Cricket legend Glenn McGrath will spend the next two weeks in India working with a group of AIS scholars from Cricket Australia’s Centre of Excellence in Brisbane.
While the focus is on England over the coming months, Cricket Australia has taken the early step to ensure there is no repeat of the recent Tour of India in future visits.
As part of Cricket Australia’s AIS scholarship program, the group consisting of Peter Handscomb, Kurtis Patterson, Joel Paris, Gurinder Sandhu, Josh Hazlewood, Matt Fotia will work with McGrath who heads the MRF Pace Foundation academy in Chennai.
Former Australian bowler Craig McDermott will also be working with the group during the two-week tour.
McGrath spent time at the academy in 1992 under the tutelage of former director Dennis Lillee. He told the Sydney Morning Herald that he sees the tour as a crucial learning tool for the young group.
''India is so different to Australia in nearly every way,'' McGrath said.
''The climate, the conditions, the sheer amount of people there, the food, and then the playing conditions as well. It's going to be high 30s, early 40s every day. It'll be pretty warm.”
A need for more playing experience in sub-continent conditions was recognised after Australia’s humiliating 4-0 defeat at the hands of India earlier this year. It is hoped that working with the likes of McGrath on this tour will help the scholars should they be selected for Australia in the future.
''Hopefully when and if they do move up to play for Australia, they've had a little bit of experience in India and it's not such a shock culturally and the transition is a bit smoother.'' McGrath said.
For Sandhu, whose parents are from Punjab, working with McGrath is another step in his journey that he hopes culminates in a baggy green.
''I'm treating it as a massive learning opportunity,'' he told the Sydney Morning Herald.
Sandhu won the Steve Waugh Medal last year after starring for New South Wales in the RYOBI One-Day Cup and Bupa Sheffield Shield in latter half of the summer.
The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Cricket Australia
First Posted 14 June, 2013 12:11PM AEST