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McGrath offers to help Aussies in India

AAP logoAAP 9/12/2016 Darren Walton

Pace great Glenn McGrath is offering to coach Australia's quicks when Steve Smith's men look to break India's 40-year domination of the Border-Gavaskar series on the sub-continent.

Triumphant everywhere else, Australia have won just four of their past 30 Tests on India's dust-bowl wickets since 1970.

McGrath has featured in three of those successes and played a key role in Australia's only series victory in India in the past 36 years, the 2-1 "Last Frontier" triumph in 2004-05.

Now the retired champion has put up his hand to teach Australia's exciting new brigade of pace aces led by Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins the art of fast bowling.

"It's probably the toughest place in the world to be a fast bowler," McGrath told AAP.

"I'm over in India six weeks a year, working at the MRF Pace Foundation, so I've learnt a lot about the technical side of fast bowling.

"To bowl in India is something you have to do and get out there and experience and I've had a lot of experience bowling in the sub-continent before my time at the MRF.

"So I'm always happy to help the boys out wherever I can."

McGrath says nothing is locked in stone, but he hopes Cricket Australia take up his offer when it sends a side to India in February for a four-Test series looking to avoid a repeat of their 4-0 series drubbing in 2013.

"What the future holds for me in coaching, I'm not too sure," he said after announcing a new alliance with Mount Franklin to have special edition pink bottles sold at next month's SCG Test to raise money for his charity foundation.

"But I'm always happy to give the boys a little bit of advice and chat about what worked for me over the sub-continent.

"If it works for any of them, brilliant."

McGrath, fast bowling's all-time leading Test wicket-taker with 563 scalps during a celebrated 15-year international career, says Australia should expect more challenging conditions on the 2017 tour.

But he believes left-arm spearhead Starc can thrive.

"First-class cricket in India, in the Ranji Trophy, they actually do leave a little bit of grass on the wicket. But I can't see that happening in the Test series," he said.

"Obviously Australia have struggled against spin in those conditions in the past so I dare say it will be something very similar.

"So Australia will need to come up with a game plan of how how our batsmen are going to combat that. That's the biggest issue.

"Our bowlers, I think they'll still enjoy bowling over there. If you look after the ball, you get good reverse swing."

AUSTRALIA'S TALE OF WOE IN INDIA

2012/13: lost 4-0 (4 Tests)

2010/11: lost 2-0 (2)

2008/09: lost 2-0 (4)

2004/05: WON 2-1 (4)

2000/01: lost 2-1 (3)

1997/98: lost 2-1 (3)

1996/97: lost 1-0 (1)

1986/87 drew 0-0 (3)

1979/80: lost 2-0 (6)

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