McGrath preparing Gen-Next Oz bowlers in Chennai academy

Sydney: Australian bowling legend Glenn McGrath has reportedly been preparing Australia`s young bowling stock to ensure that future visits to the Indian subcontinent are nowhere near as dire as the disastrous tour of India few months ago.

McGrath, who has taken 563 Test wickets, is a director at the world`s leading specialist fast-bowling school, the MRF Pace Foundation academy in Chennai, and his latest batch of pupils include next-generation Australian players Gurinder Sandhu, Josh Hazlewood and Kurtis Patterson.

Despite Australia`s current focus on England and the ICC Champions Trophy, McGrath, who took over from the Chennai academy`s long-time director Dennis Lillee, has redoubled efforts to have Oz players better prepared for the rigours of the world`s most challenging cricket environment.

Stating that India is very different from Australia in terms of the climate, conditions, the population, food and the playing conditions, McGrath said that players would have to play in high temperatures of 30s and early 40s, even in early summer months.

According to McGrath, he hoped that the time in the academy will help players gain some experience when they next play for Australia in the subcontinent, adding that they will not have to face a culture shock and would have a smooth transition.

The fast-bowling great, who is keenly watching the development of 20-year-old Sandhu, who won the Steve Waugh Medal as NSW player of the year last season, said that he believes that a national call-up is not beyond the reach of the youngster.

McGrath trained at the facility under Lillee in 1992, and over the next fortnight will tutor Sandhu and Hazlewood, among others, as well as oversee the schooling of Patterson in facing bowling on the subcontinent.