On this day: Australian legend Glenn McGrath takes his first steps in Test cricket

Australia’s Glenn McGrath is one of the greatest bowlers to have graced the gentleman’s game. The right-arm fast-medium bowler hailing from Dubbo, New South Wales inspired an entire generation. The veteran had introduced himself to the world for the first time exactly 27 years ago on November 12 in 1993 by making his Test debut against New Zealand.

McGrath had already created a stir in the domestic circuit with his parsimonious bowling. He finished his domestic career with 835 scalps in 189 First-class games followed by 463 wickets in 305 List-A fixtures. The heroics in the domestic tournaments forced the Australian selectors to notice the seamer and add him in the national squad.

A 23-year-old McGrath was handed his maiden Test cap at the WACA in Perth by the skipper Allan Border. The touring captain Martin Crowe had won the toss and elected to field first. Thus, Glenn had to wait until the second day to hold the red cherry in his hand.

Batting first, Australia managed to add 398 on the board on the back of a scintillating century (113 runs) by Ian Healy. Mark Taylor and Paul Reiffel also made notable contributions by adding 64 and 51 runs respectively to the scoreboard. Unsurprisingly, Glenn bagged a golden duck as he was dismissed on the very first ball he faced by left-arm fast-medium pacer Murphy Sua.

In reply, the hosts got their first breakthrough early in the match as McGrath named New Zealand’s Mark Greatbatch as his maiden international wicket. However, a clinical batting performance by the Kiwis ensured that they were ahead in the game as they collected 419 runs before declaring their first innings.

Glenn’s second international victim was Danny Morrison, who bagged a duck after facing 29 deliveries. Thus, the Australian speedster ended his first Test innings with the figures of 39-12-92-2.

In the second innings, Australia declared at 323/1 as Taylor smashed 142 while Michael Slater and David Boon scored 99 and 67 runs respectively. New Zealand had to score 303 to emerge victorious in the match. However, the fixture ended in a draw as Australian bowlers failed to scalp all the 10 wickets of the opposition team.

Bowling in the second innings, Glenn McGrath maintained an economy rate of 3.13 and managed to send Blair Pocock back to the pavilion on 28. The speedster finished with the figures of 16-6-50-1.

After his debut match, there was no looking back for McGrath as he kept picking wickets after wickets and emerged as a vital cog for Australia’s success in the longest format of the game and One Day Internationals.

The pacer finished his glorious international career with 563 Test wickets and 381 ODI scalps and in this period Australia won three World Cups and six Ashes series. He holds the fourth position in the list of top wicket-takers in international cricket with 949 wickets to his credit. The first three slots have been occupied by Muttiah Muralitharan (1347), Shane Warne (1001) and Anil Kumble (956). McGrath announced his retirement from Test cricket on December 23 in 2006.