Since her T20I debut in October 2021, which also marked her return to the Australian team, McGrath has scored 615 runs in just 18 innings at an average of 61.50 with the help of five half-centuries.
Among the players who have scored 600-plus runs during that period, she has the best average and strike rate. Not bad for a player, who started as a bowling all-rounder before injury forced her to concentrate more on her batting.
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McGrath was 21 when she broke into the Australian ODI side in 2016 and next year, she made her Test debut during the women’s Ashes. Her height and all-round performances in the domestic circuit earned her instant comparison with the legendary Ellyse Perry.
Then, her back issues meant she was out of the team from November 2017 to October 2020. So, how did she tackle the challenges thrown at her?
“There were a lot of people in my corner. Family, friends, everyone in the South Australian cricket set-up. I spent time with a mindset coach as well,” says McGrath, who plays for the UP Warriorz in the Women’s Premier League.
So far, she has scored 140 runs in four matches at a strike rate of 159.09.
The rehab wasn’t easy though.
“It took me almost two years after my back injury to trust my body again. I remember I was having an MRI every month, undergoing a lot of rehab which was a pretty dark time,” says McGrath, who since her return has won the Ashes, ODI and T20 World Cup, gold at Commonwealth Games and also led Adelaide Strikers to their maiden WBBL title last season.
But McGrath terms the back injury as a “blessing in disguise”.
“That was the time I did a lot of work on my batting. Lot of work on my fitness and strength. And it probably made me more professional. If you want it, you got to work hard…” said McGrath, who has turned into a bankable middle-order batter for Australia.
According to her, McGrath 2.0 is a “lot calmer, A lot more confident and likes to keep everything simple”.
“When I was younger, I put too much pressure on myself whereas now I know my game. I play to my strength and try to have fun,” said the Arsenal fan, who also has a teaching degree which she can fall back on after cricket.