|Photos||Video & Audio||Blogs||Statistics||Archive||Shop||Mobile|
Peter English at the Gabba
November 11, 2007
Rather than take offence at the mistake, MacGill accepted it as a compliment. "I must have bowled well," he said breezily. He has performed very strongly in both innings, but struggled for a suitable reward until he whizzed a big-turning legbreak between Michael Vandort's bat and pad to hit off stump. Warne would have been proud of the ball; MacGill was too.
"I was pretty keen just to get 200, so I would have taken it any way, but it certainly beats getting it with a half-tracker because people play it over and over," he said. "I'd rather they replay the good ones. The good thing for me was I felt I'd been bowling well all day so I thought it was validation."
It took MacGill 18 months and 48 overs in this match to add the two wickets necessary to push him to a double-century of dismissals, but despite the delay only Clarrie Grimmett, Dennis Lillee and Waqar Younis have beaten him to the landmark. He is playing in his 41st Test and in the lead-up to the match tried not to turn the achievement into a big deal.
"With Warney having retired, I've got an opportunity to take so many wickets," he said. "Two more wasn't an appropriate goal, but one seemed like an insurmountable task for a while. The fact we were bowling so well and couldn't buy a wicket was why it seemed like such a relief."
Once he stepped from the field he realised the significance of the milestone and called it the pinnacle of his career so far. "Things like this are nice for your kids and your family," he said. "There's not going to be anybody else in my kids' class who has a dad with 200 Test wickets ... I hope. Otherwise I'll have to find something else to do that's cool. I'm really pleased I've given them something to be proud of."
Ricky Ponting used MacGill for long periods at the Stanley Street End as he searched for wickets and continued employing him despite the greasy conditions. Only once, when struck for a four over midwicket, did the moisture affect his grip and the control added to the measure of his display.
"I don't hang on to the ball too tight and I practice with a wet ball," he said. "It seems like nobody ever wants to bowl with a wet ball so if you can learn how to do it, it's a good opportunity."
MacGill's removal of Vandort was followed in the next over by Thilan Samaraweera's departure to Mitchell Johnson and the double breakthrough provided Australia with a surge of momentum. Sri Lanka finished at 5 for 218 and have to score another 123 to make the home team bat again.
"We really needed those late wickets to prove we were bowling well and to stamp our authority on the game," he said. "I feel really confident going into the final day that we can win the Test because we took those wickets."
Ishant Sharma has often been the butt of jokes, and sometimes deservedly so. Today, however, the joke was on England
The leave outside off stump has been critical to M Vijay's success since his India comeback last year. Contrary to popular opinion, such patience and self-denial comes naturally to him
They have to see a glass that is half-full, and play the game as if it is just that, a game; and an opportunity
Only 15 times in Test history has a player achieved the double of 300 runs and 20 wickets in a Test series. Going on current form, Bhuvneshwar could well be the 16th
In India's win at Lord's, Ishant Sharma took the best bowling figures by an Indian in the fourth innings of a Test outside Asia. Here are five other best bowling efforts by Indians in the fourth innings of Tests outside Asia
India's wretched run away from home began at Lord's in 2011. A young team full of self-belief may have brought it to an end with their victory at the same venue three years later
What's wrong with their cricket? Well, what isn't?