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Glenn McGrath

Glenn McGrath

There definitely have been bowlers defter than McGrath. There possibly have been bowlers swifter than McGrath. But there perhaps hasn’t been a bowler better than McGrath. Glenn Donald McGrath was a fast-medium pace bowler and is considered one of the greatest bowlers in cricketing history, and a leading contributor to Australia’s domination of world cricket from the mid – 1990s to the early 21st century.

In partnership with Shane Warne, McGrath bullied oppositions to engineer famous and sometimes improbable victories, thus together constituting the most potent weapon of the all-time greatest Australian side. Delivering from close to the stump, he tested, teased and tormented the batsmen in the corridor of uncertainty, while his relentless accuracy made him one of the great economists in the game.

McGrath holds the world record for the highest number of Test wickets by a fast bowler and is fourth on the all-time list. However, McGrath’s greatness is not just restricted to his tally of wickets or the measly average, but his ability to psyche out opponents by targeting opposition batsmen before the match and following his words to the exact tee!

McGrath was born on February 9, 1970 in Dubbo, to Beverly and Kevin McGrath. Sure to his skill, he challenged himself in the formative Sydney Grade competition and quickly found success with his high stump-to-stump action, bounce and pace. His ability to precisely control the ball subtly by varying its pitch and flight, even at good pace, made him one of the hardest to face and he challenged all the Great batsmen of his time.

His contribution to Australia’s Ashes domination is another spike on his cricket resume. Ten of his 29 five-wicket hauls came against England. Michael Atherton of England can be safely named as the McGrath bunny, as he dismissed Atherton 19 times – the most times any batsman has been dismissed by one bowler in cricket history.

His uncomplicated method and natural physical fitness were significant factors in the longevity of McGrath’s career. In the first innings of the ICC Super Series Test match in 2005, McGrath passed Courtney Walsh to become the greatest wicket-taker among the fast bowlers in Test history.

McGrath appeared in 243 innings of 124 Tests and took 563 wickets to hold the world record of highest number of Test wickets by any fast bowler. He also had a descent ODI career, where in 250 matches he took 381 wickets at the economy of 3.88.

McGrath retired from Test cricket at the SCG, after Australia whitewashed England 5-0 in the 2006-07 Ashes series. He has also retired from all forms of international cricket following the successful 2007 Cricket World Cup where he became the leading wicket taker in the history of the World Cup, while also being the top wicket taker with 26 and being named player of the tournament.

After retirement McGrath was then a regular feature in the Delhi Daredevils setup and represented the franchise for the first three editions, starting 2008. In 2001, McGrath was one of just twenty-one Australian athletes inducted into the Australian Institute of Sport ‘Best of the Best list’. McGrath was also inducted into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame in 2011 and the ICC Hall of Fame in January 2012.

McGrath currently serves as the Director of MRF Pace Foundation in Chennai, having replaced Dennis Lillee, and makes occasional appearances as a commentator.