Border-Gavaskar Trophy: Australia relying too much on Steve Smith and Marnus Labuschagne, says Glenn McGrath
Border-Gavaskar Trophy: Australia are relying too much on the skills of Marnus Labuschagne and Steve Smith, feels Glenn McGrath.
Steve Smith and Marnus Labuschagne in action during 1st Test match at Nagpur. (PTI Photo)
By India Today Sports Desk: Legendary Australian pacer Glenn McGrath is of the opinion that Australia are relying too much on the individual brilliance of Steve Smith and Marnus Labuschagne when they come out to bat in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy. Speaking to news agency PTI on Monday, McGrath said that the team needs to find a plan to tackle spin as a unit.
“I think they’re relying too much on (Steve) Smith and Marnus (Labuschagne) at the moment. Travis Head has had a really good year as well. The whole batting line-up has to stand up,” McGrath, who is director of coaching at MRF Pace Foundation, told reporters here.
The Australia team has come in for criticism from former players over various issues including their approach and selection.
“In the first Test, they were too defensive, and in the second Test, they were too aggressive. So we will see if they’ve learned from those two matches,” the former pacer said.
“They have to find a happy medium and put a price on their wicket. In India, you have to build an innings on solid defence and then look at ways to score and put the pressure back on the bowlers,” he added.
McGrath further said the absence of pacers Josh Hazlewood, Mitchell Starc and all-rounder Cameron Green had affected the team balance but, at the same time, also questioned selection decisions, like the omission of Head for the first Test in Nagpur.
“They haven’t been able to come and clean up the tail. The last three batters have put on 160-plus. They are the ones causing problems. Whether they got the bowling changes right? Maybe Pat Cummins could have come in earlier.
“Little bit of reverse swing try to pick early wickets at the death there. Give credit to Indian players (Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin and Axar Patel). They know how to play on these pitches. They are spin bowlers. They know what opposition is trying to do,” the Aussie pace legend said, giving credit to the way the Indians have played in Nagpur and Delhi.