Every team in the world sledges, but when the Aussies do it, it makes news: Glenn McGrath

Glenn McGrath of Australia
Glenn McGrath of Australia poses with the 1999 and 2003 World Cup trophies. (Photo by Mark Nolan/Getty Images)
Sayantan Bhattacharjee

Sr. Staff Writer

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Former Australian pacer Glenn McGrath, Director of Coaching, MRF Pace Foundation, chatted about the pitches & their batsmen-friendly nature with N. Ram, Chairman, Kasturi & Sons Limited at an event conducted by the Chennai International Centre at the Madras School of Economics campus, “This is one of the main reasons teams struggle abroad. They are playing on similar wickets,” he said as quoted by The Hindu.

Observing the surfaces in Australia, McGrath said, “In my days, the tracks in Melbourne, Sydney, Perth, Brisbane and Adelaide — they were all different. There was pace and bounce at Perth and Brisbane, while the spinners would come into play more at Melbourne and Sydney. Now, all that has changed. All the surfaces favour the batsmen, are similar in nature.”

McGrath said drop-in pitches did not help matters either. “A normal wicket deteriorates gradually and we can see cracks develop on the fourth or fifth day. But with drop-in pitches, the surface on the final day behaves like (it does) on day two or three.”

Talking about the most intelligent cricketer he was impressed by, McGrath replied, “It would be Shane Warne, the best Test captain Australia never had. Warnie read the game very well, was a showman and loved the big moments.”

The legendary pace bowler also revealed that Sachin Tendulkar too had a go at him “I have been sledged by Sachin Tendulkar,” while talking about Australia’s on-field behaviour. He said, “Every team in the world sledges. But when the Aussies do it, it makes news. When the other teams sledge against us, we keep quiet. The moment the Australians are at it, the others are quick to complain.” McGrath said, “The Australian way is very upfront. We play our cricket with a lot of passion. We say a few things on the field but all is forgotten as we walk off it. It’s a part of Australian culture.”

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He also picked his favorite countryman who was good at sledging, he said “Matthew Hayden was probably the worst. But he was nicely hidden fielding at gully.”