The bond of former Australian pace bowler Glenn McGrath has consistently grown with India after he retired from international cricket in 2007.
Cricket news: Kohli has to adapt if he wants to succeed in England, says McGrath
After becoming the director of the MRF Pace Foundation in Chennai in 2012, McGrath has been a regular visitor to India and has enjoyed a good amount of hospitality from the country’s people.
When the 48-year-old player recently visited the country for his coaching stint, he was interviewed with some questions which included India’s upcoming England tour, how would ViratKohli perform in the series, the infamous Australian ball-tampering scandal and many more.
India will be playing a gruelling five-match Test series in England after the T20 and ODI series starting in July. Do you think they will be able to successfully adapt to the longer format?
A lot of it depends on the preparation time they have leading up to the Tests. You have got to adapt a lot quicker these days. Well, most guys have played in England before. Experience plays a big part in being able to adjust and adapt quicker. They have to rely on experience to take them through in England.
BhuvneshwarKumar and JaspritBumrah have been in good form in the last few months. Will they hold key for India in English conditions?
Yes, I think Bhuvneshwar and Bumrah will hold the key. Both of them have got pretty good control. That’s what you need in England. The duke ball has got a pronounced seam. If you get the ball in the right areas consistently, it will do a little bit throughout and they will do well.
Bumrah did very well in his debut Test series in South Africa earlier this year. Does he have to do anything different in English conditions to replicate his success?
I expect Bumrah to do well in England too simply because of the way he bowls. He has got a unique action, but he bowls lengths that are challenging for the batsmen. He will enjoy bowling with the duke ball. I actually think all the Indian pacers will have success in England. It’s just a question of the batsmen getting enough runs.
Kohli vs James Anderson is expected to be the defining battle during the Test series. Kohli struggled last time around, averaging just 13.40 in five Tests. How do you see that contest shaping up?
Obviously, Kohli is a more experienced player this time around. There’s no doubt that he’s a quality batsman, but English conditions are pretty tough. When you have got a bowler like James Anderson who knows the conditions so well, it’s going to be a lot of hard work for Kohli. He has got to be prepared to work hard. He can’t just go out and play his game and hit through the line. He has got to be able to adapt. I’m looking forward to that battle.
In relation to the Australian ball-tampering episode, the Australian team of the 2000s received a lot of criticism, with people saying that this culture emanated from there. What are your thoughts having been a part of that side?
I disagree with that completely. It was just a way that other teams and media used to have a go at the Australian team because they couldn’t have a go at us for playing badly or anything else. It always annoyed me. I have spoken to captains from other teams of that era, and they never felt that Australians were the worst sledgers.
Would you be interested in working with Australia as they look to revamp their culture and way of doing things?
Justin Langer will be great for the team as head coach. He is the type of guy they need. Respect and discipline are two extremely important words for him. They have pretty much hit rock-bottom. There is only one way to go now. I am happy to do some work with the younger guys. Working with a team is not something I want to do now. I haven’t been approached (by CA). I think Justin will get the right people involved. I am just hoping for a turnaround