ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 / Features

Top Performances

Attack of the pigeon

When Glenn McGrath put his money where his mouth was

Peter English

Text size: A | A


McGrath lived up to the hype with one of the World Cup's great spells © Getty Images
Enlarge
Related Links
Players/Officials: Glenn McGrath
Series/Tournaments: ICC World Cup

Glen McGrath
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.

Peter English is the Australasia editor of ESPNcricinfo

RSS Feeds: Peter English

© ESPN EMEA Ltd.

. Your ESPN name '' will be used to display your comments. Please click here to edit this.
TopTop
Email Feedback Print
Share
E-mail
Feedback
Print
Peter EnglishClose

Ramprakash and Hick: the men who know

Jon Hotten: Two so-called unfulfilled talents are now at the top of the tree in coaching batsmen. Does that compute?

    The rise of Ravindra Jadeja

The world's No. 1 Test bowler has come a long way

Auction darlings, sixes heroes

We celebrate ten years of the IPL by going list-crazy: most expensive spells, highest totals, oldest players, and lots more

    How good has Umesh Yadav got?

Numbers Game: In the last 18 months, he has made significant strides, and the most impressive aspect has been his improved control

News | Features Last 3 days

Shami question part of India's rare green-pitch musings

Three days ahead of the fourth Test, the surface at the HPCA Stadium wore a smattering of grass. Will that, or Mohammed Shami's availability, subject to fitness, change India's combination?

Pujara plays India's longest innings

Stats highlights from the fourth day in Ranchi, where Cheteshwar Pujara batted for ages and the Australians toiled like they haven't had to in many years

Ashwin's late entry poses questions

Did Virat Kohli get his tactics right on the final day in Ranchi? Going by his fast bowlers' lines and R Ashwin's late introduction, the Indian captain took a few puzzling calls

India break down another big total

For the third time this home season, the team took the lead after its opposition put up 400 batting first but the Ranchi effort was special

Father-son duos, and tenth-wicket stand heroics

Also, which players have the most half-centuries without ever having made a hundred?

News | Features Last 3 days

World Cup Videos