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Indian bowling attack still world-class: McGrath

Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Harish Kotian
Last updated on: February 26, 2020 21:24 IST

'I still have total faith in the Indian bowling line-up.'

Ishant Sharma

IMAGE: Ishant Sharma has reinvented himself and is bowling well, says former Australia pacer Glenn McGrath. Photograph: PTI

Australian pace legend Glenn McGrath says India's bowling attack remains a "world-class" one despite the recent debacles against New Zealand and blamed the under-whelming performance on factors such as injury lay-offs and toss.

 

India lost the opening Test against New Zealand, in Wellington, by 10 wickets.

While Ishant Sharma returned a five-wicket haul, his pace colleagues Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami got just a wicket each as New Zealand posted a match-deciding first innings score of 348 despite being 216 for six at one stage.

"I still have total faith in the Indian (bowling) line-up. They had a few injuries of late. Sharma is coming back and he did get five wickets. Bumrah had a couple of injuries and he is coming back," McGrath told reporters in Mumbai on Wednesday.

"So, yeah, I think the Indian bowling attack is world-class and there is no doubt about that," he added.

"I don't have any issues with the bowling attack; you don't lose form overnight. It was just one of those things where the toss made a huge difference (in the first Test in New Zealand), but you still got to get and score runs."

McGrath praised Ishant for "reinventing" himself and also lauded Shami and Bumrah.

"...the way he's (Ishant) come back in the last couple years, it's been impressive. I thought his career might have been finished at the international level, but he has reinvented himself and he is bowling well," said the 50-year-old, who is in the city for a Tourism Australia event.

"Shami bowls good pace and is deceptive in the pace he bowls; he can move the ball around and is very experienced, just knows the game so well.

"Jasprit is unique with the way he goes about it… short run up, powers through the crease, can swing the ball; good control and good pace (in) second third spells. And then on top of that the other quicks and spinner."

According to McGrath, the pitches in Australia and New Zealand are different and advised the Indian bowling unit to be patient.

"In New Zealand it swings more, it seams a little bit more. So that first pitch there was fair bit of grass and India lost the toss.

"You've got to bat really well and on those pitches that are doing a bit, as a bowling unit, you have to do less. Just be patient, just get the ball in the right area," he said.

Meanwhile, McGrath believes that with the explosive duo of David Warner and Steve Smith back in the Australian team, India are in for a tough time during their tour Down Under later this year.

India registered their first Test series triumph in 71 years in Australia when Virat Kohli and his men won 2-1 in the four-match rubber to retain the Border-Gavaskar trophy last year.

"Australia are playing good cricket. Steve Smith and David Warner -- both are playing well and we saw what Warner is capable of in the Australian summer. Having a batsman like Warner back, and a quality batsman like Steve Smith, it's a totally different game," McGrath said.

The Australian team that Kohli and Co. defeated earlier didn't feature Smith and Warner, who were serving 12-month bans for their respective roles in the infamous ball-tampering scandal in Cape Town in 2018.

Smith and Warner returned to the national team ahead of last year's World Cup and have looked in good form since then, helping Australia retain the Ashes against England.

India will tour Australia later this year for four Tests.

"It’s gonna be tougher for India. That's not to say they can't perform well. They have got confidence of playing in Australian conditions now and they know how to do it.

"They've done it and they've been successful. So, there's still enough positives there. I think it's going to be a really good series for sure," he said.

McGrath also praised India all-rounder Hardik Pandya, who is set to play in the DY Patil T20 tournament after being laid low for five months due to a lower back injury which required surgery.

"I like Hardik, the way he bowls, bats, his attributes. It is handy to have a player like that," he said, drawing comparisons with England's Andrew Flintoff.

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Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Harish Kotian© Copyright 2020 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.
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