ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 / Features
Attack of the pigeon
When Glenn McGrath put his money where his mouth was
5 for 14 v West Indies, Group B match, 1999
During the early stages of the 1999 World Cup, Glenn McGrath struggled to recapture the form of his first tour to England two years before. He was stuttering like Australia, who needed to beat West Indies at Old Trafford to progress to the Super Six stage, following losses to New Zealand and Pakistan. McGrath had a plan, but rather than carry it quietly he made a very public announcement. In his newspaper column he predicted he'd take care of the worrying threat of Brian Lara and grab five wickets. Nobody else in the team would have contemplated such rhetoric, especially someone operating below his best.
The self-belief and manufactured pressure spurred McGrath to a brilliant performance that secured Australia's passage to the next stage. West Indies were blown away for 110 and McGrath, who was back opening after a first-change experiment, picked up 5 for 14 off 8.4 overs. Most importantly, he fulfilled his claim that he would topple Lara.
Lara arrived to face McGrath's hat-trick ball after the dismissals of Sherwin Campbell and Jimmy Adams, and moved to 9 before falling to a superb delivery. Mark Waugh might suggest Lara played around the ball, but his bowling team-mates say it angled on middle and clipped the top of off. After taking three top-order wickets in 14 balls, McGrath completed his collection with two tailenders to show his predictions were worth listening to.
Review: The Wisden India Almanack 2016 spans a cricketing year, several decades, and many ideas. By Sharda Ugra
Ian Chappell: He understands the Indian mentality better and doesn't have to deal with star players on the wane
Scott Oliver: The purpose of arriving at correct decisions using the DRS is undermined by the need to not undermine the umpire's authority
Farhaan Behardien on why he's called Fudgie, and the friends he made in the IPL
Cricket stats need to take into account various contextual factors relating to players' and teams' performances if they are to be meaningful
Mohammad Asif is playing club cricket in Scandinavia as he strives for a Pakistan comeback and to rebuild his career in the wake of the spot-fixing scandal
Test cricket needs to be given back to the people. Everybody must buy in to this bigger picture or the moment will pass us by
Visibility is good, so is durability, and while it does swing a fair amount, it ought to spin as well
Angelo Mathews talks about the challenges of leading an inexperienced team, and the possibility of giving up the T20 captaincy