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Glenn McGrath Before moving on to analyse Warne's career and bowling style via a series of relevant tables and graphics, one peripheral question needs to be examined. To wit -- is Warne's lack of success due, at least in part, to the lack of supporting firepower from Glenn McGrath and Jason Gillespie?

Again, 'Our best bowlers are away injured' has never been accepted as an excuse for any side's non-performance (vide, to cite just one instance, Pakistan minus both Waqar Younis and Wasim Akram in several games in the recent past, or India


without Srinath in the West Indies). However, the following table charts Australia's recent outings, with and without the strike bowlers now being mentioned.

SeasonVenueOpponentsMcGrath's analysisGillespies' analysis Result for Australia
1997BirminghamEngland 32-8-107-2 & 7-1-42-010-1-48-1 Lost by 9 wkts
1997Lord'sEngland 20.3-8-38-8 & 20-5-65-1Did not play Draurn
1997ManchesterEngland 23.4-9-40-3 & 21-4-64-414-3-39-0 & 12-4-31-3 Won by 268 runs
1997LeedsEngland 22-5-67-2 & 22-5-80-213.4-1-37-7 & 23-8-65-2 Won by an inns & 61 runs
1997NothinghamEngland 29.5-9-71-4 & 13.5-4-36-311-3-47-0&8-0-65-3 Won by 264 runs
1997The OvalEngland 21-4-76-7 & 17-5-33-0Did not play Lost by 19 runs
1997-98BrisbaneNew Zealand 32.2-6-96-2 & 17-6-32-5Did not play Won by 186 runs
1997-98PerthNew Zealand Did not playDid not play Won by an inns & 70 runs
1997-98HobartNew Zealand Did not playDid not play Drawn.
1997-98MelbourneSouth Africa 17-9-20-1 & 28-11-57-1Did not play Drawn
1997-98 SydneySouth Africa 20-6-51-1 & 5-2-8-1Did not play won by an inns & 21 runs
1997-98AdelaideSouth Africa Did not playDid not play Drawn
1997-98ChennaiIndia Did not playDid not play Lost by 179 runs.
1997-98CalcuttaIndia Did not playDid not play Lost by an inns & 219 runs

TestOversMdnsRunsWlts AvgBest5WI 10WM
McGrath9369.1 10798547 20.958-383 --
Gillespie491.4 2033216 20.757-371 --

Test record for Australia when:
TestWon LostDrawnSuccess%
Both were playing431--75.00
Both were not playing5 122 40.00
Only McGrath playing5 21260.00
Grand Total146 4457.14

Gillespie, for the record, last played for Australia against England in the 1997 Ashes Test at Nottingham. Since then, injury has kept him out of the next nine Tests -- his absence, thus, is of too long a duration to be mentioned in context of this particular series.

Which brings us to McGrath. Out of the last 8 Tests featuring Australia (beginning with the Brisbane Test against New Zealand which opened the year), McGrath has missed 5. In the Brisbane game, his five wicket haul in the second innings powered Australia to a huge win. Against South Africa at Melbourne, first, and then Sydney, McGrath did play -- with singular lack of success, being obviously hampered by the same injury that is now keeping him out of the side.

One fact jumps out at you when you examine this table -- before the two back to back defeats at Chennai and Calcutta, Australia hasn't lost a Test, in this time frame, because of the absence of McGrath. Which, I would think, pretty much puts an end to that argument -- while it is obvious that the Australian new ball attack would have had more teeth with McGrath, and preferably Gillespie as well, leading it, it is nowhere near mathematical to suggest that the presence of the lanky quick bowler would have significantly altered the result, thus far, of the ongoing series.

With which preamble, we move to a series of charts, each examining a different aspect of Warne's career.

Statistics: Anant Gaundalkar