The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Key to success is early wickets: McGrath

Mumbai: The key to Australia's success against India in the forthcoming Test series lies in getting early wickets and building up pressure, Aussie pace spearhead Glenn McGrath said on Sunday.

'It's all a question of building up pressure on Indian batsmen by taking early wickets. But it is a huge challenge. Experience of bowling on these pitches in the past has given me an idea of what to expect,' the fast bowler said.

'We haven't had much cricket over the last month and a half with rains in Holland and England.

'Preferably we would have liked some more cricket under our belt, which we hope to do in the three-day warm-up game (from September 30 against Mumbai),' he said.

McGrath, who missed the entire home series against India last year following an ankle surgery, said he has completely recovered from that and was looking forward to the challenge.

'Some people thought I would not be able to make a comeback, but the ankle injury has healed and I am back to bowling close to my best,' said the pace ace who has snared 37 wickets in seven Tests against India.

On whether the Aussies had the best attack at their disposal for this tour, McGrath said: 'This is the best pace attack we have had in years and with Shane (Warne) too back at his best, we will try and build up the pressure,' he said.

McGrath said Sachin Tendulkar likely absence in the initial stages may make a difference.

'It's disappointing Tendulkar may not be there. I enjoy bowling to him. Yes, with him away things may get a little bit easier for us though India have a pretty good line up with (Rahul) Dravid, (V.V.S.) Laxman, (Virender) Sehwag and (Sourav) Ganguly,' he said.

'We would try and get on top of these guys. I love to bowl to Ganguly too and give him some hard time. He loves to play spin more than pace,' he added.

Kasprowicz mantra

Aussie speedster Michael Kasprowicz feels hitting the deck harder would be the mantra for success on Indian pitches.

'The wickets here are without bounce and to make the batsmen hurry his shots, one has to hit the deck hard and try to get some extra bounce.

'In fact, I have been bowling better now than I was when I last toured India,' said Kasprowicz who has been in terrific form of late.

On his batting abilities which he showed during his last visit to India, he said: 'I have always been an allrounder but I get very little chance to prove it.

'To be successful on indian wickets we have to bowl well consistently as they (Indians) have a very good batting line-up.

'Though we have a very balanced attack with leg spinner Shane Warne spearheading the spin department, we have to be consistent in our approach,' he added.

On his new ball partners ' Glenn McGrath, Jason Gillespie and Brett Lee, the soft-spoken Kasprowicz said: 'We have been playing together for a long time and respect each other's contribution to the team.

'If any of us does well, it will only help the team's cause as the performance of the team comes first'.

When asked how he managed to keep going despite being dogged by injuries, the Aussie speedster, said: 'Injuries are part of a fast bowlers' career and I keep doing well in our domestic cricket after coming back from an injury and that has kept my confidence level high.

I know I can come back well as long as my body and mind is willing.'

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