Sydney: Australia’s leading fast bowler Glenn McGrath is targeting next month’s opening Test against India in Brisbane as his comeback match from ankle surgery.
Australia are looking to field their first-choice bowling attack against the Indians with fellow injured bowlers Brett Lee, Jason Gillespie and Stuart MacGill also expected to be available.
The quartet is missing the current triangular series in India which also involves New Zealand.
McGrath was originally expected to be back in action for the Melbourne Boxing Day Test but his manager Warren Craig said the bowler’s recovery was progressing better than expected.
“The original thought when he had the surgery was that he wouldn’t be back until the boxing day Test match but he’s well ahead of schedule now,” Craig said here on Tuesday.
“He’s aiming to at least be for fit the first Test (at the Gabba starting December 4) and then it’s up to the selectors as to which way they want to go with him.”
Craig said McGrath, who underwent ankle surgery in early October, was looking forward to facing the Indians.
Lee is also recovering from an ankle operation, performed just 10 days ago, but he is walking around and confident of being fit for the opening Test of the summer.
“It was a reasonable operation,” Lee’s manager Neil Maxwell said on Tuesday. “He was walking around last Friday without any assistance. He was wearing sand shoes and walking normally. He’s obviously shooting for the first Test. He’s having daily physio so he’s going alright. It’ll all depend on how well his rehab goes.”
Gillespie continues his rehabilitation from a side strain in Adelaide. Maxwell said Gillespie was expected to bowl at the nets on Tuesday and was aiming to play in a Sheffield Shield match against New South Wales.
NSW leg-spinner Stuart MacGill was due to play in the Shield match against Western Australia which started here last Tuesday but was a late withdrawal.
Team officials expect him to be available for the next match against Tasmania in Hobart next week.