Snappy Q&As with the players

Bryce McGain

Play the other one, Bryce

He plays PlayStation, the trumpet, and some cricket. Not bad for Australia's oldest Test debutant

Interview by Nagraj Gollapudi

December 31, 2009

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Bryce McGain stands tall in front of Table Mountain, Cape Town, March 15, 2009
McGain: pretty sporty for a librarian type © Getty Images
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Players/Officials: Bryce McGain

What's the funniest thing you've heard about yourself back home in Melbourne?
I was at a football game once with my son and one guy said, "McGain, you look more like a librarian than a Test cricketer". I said nothing. I thought it was funny.

Do you go to the library, then?

Name one thing you can do that Shane Warne cannot?
Play the trumpet. I assume he can't play the trumpet. He'd probably be really good at that too!

When was the exact moment that you decided to work towards playing for the country?
I guess what drove me a lot was that I believed in myself - that I could do it some time and all I needed was a chance to prove myself. When I was playing club cricket and picking up those wickets I would tell myself I could do it in Test cricket too, since the wicket and everything else was the same. As for the exact moment, it probably came in January 2007, when I picked up six wickets against New South Wales and Victoria won that game - that was when I grew confident about playing for Australia. At the end of that game I said, "I can do this". Two weeks before that I was holidaying with my son doing nothing during the Christmas break.

Do you have any idiosyncrasies?
I lick my fingers a lot before I bowl. That's something I've steadily cut down on.

If you wrote a book, what would you title it?
One of my primary school teachers would write "Always do your best" on the board every day. It sort of stuck with me. When I joined the Victoria team, it came handy. In cricket you can get very comfortable and just go through the motions. But for me every chance I got was to do my best. That drove me, and it's helped me always.

Tell us something we don't know about you.
I'm pretty good on the PlayStation. I spend a lot of time playing Guitar Hero with my son, and it's pretty cool.

What's Greg Matthews' verdict on Bryce McGain?
Once we were in a bar and he picked up glasses and started bowling them across people, towards me, saying "Spin it up, spin it up."

The one thing media should never be allowed to ask you?
Keep away from the personal stuff.

What's the first autograph that you cherished?
My first one was the Fitzroy footballer Paul Roos. He was a good, fair player, who played tough and always had a lot of respect for the opposition. You look at your heroes and subconsciously emulate them a bit. He was my first hero.

Tell us about a decision you thought was particularly unfair.
A few years ago, during a Victoria second XI game against South Australia at the MCG. Graham Manou hit me for two sixes off the first two balls, after which I sent everyone to the boundary. Next ball he snicked to the wicketkeeper. I appealed but the umpire said not out. It was a terrible decision. Manou knew it and he was smiling. I said, "Just go". But he stood his ground and hit me for three more sixes and took 30 off the over.

The one cricket request from your son Liam that you're yet to fulfill?
I do not think there is a request he has been denied. But he did have a dig at me at the last Boxing Day Test. We were walking back home and he said, "Who would've thought I would beat you to playing a Boxing Day Test." He was playing on the ground during the lunch and tea breaks, and he knew I hadn't ever played a Test at the MCG.

Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at Cricinfo

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