Australia news June 15, 2013

McGrath to mentor young Australia players

ESPNcricinfo staff

Josh Hazlewood, Gurinder Sandhu and Kurtis Patterson, three of Australia's upcoming cricketers, will train under Glenn McGrath at the MRF Pace Foundation in Chennai, where he is a director, in a bid to prevent a repeat of Australia's poor tour to India early this year.

''India is so different to Australia in nearly every way - the climate, the conditions, the sheer amount of people there, the food, and then the playing conditions as well." McGrath told the Sydney Morning Herald. "It's going to be high 30s, early 40s every day. It'll be pretty warm.

''Hopefully when and if they do move up to play for Australia, they've had a little bit of experience in India and it's not such a shock culturally and the transition is a bit smoother.''

Hazlewood, the 22-year-old fast bowler, has already tasted international cricket, having come close more than once in the past three years to earning a Test debut. But injuries - to back and foot - have limited his representation in the one-day format.

His 20-year-old team-mates at New South Wales, Patterson and Sandhu, have got off to sensational starts in their domestic careers. Patterson became the youngest centurion in Sheffield Shield history when he scored 157 off 189 balls, with 22 fours and three sixes, also his debut knock.

Sandhu, a fast bowler of Indian origin, has 14 wickets in two first-class outings at an average of 11.85, including a five-wicket haul on debut. He was awarded the Steve Waugh Medal, given to the best New South Wales player in a domestic season, for 2012-13.

Sandhu is excited to be working with the fourth-highest wicket-taker in Test cricket. ''I'm treating it as a massive learning opportunity,'' said Sandhu. The players will train in Chennai till June 26.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • soumyas on June 17, 2013, 6:48 GMT

    In India it is CSK, In Australia it is NSW, and in England i guess it is Essex...

  • Dummy4 on June 17, 2013, 5:35 GMT

    @YGKD, please, remain calm! You are one of the better commentators here, quite easily in fact. It does make sense to me to send Sandhu and Hazlewood though. Like yourself and others i'm not quite sure why Patterson is there. They are all from different parts of NSW if that helps? Hazlewood coming from the bush has done well to get a go in any case as anyone from out there knows that NSW stands for Newcastle, Sydney and Wooloongong. I see this land being a very good bowler at some point and who better to mentor him?

  • Sriraj on June 17, 2013, 4:52 GMT

    @ygkd: I was not trying to 'logically' select these 3 players but was rather trying to see things from the selector's point of view and justify their thoughts. Going by my own logic, I would have liked to see 3 seamers or spinners between Sandhu, Turner and Agar but Agar is already getting higher-level exposure. If you do read my comment again, you might realise that I am not comfortable with the selection of either Patterson or Hazlewood. It's only funny to see others trying to interpret an internet forum comment to be completely logical! And no, I am not from NSW and do not care about which state others might be from either.

  • Chris on June 16, 2013, 22:17 GMT

    If anything, Glenn McGrath should be taking tips from Patterson seeing as he only took one match to beat McGrath's highest score over his entire career!

  • Pete on June 16, 2013, 8:10 GMT

    Agree with srriaj317 and Jono. I've never bought the 'strong NSW, strong Aus' line, but these three young men are worth developing. I'm Victorian, and I can't think of any comparable cases from us. If Patterson can become a Test project player, it's a smart move; I fear we've missed the formative window with Khawaja. I'm very impressed by the intelligent handling of our two best, but injury-prone, quicks, Pattinson and Cummins, as well as the more provisional talents like Starc and Bird. Hanging around with McGrath - despite his being a freak injury-wise - can't hurt in helping Sandhu understand managing his body.

  • Philip on June 16, 2013, 8:02 GMT

    There is nothing wrong with the players sent. It is the fact that they are no way geographically representative of the nation. This is not merely a NSW initiative. If it was, then fine. But if the best three young prospects in Australia all come from the one state there may well be a problem in the identification and nurturing of talent. I found the inference that to say so in a slightly-humorous way is merely NSW-hating offensive. I have heard offensive things in serious youth cricket from those with a born-to-win mentality about those from interstate and it is not pleasant at all. It doesn't matter where a player comes from, unless they all come from the same place. This is the last comment I'll ever make because I'm sick of the poor logic you get in reply. One such comment says that a player should go because he's a good batsman, while another player shouldn't go because he's not a bowler. And a player should go because he's young. Another shouldn't go despite being younger. Really!

  • Philip on June 16, 2013, 6:38 GMT

    Let's get this straight. The talk of NSW-hating is unsubstantiated. The article headline, first paragraph and first quote all mention Australia, not NSW. If it is indeed a NSW initiative then the journalist has not done his or her job correctly. Is that really the case? No, probably not. Then there's the curious case for Kurtis Patterson, but not Travis Head because Head's a batsman and this is a pace foundation. So is Patterson a batsman too. The case, from the comments, for Hazelwood is that he's young. Aren't they all? I and any others commenting on NSW-dominance in cricket could come from NSW for that matter. Which part of NSW should we have come from? Sydney? The eastern suburbs? The North Shore. A certain road in the North Shore? Perhaps a phone-box on a certain road.....? The idea of "NSW-hating" is just as ridiculous as that. I have no qualms with any of those chosen or with McGrath. Good luck to them. It just would've been better if they hadn't all come from the one state!

  • Tim on June 16, 2013, 0:22 GMT

    This is good but we need to send more batsmen and spin bowlers there. Quicks aren't going to win us much in India.Hopefully this little group is the first of many.

  • Sriraj on June 15, 2013, 23:28 GMT

    All the NSW bashers, can you nominate 3 young players from the other states who comfortably out-shadow these 3? Patterson is the youngest centurion in Shield cricket as stated in the article and was our best batsman in the U-19 WC. Sandhu had a terrific start to his Shield career as well so deserved. Hazlewodd is th eonly player surpising me since he is already close to international call-up but since he's still young - fair enough. The only other players I can think of are Travis Head (SA) and Ashton Turner (WA) but give MRF is a "pace bowling" academy, they don't really fit the bill.

  • Dummy4 on June 15, 2013, 10:51 GMT

    @All the NSW haters, who else would you suggest they send across there? A lot of other young talent like Agar, Silk, Marsh and Burns are all pretty busy right now in England. Maybe this is a NSW initiative? In any case these three guys are certainly amongst the brighter prospects getting around right now.