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Sight Screen

Friday, July 22, 2005

Open secret

Glenn McGrath, in the Guardian, on the secret of his success; this might be worth keeping in mind when we watch the Indian season begins, and our bowlers try to over-complicate things:
Since returning from an ankle injury in 2004, McGrath has taken 73 wickets in 14 Tests and one innings at the startling average of 17.32. But he says his methodology has not changed one bit.
"I just try to bore the batsmen out," he said. "There's no secret, really. I've always said that if you can land 99 balls out of 100 where you want to land them, just hitting the top of off-stump, then you will take wickets. It's pretty simple stuff, but the complicated thing is to keep it simple. That's what I've done reasonably well through my career."

More than anyone else in modern cricket, McGrath is the poster child for the KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid) formula. In the Independent, James Lawton celebrates the master craftsman.
He defined the art of the thinking man's pace bowler. He placed the ball with an unerring, almost uncanny accuracy; he coaxed out every nuance of movement on a wicket which was supposed to be sun-dried of its menace before one of the most extraordinary passages of one-man dominance in the long and tumultuous history of Test cricket.

Peter Roebuck, too, attempts to capture the McGrath mystique in words:
McGrath is an extraordinary operator. None of his deliveries was fast, none bounced steeply, none swung or turned or curled or deceived the batsman. Most of them landed in the predicted place. But his deliveries cannot be understood in isolation. They are part of a succession that creates doubt and provokes error. None of his colleagues was remotely as threatening.

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