Former Australian legendary pacer Glenn Mcgrath in an exclusive interview with Cricketnext has spoken about the ingredients of a true fast bowler. McGrath who himself bowled on immaculate line and lengths throughout his career reasoned pace and accuracy as the two ingredients which make a fast bowler lethal.
McGrath is now working as a part of the MRF Pace Foundation in Haryana is training young bowlers as a part of a workshop. Speaking to CricketNext, on the sidelines of a two-day camp at the Chaudhary Bansi Lal Cricket Stadium in Lahli, McGrath cited the example of Mitchell Johnson when he said that the left-arm fast bowler was the biggest example of how the perfect combination of pace and accuracy made a bowler unplayable – during the Ashes in 2013-14 in Australia as he finished with 37 wickets in the series.
“Pace is what makes you unique and you just need to work on control. Mitchell Johnson is a good example during the Ashes series in Australia where he kept his pace and worked on his control, sorted out his action and suddenly went from a dangerous bowler to a lethal bowler. So you should always try to bowl at your quickest, but work on your accuracy,” he said.
“I think you always try to bowl quicker there is no doubt about that. But what we are trying to improve is our control. If we can improve our control and land the ball where we want, there is more chance of taking wickets. Pace is something that is unique. You can’t teach someone who bowls at 130kph to bowl at 160kph. And if there is a bowler who can bowl at 160kph, I hate to see them slow down to 140 to get control. That is just ridiculous,” he added.
McGrath also highlighted the importance of experience in the growth of a fast bowler. “I think it comes down to experience. You can talk to guys who have done it before and that will give him ideas on what he should do, how he should be thinking and how he needs to go about his job. But then, at the end of the day, it is on the individual to execute the plan at the wicket".
“Also, it is important that the bowler has faith and belief in himself to try things. If you try something and that doesn’t work, then when you face a similar situation again, you know what doesn’t work. But if you are hesitant about trying something new, then you will never learn anything. Plenty of people can give you advice and suggestions, listen to them, but do what suits you,” he explained.
One of the fast bowlers at the academy shared his experience and said: “He is so humble and approachable. He told me that with the workload and the hectic schedule it is tough being a fast bowler on the body. We have to be physically strong enough and fit enough to put up with the stresses of fast bowling. At our age, we should look at starting to get a little stronger. He went on to explain that if we have a good bowling coach who can give us a few pointers in terms of technique that always helps. But there are a lot of fast bowling coaches out there who are not technically sure what they are doing".
He signed off highlighting two important aspects of fast bowling which are knowing yourself as a bowler first and second knowing about your game.