India news August 20, 2014

India could face 4-0 loss in Australia - McGrath

ESPNcricinfo staff

Play 08:35
'For India to be competitive, a lot of things have to change' - McGrath

Former Australia fast bowler Glenn McGrath has suggested that India are likely to cop another 4-0 Test series loss in Australia unless they improve on all aspects of their cricket. India play four Tests against the hosts from December 2014 to January 2015, followed by an ODI tri-series that also features England.

McGrath told ESPNcricinfo that India would be under severe pressure if Australia play with the same intensity as their 5-0 thrashing of England during the Ashes at home last year.

"For India to be competitive in the upcoming Australia series, a lot of things have to change. We saw, as you mentioned, England when they toured Australia last year, they were well and truly beaten 5-0. Now they have well and truly beaten India 3-1. It's going to be a tough series for India in Australia," McGrath said.

"If Australia play anywhere near as they have been, then they are going to be really tough to beat. To be honest, I can't see India winning a Test match, so my prediction is as it usually is - I predict Australia to win and win 4-0. It's up to the Indian team to prove me wrong and to somehow find some way to turn around their form. Their fielding, their batting, their bowling [to a degree], they've got a lot of work to do in the next few months."

McGrath termed India's performance in the Tests against England as "ordinary" and said the losses could be put down to a matter of getting the basics right, like converting the opportunities that the bowlers create.

"It could have been better, no doubt about that. I have enjoyed Varun Aaron coming in, bowling with a bit more pace. Ishant Sharma has always promised a lot, he's still taking wickets, but unfortunately, he's had a few injury worries, his pace has dropped down. Pankaj Singh looks raw but has a lot of potential. As a unit they could have bowled better but they did create quite a few chances. That's what you have to do at that level. But you can't afford to drop 3-4 catches in every Test match. If you do that, you're not going to win any. Overall, the bowling was 7-7.5 out of 10."

Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who finished as the side's leading wicket-taker with 19 dismissals, was one of the stand-out performers for India in the Tests.

"He's done well. [He] bowls pretty good areas, he swings the ball and has got the knack of taking wickets, too. So it's all about playing at this level, being successful, believing in yourself and then being able to improve and learn from every game you play."

McGrath pointed out that one of the main issues India face on overseas tours is the lack of a quality fast bowler. He said that Varun Aaron had shown the potential to fill that void but urged him not to trade his pace for something else. Aaron's intensity was impressive in the two Tests that he played in England, taking five wickets.

"I think India's biggest problem has always been that they haven't got an express, out-and-out fast bowler," McGrath said. "I mentioned Varun Aaron, who bowls good pace, but the rest, you can say, are probably medium-pacers, so then you've got to be able to swing the ball, you've got to be able to build pressure.

"I've done a bit of work with Varun at the MRF pace foundation. I've been impressed with his attitude and the way he goes about things. The thing that is special about him is that pace. He has to bowl 145-plus, up around that 150 km mark. He can't afford to lose that, so the one thing he doesn't want to do, and what most bowlers really shouldn't be doing, is trading pace for something else. You need that control, no doubt about that, but you need to keep what makes you so special. So for someone like Varun Aaron, he needs to be bowling 145-150 kph for him to be in the Indian team."

Glenn McGrath was in India on behalf of Tourism Australia to invite Indians to visit and experience Australia during next year's World Cup

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • ESPN on September 30, 2014, 14:43 GMT

    Ok Glenn I understood what you told but India will give the same reply again against Aussies in 2017 home series like they did in 2013.So lets see what will the Aussies do at that time

  • Nicholas on August 23, 2014, 14:25 GMT

    @thozar: Sure, England only won in India because of Cook and KP... The fact that three of the top five bowlers of the series were English (Swann, Panesar and Anderson) had nothing to do with it right? Oh I forgot... Anderson doesn't bowl well outside of England apparently, and India are excellent players of spin so I think Swann and Panesar were forced to bowl seamers all series. Seniors out of form too - yup, got it, that must be it. Gosh, Australia are in for a right thrashing eh... Hope MJ can bowl some spinners or he's going to look foolish!

  • Al on August 22, 2014, 12:10 GMT

    For Australia, we need quick bowlers like Yadav, Aron, and Shami, and Ishant (if fit). Due to lack of lateral movement, Bhuvi won't be of much use in Australia. Batting is a bigger problem. Give a chance to India A players who did so well there - KL Rahul, Kedar Jhadav, Naman Ojha, etc.

  • ESPN on August 22, 2014, 8:04 GMT

    Question is, can India last more than 2.5-3 days in a test match in Australia! That they are going to lose 4-0 is an absolute given based on their showing in England. As an Indian fan I'm totally disgusted with their lack of fight. Losing is acceptable as Ravi says it's the manner. All cricket fans deserve better!

  • Martin on August 22, 2014, 7:28 GMT

    @thozar on (August 20, 2014, 17:37 GMT) you say: "We (India) also can beat England in India". BUT YOU DIDN'T DID YOU? Fact is - India lost that 2012 series in India 2-1 after being 1-0 up. If India were this fine and mighty team as you claim - then you would think that they would be able to thrash England, wouldn't you? Horrible things aren't they, facts.

  • Dummy4 on August 22, 2014, 5:54 GMT

    @thozar. Dhawan made a century in INDIA. Not Australia. Sehwag has been dropped. Not to mention, his century was in ENGLISH conditions. Generally, Australian conditions are faster and bouncier, very different from that off an English pitch.

  • Cam on August 22, 2014, 4:57 GMT

    @xtrafalgarx, spot on. People don't say it enough. Pick the best team, rebuilding is nonsense, age is irrelevant. Lehman picked a team on form for the last Ashes, Flower picked one on past achievements and potential. Lehmann 5, Flower 0.

  • Dummy4 on August 22, 2014, 2:58 GMT

    Remember that Zaheer almost bowled India to a win in the 1st test last time in Aus - unfortunately India went downhill pretty rapidly from there, as they seem to have a habit of doing in series longer than 2/3 tests - twice losing to England when ahead etc. I think they`ll be a much stronger proposition in Aus than they were in England for those last 3 tests. I can see them drawing a test, perhaps pinching one, but realistically it`s very hard to see them beating Aus in Aus at the moment. 3-0 Aus is my pick. Looking forward to it.

  • James on August 22, 2014, 2:57 GMT

    @thozar: Mickey Arthur said it was the worst pitch he had ever seen in his life, it was a day 5 wicket on the first day. To make it worse, a week after the tests, the curators rolled out a green seamer for an IPL game. Anyway, at least Australia has won seires in India, the same can't be said about India in Australia.

  • Dummy4 on August 22, 2014, 2:54 GMT

    I tend to agree with AnoMaLy about the bowling line-up. I`d probably go with Ashwin ahead of Jadeja for the spinner\all-rounder spot - probably Ashwin based on his batting. Whoever plays as the spinner is probably just going to need to tie up an end, bowl pretty tight, and nab the odd wicket. Either of those blokes could do that job.

    Calls for Zaheer(excellent bowler, clearly india`s best last time out in Aus, but at 36? and unfit?), Harbajhan (couldn`t come to terms with Oz pitches even in his prime), Sehwag and Gambhir (both passengers last time and 3 years older now) strike me as very poor options - probably only Zaheer (if fit) would I consider.

    I think India have some excellent young batsmen who will probably enjoy the Aus conditions more than England - conversely, their bowlers will probably find it a bit tougher, particularly Bhuvi. They also have to get their fielding (particularly in the slips) sorted out - it`s an absolute must in Aus if you want to compete.

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