Former Australian pacer Glenn McGrath has congratulated Team India pacers Chetan Sakariya and Sandeep Warrier for making their international debuts during the recently-concluded tour of Sri Lanka. Both Sakariya and Warrier have trained under McGrath at the MRF Pace Foundation in Chennai.
Sakariya played in one ODI against Sri Lanka and returned with impressive figures of 2 for 34. He also featured in two T20Is in which he claimed one wicket. Warrier, on the other hand, got a chance to make his debut in the final T20I, at the age of 30, following an injury to Navdeep Saini. The medium-pacer went wicketless, conceding 23 runs in his three overs.
Taking to his official Twitter account on Saturday, McGrath wished both Sakariya and Warrier. He wrote:
"A huge congratulations to both @sakariya.chetan & Sandeep Warrier for making their debut for India @_official_bcci_ So proud of you both. #mrfpacefoundation #fastbowlers #indvsl.”
McGrath was appointed as the Director of the MRF Pace Foundation in 2012. He replaced another Aussie legend, Dennis Lillee, who had held the post since the foundation’s inception back in 1987.
Sakariya and Warrier have hailed McGrath’s role in their success
Both Sakariya and Warrier have admitted to the major role McGrath and the MRF Pace Foundation have played in their growth as fast bowlers.
Sakariya was sent to the foundation by the Saurashtra Cricket Association following his impressive performances for the Saurashtra Under-19 side in the Cooch Behar Trophy. Speaking about his interaction with Aussie great McGrath, Sakariya told ESPN Cricinfo last year:
"I gave trials and impressed Glenn [McGrath] sir with my nippy pace and natural swing. He told me if I worked on my action and fitness, I could add another 5kph to my pace and be a 130kph bowler. He said if I could do that, I could at least play at the Ranji Trophy level."
Warrier, who made the shift from Kerala to Tamil Nadu to in domestic cricket, also hailed McGrath for his valuable inputs. He was quoted as telling The New Indian Express last year:
"His (McGrath’s) tips have always been valuable. He told me the importance of consistency and explained how important it was to keep the mind clear. Ever since I started following that, my game has improved.”
While Sakariya has played 15 first-class and eight List A matches so far, Warrier has the experience of 57 first-class games and 55 List A matches.