India suffered a crushing 209-run defeat to Australia on the fifth day of the summit clash at the Oval on Sunday.
“Sometimes, it can happen like that. Yeah, conditions in England are a lot different to what Indian cricket has been playing in.Sometimes that happens that way, it’s called that bit of dressing room pressure,” McGrath, who is Director of Coaching at MRF Pace Foundation, told reporters here.”Both teams haven’t played a lot of Test cricket lately but that’s the way it goes. You get on a bit of a roll going into that last day, Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane needed to put on a big partnership. You lose an early wicket, that can happen. It’s a one-off Test match. I wouldn’t be too concerned.”
Asked about the controversial catch by Cameroon Green to dismiss Shubman Gill, he said, “I think most of those catches are out. We find ways to give it not out which I like to go the other way. So, I was happy with it.
“And if it was India taking that catch, I would have been happy too. I’m not just saying from an Australian perspective but the way it goes.”
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Queried about Pat Cummins‘ captaincy, McGrath said, “I think 280 on the last day with seven wickets in hand, it sounds gettable. But there’s a lot more pressure, one wicket can change it, so from a bowling perspective you just know if you get enough balls in the right area you’re going to create at least seven chances if not more.
“So, captaincy, it’s just doing the basics well. I think Pat Cummins did a great job. I’m sure he used his senior players well, and I know when he’s bowling he hands the captaincy over to Steve Smith. The senior players worked well and you have to give credit to them.”
He said Scott Boland, who came in as a replacement for the injured Josh Hazelwood, would be very effective in England.
“The dilemma the Australian selectors have is which bowlers are going to bowl in the Test matches. So, it’s a good problem to have. But Scott Boland, the areas he bowls, I think he’s going to be very effective in England.”
McGrath, who is known to make predictions ahead of the Ashes series, said it’s going to be a great contest between Australia and England.
“It (WTC) was a perfect lead-up for Australia into the Ashes, gives them a lot of confidence and to play in the conditions. So, I think they are in a good spot.
“England, there’s a lot of talk about Bazball and I’m a big fan. I like that backing yourself, going out there, being positive, fourth innings to go out and play your shot, it’s an aggressive mindset, and if you can get on top of the bowlers, you can score runs quickly and put the pressure back on them.
“My prediction is 5-nil.”
Asked about calls of WTC being made a best-of-three affair, McGrath said, “Yeah, it’s interesting. Depends on scheduling and sort of whether you say whoever is top of the table gets a home game.
“But again, it depends on the season and what you have, so I’m happy with a one-off because I think to play three Tests, you’re gonna find it tough to get it into this scheduling.”
MRF Pace Foundation chief coach M Senthilnathan said two trainees from the Academy — Venkatesh from Karnataka and Shaurya Malik from Delhi — had the opportunity to travel to Brisbane and be part of the preparatory camp of the Australian team before it travelled to England for the WTC final.