Glenn McGrath predicts an Australia - New Zealand final in World Cup
Australian bowling legend Glenn McGrath has picked the hosts Australia and New Zealand as the finalists of the ICC World Cup 2015. Australia, he said, would emerge as the champions and predicted the other two semi-finalists would be India and South Africa. McGrath was in Chennai on Monday for yet another coaching stint at the MRF Pace Foundation.
With 71 wickets from 39 games, McGrath is the leading wicket-taker in World Cups. He was the Man of the tournament in 2007 with a record-breaking 26 wickets and played a significant role in Australia's three successive World Cup wins in 1999, 2003 and 2007.
While interacting with The Hindu, he was asked about India's recent performance and he said, "India has a very good batting line-up. And bowling, which struggled in the Test series, appears to be settling down.
“The Indian bowlers have bowled a much better length in the two World Cup matches so far. Mohammed Shami has looked good. Umesh Yadav has been sharp as well."
However, McGrath felt paceman Varun Aaron should have been included in the Indian World Cup squad. Aaron is currently at the camp here to train under the great Australian.
“I thought he bowled well in the Test series in Australia. He was fast and swung the ball. Unfortunately, catches were dropped off his bowling.”
India didn’t enjoy their cricket in 2003 final but we did: McGrath
Recalling the 2003 World Cup final, he explained the secret behind Australia’s success.
“It was a lot about allowing one’s nerves to ease. On the eve of the 2003 final in Johannesburg, there was a lot of noise and energy around when we practised.
“The Indians were training next to us and it was very quiet out there. We enjoyed our cricket in the final. India didn’t. Of course, the Indian fans will never forgive me for dismissing Sachin Tendulkar early.”
McGrath picks his best performers at the 2015 World Cup so far
Asked about the impressive performances in the World Cup so far, McGrath said, “I thought Brendon McCullum batted brilliantly and Tim Southee swung the ball and bowled with control. I liked the way Ireland chased down the 300-plus total against West Indies.”
Among the Australian bowlers, McGrath was impressed with left-arm seamer Mitchell Starc. “He has been bowling at a good pace and moving the ball.”. he said
McGrath, however, believes the 2015 World Cup would actually begin only from the quarter-finals. “That is when your performances really count,” he concluded.