McGrath questions India’s five bowler plan


Former Australia fast bowler Glenn McGrath feels India's new habit of picking five front line bowlers in Tests puts too much pressure on the batsmen, an that the fifth bowler should be a proper all-rounder.

While India have Ravi Ashwin and even Amit Mishra who can bat lower down, they're primarily bowlers, and McGrath says that one of the spinners should, if possible, be a genuine all-rounder to take the pressure off the top order.

McGrath told the Times of India: "My take on the five-bowler theory is that the fifth bowler has to be an all-rounder. To go with five bowlers means that the team balance is tilted heavily in the bowlers' favour.

"It means your batsmen will have to score heavily. I will always go with three (fast) bowlers, a spinner and a quality batting all-rounder."

But picking three fast bowlers for India has often been a challenge, with their spinners tending to dominate, and McGrath agrees that being a paceman for India, in India, is one of the more challenging tasks.

McGrath, who is a coach at the MRF pace foundation in Chennai, added: "To be a fast bowler in India is as hard as it gets. The wickets here are not conducive for fast bowling. The conditions, the climate and all make it tough.

"The likes of Varun Aaron are doing well with the national side and even the ones in our academy like Ankit Rajpoot and Aswin Crist aren't far away from making a mark internationally.

"There is potential in India but they must be prepared to work hard."

India will soon meet South Africa for a key tour, with PaddyPower favouring the hosts.