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As Glenn McGrath Turns 51, Let's Look At The Only Time He Shed His Batting Bunny Image

As Glenn McGrath Turns 51, Let's Look At The Only Time He Shed His Batting Bunny Image

McGrath, who had a batting average of just seven back then, added 114 runs with his then-new-ball partner, Jason Gillespie.

In his heyday, he might have been one of the greatest pace-bowlers in the game, but Glenn McGrath was a perennial batting bunny. Former Australian captain Steve Waugh is believed to have told McGrath once that he should try batting left-handed, for he couldn’t do worse.

The right-arm medium-fast bowler, who turns 51 today, has stellar numbers in all formats of the game. Arguably the most accurate bowler to have stepped on the pitch, McGrath, many said, could bowl all six deliveries on the same spot. What more do you want to say about a man who finished his career, lifting the 2007 Cricket World Cup Trophy and winning the man of the tournament award.

As great as he was with the ball, his batting never inspired any confidence — neither among the fans nor his teammates. But when the great paceman walked out to the crease against New Zealand on November 20, 2004, he had different plans. In front of a packed Gabba, Australia had already taken a considerable lead courtesy of a 216-run stand between Michael Clarke and Adam Gilchrist.

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While even the commentators wondered how long the lanky paceman would last on the crease, the latter began his knock with a pedal sweep off Daniel Vettori.

Next, what the Gabba crowd witnessed was a slog-sweep that went into the stand. Of course, that brought a smile on McGrath’s face, perhaps a testament to his own disbelief. As the camera shifted attention to the then captain Ricky Ponting, Gilchrist and Damien Martin, it appeared the fast-bowler had earned a few fans in the dressing room.

A couple of pulls off the fast bowlers and another slog-sweep off Vetorri saw Mcgrath reach his only half-century of a glorious career. However, the applause he received from the crowd as he took off his helmet and raised his bat and the smiling faces in the dressing room are a few memories cricket-lovers recall with fondness.

McGrath, who had a batting average of just seven back then, added 114 runs with his then-new-ball partner, Jason Gillespie.

“That was better than getting a big wicket haul," McGrath had said after the game, adding,"It’s been a long time coming."

Micheal Clarke, who had himself scored a scintillating 141 earlier, was all praises for his buddy. “That’s the best thing I’ve ever seen in cricket; it was just unbelievable," Clarke said.

Coming back to McGrath, the bowler, he took a wicket off his last deliveries in both Tests and ODIs, the only one to have done that. With 563 wickets in Tests and 381 in ODIs, the Aussie paceman remains one of the greatest to have played the game.

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