Tahlia taking the ‘McGrath’ legacy to newer heights

Anurag Das Gupta

Anurag Das Gupta

Author| Jan 22, 10:29 AM


The latest holder of the McGrath surname in the cricketing world has taken the Ashes by storm much like Glenn. When Tahlia wore her jersey which said “McGrath” on the back, it might have given a few goosebumps to many English fans. And understandably so because the man who carried the number 11 with the name “McGrath” has demolished English batting lineups on numerous occasions. 

The number has now changed to 32 but the “McGrath” impact remains carries on in the Women’s Ashes. Marching towards a strong first innings total in the 2022 Women’s Ashes opener, the English batting collided against an in-form Tahlia who picked 3/26, limiting the English Women side to a par score of 169. 

It was always going to be a tricky chase, but the newest sensation in town made a mockery of the total. Tahlia McGrath smashed 91(49) taking a well established English attack to the cleaners. In a stiff run chase, where their best T20 batter (Beth Mooney) is unavailable and the greatest all-rounder of women’s cricket is dropped, Tahlia walked into Carrara Oval, Queensland with a significant responsibility. Yet, it did not bother her one bit as she whacked 13 fours and a six against the English attack, finishing the chase with ease.

Meanwhile, Ellyse Perry’s returns in T20 cricket were diminishing, and her economy rate registered one of the highest in the recently concluded WBBL. Australia were looking for an all-rounder who could bat in the top 6 and potentially McGrath could do it. However, her modest record with a batting average of 16 and strike-rate of 102 didn’t inspire any pretty reading.

While these numbers were just a glimpse of the capabilities of the South Australian who grinded in the domestic circuit for years. The selectors had picked her and gave her enough confidence and game time in the series against India last year. One the bigger stage, McGrath shone through with an all-round performance against India and announced her arrival at the international level.

Later in the WBBL, despite having middling seasons since 2015, McGrath took the tournament by storm, leading the Strikers with her middle order heroics. She aggregated 338 runs at an average of 42 and a healthy strike rate of 114. The all-rounder was peaking at the right time.

Her selection in the Women’s Ashes was of no surprise, but the fact that she leapfrogged Perry in such a quick time to be in the first XI turned many heads. Yet, she completely shifted the limelight to her all-round brilliance as she gave Australia a winning start.

So, only one question remains. Can she be the next big thing in women’s cricket? Only time will tell.

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