McGrath enjoyed watching Pattinson take on SA skipper
IN his heyday, former Australian fast bowler Glenn McGrath loved nothing more than getting in the face of the oppositions' best batsmen with intimidatory bowling and some more-than useful sledging.
That was why he loved it yesterday when James Pattinson took on South African skipper Graeme Smith ... and won.
With the Test seemingly headed for a tame draw, the young Victorian quick got under the skin of Smith before snaring him in the slips and giving him a send-off - and McGrath liked what he saw.
"I think it needed that," he said.
"It has been a pretty dull Test in the respect that there was not much happening and fast bowlers were just going through the motions.
"You need that (the intimidation) in Test cricket just to liven it up. James Pattinson has plenty of attitude."
McGrath, who picked up 563 Test scalps during a remarkable 14-year career for Australia, said after struggling on day one, Pattinson, Peter Siddle and Ben Hilfenhaus fought hard yesterday to battle back in a Test match which looked to be drifting to a boring draw.
"They bounced back really well," McGrath, who made his television commentary debut during the match, said.
"The Australian attack had a bit of a slow start on day one, probably bowled a little bit too short and it's very much a new-ball wicket.
"What it did show is the South African bowlers had just as tough a day on day four as the Australians did earlier.
"Yesterday the Aussies showed a lot more energy and a lot more intensity and put the pressure back on the South African batsmen.
"I think going into the Adelaide Test, our bowlers will take a lot out of this game."
McGrath said Australia's fast-bowling future looked good with plenty of young, talented bowlers ready to take their chance at the highest level.
"Australia is in a very good spot," he said. "We have got plenty of young fast bowlers champing at the bit to get into the Test team.
"Young Pat Cummins has shown his quality. Unfortunately he's got a few injuries but there's plenty of other guys with Josh Hazlewood, Mitchell Starc and Ben Cutting waiting in the wings.
McGrath said there could be changes for the Adelaide Test but was unsure who would go, if selectors decided to switch things around.
"Obviously Starc, a tall, left-arm bowler offers something totally different," he said.
"He'd be keen to get into the series but who do you bring him in for? That would be the question for selectors."
AUSTRALIA v SOUTH AFRICA
First Test at The Gabba
South Africa 1st Innings 450
Australia 1st Innings
E COWAN run out (Steyn)...136
D WARNER c Kallis b Steyn...4
R QUINEY c Steyn b Morkel...9
R PONTING c Kallis b Morkel...0
M CLARKE not out...259
M HUSSEY c du Plessis b Morkel...100
M WADE not out...19
Total: Five wickets (dec) for...565
Fall: 13, 30, 40, 299, 527.
Bowling: D Steyn 30-3-129-1; V Philander 30-3-109-0; M Morkel 31-6-127-3; R Kleinveldt 21-1-97-0; J Kallis 12-3-30-0; G Smith 9-0-36-0; H Amla 2-0-9-0; A Peterson 3-0-20-0.
South Africa 2nd Innings
A PETERSEN c Wade b Pattinson...5
G SMITH c Quiney b Pattinson...23
H AMLA c Hussey b Siddle...38
J KALLIS c Clarke b Lyon...49
AB de VILLIERS not out...29
J RUDOLPH lbw Lyon...11
V PHILANDER not out...1
Total: Five wickets for...166
Fall: 6, 55, 102, 129, 165.
Bowling: B Hilfenhaus 15-3-26-0; J Pattinson 19-3-58-2, P Siddle 17-4-36-1, N Lyon 14-5-44-2; R Quiney 4-3-3-0.
Match ended in a draw.