| MacGill is itching to display his wiles on Indian wickets
Cairns: Australia’s Stuart MacGill, who claimed match figures of 10 for 133 in the second Test against Bangladesh on Monday said he was itching for the opportunity to display his wiles on Indian wickets. He said he was firmly focused on touring India late next year. “India is a place where we really want to win and I think the desire is as great as anything I’ve ever experienced,” he said.
“I definitely want to be part of that tour,” said MacGill, grandson of late pace bowler Charlie MacGill, a first-class player who once dismissed the legendary Don Bradman.
“Watching from the sidelines, when we were beaten in India in 2001, was frustrating when you don’t know how you’d perform in those conditions,” MacGill said.
“I’d just want to know how I would bowl in India. I may not be any good, but I’d love to be given the opportunity to find out. That’s certainly a tour I’m targeting and I hope to be part of a winning team over there.”
MacGill said he could see no reason why he, leg-spinner Shane Warne and left-arm slow bowler Brad Hogg could not play in the same side. “With Warney in the side and Hoggy as well it could be a great spin battery, and I think we would have a red hot shot at winning in India,” he said.
MacGill said that, with wicketkeeper-batsman Adam Gilchrist averaging more than 60 in Tests, it would not be far-fetched for Australia to field five bowlers — two pacemen and three spinners — in India and relying on six batsmen.
He said he planned to enjoy every day he had at the top level during Shane Warne’s drug ban. The 32-year-old leg-spinner has taken an impressive tally of 131 wickets in 25 Tests and is set to play six home Tests against Zimbabwe and India before Warne completes his 12-month doping suspension in February next year. “One way or the other, Shane Warne will always be a part of my career, simply because our ages are so similar (Warne is 33) and he’s been the greatest wrist-spinner ever,” MacGill said.
“I think it’s a natural comparison to make. I’d be really unwise to let it weigh down on me. I’ve had to deal with it all along.
“The only thing that has perhaps given me some encouragement that hasn’t been present (earlier) has been the length of time that I have available this time.
“It’s not just a case of a (Warne) injury for six weeks or a tour here or there. This is a good 12 months in Test cricket that I’ve been given the opportunity to participate in and I’m going to cash in.”
MacGill took 17 wickets in the two Tests against Bangladesh and was named Player of the Series. Warne has claimed 491 victims in 107 Tests, trailing retired West Indies paceman Courtney Walsh’s world record by 28 wickets. MacGill, who will return to England this week to play County cricket, said he expected Warne to be fit and in form when his suspension ends.
“I try to take as many wickets as I can per Test and five is my target. I’m going to continue to do that, whether it’s one Test a year, three Tests a year, or every Test each year,” MacGill said.“I’m just going to make sure that I don’t have any regrets for the period of time that I’ve got a clear run.”
MacGill said he was a much better bowler than when he took 27 wickets in four Tests in the 1998-99 Ashes series in Australia when Warne was injured. “I’m fine-tuning those variations and umpires are starting to become more familiar with my variations too. For a long time the perception was that I just turned the ball a long way.”