IND vs AUS: Glenn McGrath's message to Navdeep Saini - Just enjoy it, mate
- by mid-day.com
- Jan. 6, 2021
For three Tests in a row, India have declared their playing XI on the eve of the match. This practice has impressed former Australian pacer Glenn McGrath as it "shows the confidence" the Indian team have.
For the third Test against Australia at Sydney today, pacer Navdeep Saini is set to debut in place of the injured Umesh Yadav while Rohit Sharma will come in place of opener Mayank Agarwal.
India's remarkable comeback in Melbourne after capitulation in the first Test at Adelaide has lit up the contest. The outcome of the third Test can have a massive influence on which way the Border-Gavaskar Trophy tilts.
Glenn McGrath. Pic/Atul Kamble
McGrath wants debutant Saini to simply back himself. "Saini should just look to enjoy it. We saw [Mohammed] Siraj in Melbourne and the way he bowled. He wasn't worried and he backed himself. So, just keep bowling the way you have been bowling, the reason you got picked in the first place," was McGrath's advice to the Haryana rookie ahead of the Pink Test, an initiative by McGrath's foundation in memory of his wife Jane to promote awareness and raise money for breast cancer.
Although India's pace attack is inexperienced due to injuries to Mohammed Shami and Umesh Yadav, McGrath expects Siraj and Saini to pass the big test. "India lacked the experience when Ishant Sharma wasn't there. Then Shami and Yadav [got injured]. Siraj is playing his second Test and Saini's making his debut, so a lot will rest on Jasprit Bumrah and R Ashwin. Once the pressure comes on with Australia doing well that's when you will need the experience. It may have an impact on the new bowlers. That is going to be their big test. They are exciting young bowlers and I am looking forward to watching them," said McGrath.
The Adelaide Oval and Melbourne Cricket Ground offered some help to the bowlers, but the pitch at the Sydney Cricket Ground is expected to assist batsmen more. McGrath, who claimed 50 wickets at his home ground, offered some tips on how bowlers should go about their business at the SCG.
"It is all about finding that right length, which is hitting the off stump and then controlling it and building pressure. Sydney will also turn a bit, so don't get carried away with bowling too short on Australian pitches. Indian bowlers haven't done that so far," observed the legendary Australian pacer, who has 563 Test wickets in 124 matches.
McGrath confessed he's a fan of Bumrah, who has claimed eight wickets in two Tests in the series. "I am big fan of Bumrah. I have spoken to him a few times and I like the way he thinks. He had a very successful tour of Australia [in 2018-19]. He enjoys bowling in Australian conditions. The mindset of the Australian batsmen has been a little timid and looking to survive. When you are just looking to survive on pitches that have a little bit for the bowlers, then it's only a matter of time before they get out. The way Rahane played, then Shubman Gill and Jadeja...they showed what needs to be done. The way Bumrah has bowled in the series is just amazing," said McGrath.