Glenn McGrath has stated that sledging is a wrong term to use as a bit of ‘banter’ speaks of someone’s mental strength and how they are going to tackle a certain situation. McGrath, a master of line and length, has also added that he hates to see bowlers with raw pace slowing down to get control.
The finest all-format batsman of the era, Virat Kohli has endured a special relationship with Australia ever since he hit his first century in Adelaide back in 2011. He has reached incredible highs and some damning lows against the Aussies but the love-hate relationship hit the psyche of every single cricket fan. His ability to give it back has also been another fruitful reason and McGrath is a fan of that attitude from the Indian skipper, who will miss the last three Tests of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.
“Mind games are very important. Test cricket is also about mental strength. If you are going to suffer from a bit of chatter and banter, you are going to be found out quickly. Sledging is the wrong term. It's not abuse and attacking personally. It's about getting into the mind, making someone question his technique, and messing up their routine. I prefer the word 'banter' to sledging. Players are not going to take a backward step. Kohli is a prime example. I enjoy that he plays hard and has a bit of chat. Umpires are there to regulate it,” McGrath told Times of India.
Unlike the past, this Indian team has a bowling unit that can give any batting line-up a run for their money. The same bowling unit, with Ishant on their side, played their role to perfection the last time they toured Down Under and they will take inspiration from that. With all the bowlers being expert in doing varied things, it would keep them in good stead - something McGrath believes can be done by understanding their own strength. The legendary seamer also adds that he hates to see bowlers compromising with their pace to add control.
“It comes down to execution. It comes down to bowl the ball he wants to and lands the ball where he wants to. If he wants to bowl six identical balls bouncing on the same spot, then that's a challenge. But bowling six different balls and landing them exactly where you want is as much a challenge.
“I hate to see bowlers with raw pace slowing down to get control. I want to see them work harder off the field. You can't really teach anyone raw pace. You can improve someone's pace. Mitchell Johnson combined raw pace with control. He became a lethal bowler. The bowlers we have on show here-Cummins, Bumrah, Hazlewood, Shami-all of them have good control,” the legendary pacer added.