He did not have the pace of Jeff Thompson, he did not have the reverse swing of Wasim Akram, but Glenn McGrath had control, a big heart and relentless accuracy. He was a metronome in the truest terms and with his skills, his immaculate line and lengths, he was perhaps the biggest challenge for any batsman.
On his birthday, we take a look at the top 10 bowling figures of Pigeon, one of the best bowlers to have graced the field.
8-24 v Pakistan at Perth in 2004
This was his best bowling figures – his spell of 8-24 which came in the first Test of a three-match series against Pakistan at Perth in December 2004. Pakistan was chasing down 564 runs and this is when McGrath stepped up and bagged 8 wickets for 24 runs.
8-38 v England at Lord’s in 1997
McGrath was perhaps at his best against England, especially when he was operating at Lord’s with the slope. He opened the bowling in the first innings, McGrath wreaked havoc claiming 8/38 from 20.3 overs as England were bundled out for a paltry 77.
5-53 v England at Lord’s in 2005
The pacer stepped up again as he slammed the door on England and reduced them to 5-21 and picked up all the 5 wickets. Australia went on to win the match by 239 runs.
6-17 v West Indies at Brisbane in 2007
West Indies batted first, but they were bundled out for 82 in the first innings and Glenn McGrath bagged 6 wickets for just 17 runs.
5-14 v West Indies at Manchester in 1999 (ODI)
At the World Cup, West Indies batted first and in helpful conditions, Glenn McGrath stepped up and wreaked havoc and picked up 5 wickets for 14 runs as West Indies were bowled out 110 runs. Australia won the match by 6 wickets.
5-37 vs New Zealand at Colombo in 2002 (ODI)
The pacer showed his class in rather unhelpful conditions during the 2002 Champions Trophy against New Zealand. Australia batted first and posted a total of 296 runs. In response, New Zealand never got going as McGrath shone with figures of 5 wickets for 37 runs.
4-8 vs India at Sydney in 2000 (ODI)
It was a forgettable trip for India in 2000. India elected to bat first and they were shot out for 100. McGrath picked up 4 wickets for just 8 runs in his 10 overs in a remarkable spell of bowling. Australia chased down the target with ease.
6-47 vs West Indies at Port of Spain in 1995
West Indies elected to field first and Australia were bundled out for 128 in their first innings. However, in response, Glenn McGrath stepped up and picked up 6 wickets for 47 runs. However, Australia collapsed again in the second innings and West Indies won the match.
5-21 vs South Africa at Johannesburg in 2002
Australia batted first and piled up 652 runs in their first innings. However, South Africa collapsed courtesy a concerted team effort by the Australian bowlers. The hosts were asked to follow on, but the innings never got going as McGrath bagged a five-wicket haul to bundle South Africa for 133.
4-41 vs Pakistan at Sharjah in 2002
On of the flattest surfaces, Glenn McGrath produced absolute masterclass in the second innings as he picked up 4 wickets to hand Pakistan a defeat by an innings and 20 runs.