In-form James Anderson can make it hard for Virat Kohli: McGrath
Chennai: Former Australian cricketer Glenn McGrath termed India captain Virat Kohli as an ‘experienced’ batsman, but admitted that his biggest chalolenge will be facing England’s James Anderson in the upcoming tour.
“Kohli is a more experienced player now. Quality player, no doubt about that. But English conditions are very tough.
When you have got a bowler like Jimmy Anderson, who is bowling well now, it is going to be hard work. You got to be prepared to work hard. Kohli is a quality player so I am looking forward to that contest,” McGrath told mediapersons during an interaction.
McGrath made it clear it will be foolhardy only depend on Kohli and in case he fails, it will give other players to raise their hands up.
“You always want your best batsman performing. However, it also gives another batsmen a chance to put his hand up and there are still some quality batsmen there, some quality players there. If India are really depending on one player, they have got it wrong “, he added.
While Cheteshwar Pujara didn’t have a great run during the four-day games in England, the mere experience will prove to be handy, according to McGrath.
“I have not seen what the conditions are like in the UK. Pujara, even though he hasn’t got runs, he will be there. Just being used to the conditions, I think that will help him,” he opined.
About the bowling department, McGrath is confident that speedsters Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah will make a mark.
When asked who among Indian pacers could do the job in England, McGrath said:”Bhuvi and Bumrah. They have got pretty good control. That’s what you need, especially in England. The Dukes ball has a pronounced seam. If you get the ball in the right areas consistently, then you are going to do well. The ball will do a little bit, so yeah.. they will do well.”
Adaptability is the key, said one of Australia’s finest fast bowler.
“I think a lot of it depends on how the players adapt. You got to adapt a lot quicker these days. During my time, we used to get a couple of tour matches. They will have to adjust and adapt quicker. Obviously, there aren’t enough tour matches to really get used to the conditions. They will just have to rely on past experience,” McGrath said.
As the discussion veered towards Australian cricket, McGrath said that jury is still out on whether Tim Paine is a worthy leader of the ‘Baggy Greens’.
“We will wait and see. I think it was probably not the best way (for Paine) to get the Australian captaincy. I am sure he would have preferred it differently. But he has got the job now. It will be tough but he will have to go out there and give his best. The final Test (against South Africa) didn’t go too well. It was never going to with what all happened,”
McGrath referring to the infamous ball-tampering scandal that rocked the game
“I think they have got Justin Langer (as coach), which will be great for the team. I think he is the type of guy that the team needs. Discipline and respect are two strong words for Justin. He is the type of the guy that the team needs at the moment. The team has hit pretty much rock bottom. I think one way to go,” he added.
While McGrath admitted that the act was naive, he feels that one year ban for Steve Smith and David Warner was a bit too harsh.
“To think they can get away with it, was very naive… getting caught and they way it was all handled and then the punishment, it is quite extreme,” he said.