India need a batting all-rounder as fifth bowler: McGrath

Chennai: Australian pace great Glenn McGrath feels that Virat Kohli's ploy of playing five bowlers will only be successful if India get a quality batting all-rounder to back up three specialist pacers and a spinner.


"My theory on playing five bowlers is that the fifth bowler should be an all-rounder. To go with five bowlers to me is heavily weighed on the bowlers and the batsmen need to really score runs. Always have three fast bowlers and a spinner and a quality batting all rounder in playing eleven," McGrath said at an event organised by MRF Pace Foundation.

McGrath also feels that when Virat Kohli speaks about playing agrressive cricket, he means "playing positive cricket".

"Virat has comments that he want to play aggressive cricket. He is such a top player and does not take a backward step. It is fine as he has got the ability and ability to back it up and play that way. I think India has very quality players and it is no doubt about that. That is the way he plays and he wants the team to play the game that way," said McGrath.

The Aussie legend said that one should not read too much into the Galle debacle.

"I think people are making too much of that final innings (in the first test against Sri Lanka). It can happen. It has happened to Australian team as well that I played in on two or three occasions. We were chasing 120 runs and we have not got there. It is just that what cricket is.

"People have to realize that in fourth innings on a turning wicket it is hard to get on scoring runs and the pressure builds and wickets fall. It is just part of cricket.

It has happened in test cricket. One need to adapt to different conditions in the world," explained McGrath.

"People say that aggressive cricket is a term that aggressive cricket is a positive cricket. Captains come out to say that we played very unaggressive cricket today and going to play negative cricket. They are not going to say that. They want to go in to the match with positives and score runs. It is more batting intent.

"Aggressive is not much about body language. I think it is a term that they use is that we are going to dominate by good positive brand of cricket. I think because of T-20 cricket the batsmen are playing with positive minds and scoring lots of runs. I would prefer a team going out there to win a Test match rather than looking the team to draw a test match," said the holder of 563 Test wickets.

McGrath feels that too much is made about "sledging these days" as it is merely a part of the game.

"These are far too much made of these days. I think the media talk more about sledging than sledging happening in the middle. I do not know why they sort of build it up all the time. It is part of the game and it has always been a bit of chat far back as I remember.

"It is part of the game. You got to be mentally tough and you got to be how to handle. You generally drop the shoulders when things are not going well. So, it is far too much made of sledging and it is too bad. This is more the media would like to built up," said McGrath.

One of most accurate bowlers to have graced the 22 yard turf, McGrath feels that fast bowling can't be taught.

"The pace is one thing that it is hard to teach. They got to be prepared to work harder. Bret Lee and Mitchell Johnson are express fast bowlers. They get it more because of their experience and get the art and kept more control.

"For bowlers like Varun Aaron, I think he got huge potential and as long as he is used the right way within by the captain and the team, I think he just get better and better. He is a bowler, who can clock 150 kmph and swing the new ball. If you have such attributes, you have got huge potentials," said McGrath.

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