Former Australian fast bowler Glenn McGrath has blamed "horrendous" fielding and batting for India's 3-1 defeat during their disastrous England tour.
Former Australian pacer Glenn McGrath interacts with Hindustan Times editors at HT office in New Delhi. (Raj K Raj/HT Photo)
Sending out a word of caution, he said "a lot has to change" between now and when Mahendra Singh Dhoni's squad visits Australia later this year for a four-Test series if they want to put up a fight.
"India's fielding was horrendous and their batting was very poor, they seemed to have forgotten the basics," McGrath said in an interaction with Hindustan Times editors at HT House, Delhi, on Monday.
The Aussie legend, who has taken 563 Test wickets, said the Indian bowlers did a commendable job but the batsmen and fielders let them down.
When asked if the long five-Test series was to blame for the lacklustre performance, he said, "Playing at this level, five Tests should not be an issue. I wanted to play every single Test and bowl every second over of a Test match."
According to McGrath, the Indian batting was simply not up to the mark against the exceptional bowling of James Anderson and Stuart Broad. "They need to get back to the basics, work on their fielding and their batting."
He added confidence matters a lost in cricket and England gained a lot of confidence after the third Test and marched ahead from there. "No one person can be blamed for this performance as this is a collective failure. People will look to blame the captain and the coach but the team failed as a unit."
McGrath, who is currently the mentor at the MRF Pace Academy in Chennai, pointed out that he was very impressed by India's emerging fast bowlers Varun Aaron and Ishwar Pandey.
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'Lara and Tendulkar the best'
Reflecting on his career, the Aussie bowling legend rated Brian Lara and Sachin Tendulkar as the best batsmen of his generation. "On their day, Lara and Tendulkar smashed me around the park. And there were days I got the better of them."
He rated contemporaries Curtly Ambrose and Wasim Akram as the two best bowlers he played against. "Curtly was always very calm and Wasim Akram could do anything with a cricket ball."
On sledging, McGrath said, "Everybody sledges but there is a line in the sand you should not cross... Sledging is a part of game, but it should not get out of hand or become personal."
McGrath added he has no regrets, he never wanted to be captain, as he felt batsmen are better suited to the role. Only regret he humorously added was "not scoring a hundred, but maybe that is asking for too much".