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McGrath aims to make mark in 100th Test

Kunal Pradhan | October 25, 2004 11:37 IST

Australia strike bowler Glenn McGrath aims to celebrate his 100th Test starting against India on Tuesday with a match-winning performance.

McGrath, 34, will become only the third specialist fast bowler after West Indian Courtney Walsh and Pakistan's Wasim Akram to play a century of Tests when he takes the field in the third Test.

"A five-wicket haul would be great, so would a 10-wicket match," McGrath said on Sunday. "Then maybe a 50 with the bat."

Known for his accuracy outside the off-stump and his guile with the new ball, McGrath has picked up 446 Test wickets in 99 matches at an average of 21.73 since making his debut against New Zealand in Perth in 1993.

"When I walk out for the Test in a couple of days, it will be very special. It's something I'm really looking forward to."

The New South Wales bowler said his next target was 500 Test wickets.

"That would perhaps be a time when I can look back and reassess things and see how long I want to go on."

McGrath has taken six wickets in the first two Tests to assist Australia to a 1-0 lead in the four-match series.

He said he was happy with the way he had adjusted to conditions in India, always a tough place for fast bowlers because of the slow, low pitches.

"It takes some adjustment. But you know the new ball will go through and you can count on reverse swing when the ball gets older. The rest is a question of sticking to the basics."

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Only a few months ago McGrath was being written off after he was sidelined for a year with a career-threatening ankle injury.

"There were some tough times," he said. "One day I would feel my ankle couldn't get any worse and another day I would feel it was the best it ever was.

"I've hopefully got a few years in me. I'm only 34, Walsh and Wasim played till longer so I've got a few years on them."

McGrath, a confirmed number 11, even defended his skill with the bat.

"I always believe number 11 is the most difficult position," he said. "There are times when you're hitting the ball well and the other guy gets out. There goes a 50!"

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