to go out there and continue to do what they’ve done so far. If Mitchell Starc can take early wickets again; Mitchell Johnson comes back and bowls a little bit better; Josh Hazlewood bowls good areas  . . . look, they just have to bowl as they have throughout the World Cup. They need to be aggressive, they need to look to take wickets because if they can take three or four early wickets then it’s game over.

    DL: You mentioned Mitchell Johnson. Put your coaching cap on for a second and tell us what’s going on with him.

    GM: It can be tough coming back from a successful year because everyone’s expectations – as well as your own – are very high. If you don’t start off with a bang everyone’s asking questions and making comments. You can try and force things so my advice is ‘Mitch, just relax. Run in and let it go. You have everything you need to be successful and your other bowlers are bowling well’. Yeah, just run in and let it go and try and bowl good areas and at good pace.”

    DL: That sounds easier said than done

    GM: Sometimes it is. It all comes back to the individual. Pressure is something that I think comes from within. Mitch will know better than anyone else where he’s at. If he’s happy with where he’s at it won’t be long before he’s back. Although, he did well in Adelaide [against Pakistan] and he just needs to build on that effort.

    DL: The left-handers have made a big impact . . .

    GM: Mitchell Starc has been the stand out but Trent Boult [New Zealand], Wahab Riaz [Pakistan] have been tremendous. I thought it was ridiculous Riaz was fined for his duel with Shane Watson the other night. Everyone at the ground loved it, it was a good and competitive battle and I don’t think it crossed the line at all. But the left-handers have been outstanding and I put that down to the pace they’re bowling and their control.

    DL: Finally, your thoughts on Starc?

    GM: Mitchell Starc has been outstanding and if he bowls well he’s a match winner. He knows his one day game very well – he can run in and swing the ball and bowl yorkers. His confidence is up and that’s having a positive affect on the others. If he continues to bowl well Australia can win the World Cup.

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