One of the most common refrain thats been doing the rounds is how Australia are missing McGrath and Warne and which is one reason that their cricket team is not as formidable as before. Warne provides ample evidence of the same with his stint in the IPL whereas McGrath was virtually ignored by the Delhi Daredevils team management.
Today, Delhi and the world were shown what they were missing. Not handed the new ball, the great man came in as first change. Nothing much had changed, the run up was the same, the action till the delivery was the same. It was watching the most economical and effortless action all over again. First ball to the batsman, a gently outswinging full delivery, fuller than his normal back of the length but nevertheless on that impeccable line, just on the much abused corridor of uncertainty. Bowling a fuller length than he usually does, McGrath was down on pace but still that impeccable line.
A quiet first over followed. Next in line was a left hander and McGrath produced a beauty. Starting just outside off, the ball swung in a shade, just from a length, clipped the batsman’s pad and thundered into off. That was what he was waiting for. A leap as he usually does and still displaying all that competitive streak, that made him the champion bowler that he was.
What makes this even more amazing is that the great man had last played in a competitive match way back in the first season of the IPL in the semis and had had his last practise 5 months back. To be out of action for all this time and yet land the first ball on that line is a feat beyond imagination.
And the next wicket to fall was the typical McGrath wicket. The ball pitching just back of length, just outside offstump, nips back that fraction off the seam, goes through the gate or gets an inside edge and cannons into the stump. (it was the inside edge this time around). Somethings never change