"I hate seeing bowlers slow down to get control" - Glenn McGrath on whether pacers should focus on control and reduce pace

Glenn McGrath believes pacers like Umran Malik (left) shouldn't compromise their speed for gaining control. [P.C.:Getty]
Glenn McGrath believes pacers like Umran Malik (left) shouldn't compromise their speed for gaining control. [P.C.:Getty]
Anuj Nitin Prabhu

Australian legend Glenn McGrath believes pace bowlers don't need to reduce the speed they bowl at to operate with more control. The former pacer believes bowling fast is something that doesn't naturally come to everyone and that those who have it should make full use of the ability.

McGrath's comments come amidst various debates about Indian speedster Umran Malik and his fast-tracking into the Indian team due to his searing pace. Malik has struggled on the international stage, with batsmen using his pace and lack of consistency to score easily.

Many believe the youngster should cut down on pace and focus on hitting the right areas consistently. However, speaking to, Glenn McGrath opined that while control is important, bowling quick is an asset that cannot be overlooked. He said:

"Sheer pace is unique. You can’t teach someone to bowl 150-plus, they’ve got to be able to naturally do that."

McGrath added:

"I hate seeing bowlers slow down to get control. I like to see bowlers working harder on control, putting the time and effort in the nets to get to know their game while still bowling at top pace. I haven’t seen a huge amount of Umran Malik, but the fact that he can bowl at a good pace is impressive."
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Glenn McGrath on how pacers are scouted at MRF Pace Foundation

Glenn McGrath has been working with the MRF Pace Foundation in Chennai for a while now and is currently the organization's director. The Australian opened up on how they scout youngsters based on their talent as well as their willingness to put in the hard yards. On this, he stated:

"We are, first and foremost, looking for fast bowlers. You can get someone to bowl a yard or two quicker but you can’t turn a 130 kph seamer into a 150 kph tearaway. That’s just the way it is."

McGrath continued:

"It’s about identifying talents who can bowl fast, but also guys that are tall, can generate bounce, swing and seam."
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He added:

"Then, secondly, we ask the question: are they prepared to work hard? You’ve got to have a really good work ethic to be a fast bowler. You’ve got to be prepared to work hard and put your body through pain. And then on top of everything, mental strength and attitude."

The MRF Pace Foundation has played a significant role in adding depth to the crop of talented pacers in India. Avesh Khan is the latest speedster to make it into the Indian team after his stint at the Pace Foundation.

Edited by Anantaajith Ra


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