New Delhi: The first salvo has arrived from Australia. If tradition has anything to do, then this may well serve as the perfect warning to the Indian side travelling Down Under.
Legendary Australian fast bowler Glenn McGrath has predicted India to suffer a 0-4 whitewash defeat against the Aussies this summer. Sydney Morning Herald quoted the 44-year-old as saying, "We (Australia) won 4-0 over here (2011-12), they won 4-0 (2012-13) over there (in India). Potentially, I think, it's going to be exactly the same when they come here."
Despite all the rumblings of a fragile looking batting line-up, specially considering the trouble with Australian captain Michael Clarke's fitness and their recent form against Pakistan, McGrath is confident that Mahendra Singh Dhoni's side will not be able to test the home side in the five-day format of the game.
The two teams will play a four-Test series starting at the Gabba in Brisbane next month.
McGrath dwelt on their recent home series performance – that of Ashes, wherein they overawed their traditional rivals England – to predict the outcome of the series. He said, "The way the Australian team played last season over here, they were awesome. If they can get anywhere near that, they'll win and win quite convincingly.”
He also mentioned how poorly India fared in their England tour. “I saw India play the last three Test matches in the UK and by the end of it, they were a bit of a rabble."
Continuing his take on India's poor overseas record, he said, “ Unable to handle the extra bounce and pace on Australian wickets, the Indians have a pathetic Test record on these shores, having won just two of 23 Tests here since 1985... Those victories were produced by a side containing greats such as (Sachin) Tendulkar, (Rahul) Dravid and (VVS) Laxman. There is no batsman of that calibre in this touring party.”
Known for his immaculate line and length bowling, McGrath took 563 Test wickets at an average of 21.64 in 124 matches. He also scalped 381 One-Day International wickets in 250 matches. Last September, he joined Chennai's famed MRF Pace Foundation to train emerging fast bowlers.