How good is Clint McKay?

I’ve never rated Clint McKay. Never.

Every time I see him on the Australian team sheet I think it’s a weakened team. And it goes back farther than that, when he played for Victoria in the old days I felt the same way.

For years I’d be one of seven people in the G watching him for Victoria and telling the other six people that I didn’t rate him. Only for one of them to point out that he’d taken 4 for 60.

I should love Clint McKay. I should talk him up in random conversations and wear a t-shirt that just has his face on it. Clint McKay grew up 15 minutes from where I did. We should share a Northern Suburbs of Melbourne bond.

Instead of complaining about him I should be worshipping his head-swaying run-up, fetishizing his good lengths and eagerly anticipating his back of the hand slower ball.

A friend of mine had heard McKay might be their team’s overseas player and wanted to know about him. All I had for them was that he was tall and had a good slower ball. I could give them no more information of a guy who I’ve seen bowl probably 40 times.

To be honest, I don’t think I’ve ever seen McKay not take wickets. But somehow I never seem to remember how he took them. They just appear over and over again.

He’s just one of those bowlers who takes wickets. In 18 ODIs, Mckay has 38 wickets at just under 20. That’s the sort of numbers that make any sort of preconceived perception sort of irrelevant.

And as I was writing this, he was Australia’s only bowler who looked like taking wickets. And then he was the only Australian bowler to be hit on to the cathedral by MS Dhoni, before following up with a waist-high no ball.

I’ve always felt that when someone hits McKay the ball goes further. He doesn’t get hit for small sixes, or gentle fours, people just hit him really hard. That could even be the whole reason I have had this thing against him.

Wickets are good, but everyone remembers the big hits.

That will probably be the case here again. McKay’s three wickets were handy, but I’d think more people will talk about how Dhoni almost killed spectators who were over a hundred metres away to win the game.

People are fickle like that.

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8 thoughts on “How good is Clint McKay?

  1. Clancy says:

    Well, he ain’t a death bowler, but then who out of the Aussie seamers is? A collective allergy to yorkers is quite an ‘issue’ for the bowling coach to sort out.

  2. Poor Man's Hussey says:

    I’m with you on McKay. Remeber when Birt almost hit him into Bass Strait in the BBL? What happened next? Beamer that went further. Then the same dose. Somehow he doesn’t get pulled off and gets Birt out. But I remember more that Birt made him look like a fifth grader.

  3. He looks more a ‘pool bowler’ to me, not a first choice, a squad player when someone is injured or when the test bowlers are being rested. The sort of player you try out in the ODI’s etc.

    England has a pool full of them as well, Dernbach, Woakes, Meaker.

    Apart from Malinga, there is hardly a good death bowler anywhere to be seen these days. Yorkers to most English and Aussie ODI bowlers are like some sort of illegitimate child, never to be spoken off or seen.

  4. abdul waris says:

    i was thinking exactly same…
    there are people in world cricket with talent who look dubious and other dubious guys who look talented…..
    mcKay is one of the two..
    problem is australia have banked heavily in him and have persisted…does not make much sense to drop him now plus there is not a great deal of death bowlers with australia anyway.
    the same situation was with johnson but he has been dropped …
    bottomline is mcKay is an average bowler australia need penetration in their bowling..
    dougie and mitch need to be in team.

  5. Nick says:

    he looks like Kyle Mills with short hair.

  6. I reckon McKay is bowling his normal ball a little quicker. This extra bit of pace, combined with great variations make him a handy limited overs bowler on his day. That said, I don’t think McKay is anything special (readily despensible for someone like Pattinson or Cummins) and I would put money on him never playing a test match.

  7. Nick says:

    WHy is this blog so dead now days? jrod? How come u dont post here like u use to? Looks like u have also changed ever since u got into cricinfo and ur movie thing.. thts not good mate

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