Legendary fast bowler Glenn McGrath has proclaimed that India is still Australia’s ‘ultimate challenge’ in the international circuit. Australia have not managed to win a bilateral series in India since 2004, and notably, McGrath was part of that squad to help his side register an away series win.
Despite being considered as one of the traditional giants of world cricket, Australia's records in India do not speak volumes. They have not even won a single series in India since 2004 while India have won two series Down Under in 2017 and 2021. To keep the fact intact, former Australian pacer Glenn McGrath believes India is still their 'ultimate challenge.'
In a conversation with Cricket.com, McGrath highlighted how they have always struggled to secure triumphs in India. However, McGrath further went on to add that Australia have been doing well in the subcontinent in recent times, and playing in IPL has helped them a lot as well. Yet, he admits they must beat India now to do the justice of their label as World's No. 1 Test side.
"Obviously, the single biggest challenge for Australia is coming to India, performing well and winning the series. We were lucky enough to do it in 2004. You’ve got to come up with good plans, the batters have to learn to adapt on turning pitches and the bowlers have to learn to bowl in those conditions," McGrath told Cricket.com.
"I think with IPL, a lot of players have been over here (in India) regularly and have hence experienced the conditions. The current Australian team, evident from their showings in Sri Lanka and Pakistan, are starting to get a better understanding of how to play on sub-continent wickets. That being said, India is still the ultimate challenge. I think they’re up for it."
India will welcome Australia early next year for a four-match Test series under the World Test Championship 2021-23 cycle. The series will be crucial in terms of qualifying for the final.