Off The Field

“Look at James Anderson”: Glenn McGrath advises Mohammed Shami to follow England Star

Written by Shreyas Vyas

Fast bowling legend Glenn McGrath feels that the current Indian pace attack comprising Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami and Mohammed Siraj still has a lot to offer and feels it’s some time before the next generation of Indian fast bowlers will take their place.

“We have to wait and see the next generation coming through. (Jasprit) Bumrah has still got a bit to go, (Mohammed) Shami is a little older, and (Mohammed) Siraj has been around for a little while but still has plenty left. So, the (current Indian) bowling attack has still some life left,” McGrath was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.

“They are exceptional and have done the job for a long time. Shami has been absolutely brilliant as to what he can do with the ball, his control, attitude and the way he adapts are absolutely amazing. You have Siraj, who has done well. You also have Bumrah in the mix, along with the other guys. So, they are indeed in a great position,” he added.

Among the three, Shami is the oldest at 33 and McGrath feels that the challenge to remain fit and stay motivated becomes harder for an ageing fast bowler.

However, McGrath feels that Shami can prolong his international career by staying on top his game following the example of England great James Anderson.

The 41-year-old Anderson on Saturday became the first fast bowler in Test history to take 700 wickets and is the third highest wicket-taker in the format’s history.

“It’s tough, but the one thing that bowlers like him (Shami) possess is experience. He’s been around for a long time and is an exceptional bowler,” said McGrath.

“But, as you get older, you still need motivation to train hard, prepare and get out there and perform. Look at someone like James Anderson, who is 41, taking 700 Test wickets and still bowling well. So, you can still be at the top of your game. But as you get older, being a fast bowler it is tough on the body, and it can certainly have an impact in the longer run,” he added.

Later, reports claimed the fast bowler played the entire tournament with an ankle injury and took injections to manage the pain. He subsequently missed India’s South Africa tour.

Shami was then expected to make his return in five-match Test series between India and England that ended on Saturday. However, he had to undergo a surgery on his Achilles tendon to treat the injury which has also ruled him out of the entire IPL 2024.

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Shreyas Vyas