The Glenn McGrath memory game begins almost as soon as the India vs Australia game ends. Presenter Harsha Bhogle starts it off by throwing a number at Glenn McGrath – it could be anything from 0 to 563 (the number of wickets he took in Test cricket).

Now, McGrath’s party trick is to be able to recall each of those dismissals and even relate how he got them.

During the first Test, he spoke about how he might not get them all correct now as he was a little rusty.

“When I had about 380 (Test wickets), I could picture each one in my mind and was able to write down exactly how I got them out,” he had said.

But then he astonishingly went on to get all the queries correct, giving all those watching another reason to respect his metronomic genius.

There is a method to this. He remembers how many wickets he had at the start of each tour and then he builds from there. Now it’s become easy for him to break it down but just as astounding for anyone watching.

These are some of the queries Bhogle sent McGrath’s way on extraaa innings on Sony Six:

Number: 273

McGrath: So, my 250th was Ijaz Ahmed in Hobart. Finished that series with 258. Next was India, where I picked up 18 wickets so that’s 276. Got 10-fer in Sydney, 5 & 5. So would be 2nd wicket in 2nd innings. MSK Prasad was first, then Rahul Dravid was 273.

Number: 300

McGrath: Oh 300, remember that. This was a nice one. WACA. Against West Indies. Started with 298. 299th was Sherwin Campbell. 300th was Brian Lara, walks in and edges to MacGill first ball. And then next ball Adams for my hat-trick.

Number: 421

McGrath: 400th was Waqar, LBW at Sharjah. Finished with 403. Then Ashes at home. 19 in that series, finished with 422. Didn’t play Sydney so this was MCG, Boxing Day. Picked up only 2. Last was Nasser. So 1st inns might’ve been (lol) Vaughan. Think I bowled him.

Here’s a video clip from the first Test that shows McGrath in action:


Update: During the Sydney Test, the quiz was back and he was nearly stumped for one of the questions but ended up, of course, getting all three right.

Wicket 260: VVS Laxman. Two wickets before the infamous Tendulkar shoulder before wicket.

Wicket 354: Mike Atherton, his favourite batsman to get out. It was one wicket before he equalled Dennis Lille’s record of 355 wickets with Marcus Trecothick. 

Wicket 524: Struggled a little. A toss between Ramnaresh Sarwan or Marlon Samuels? He went with Samuels and was right, of course.

— On Sony Six during the third Test, day three.

Update: Finally, during the Brisbane Test, McGrath once again got all four questions right.

Wicket 325: Little Indian opener. SS Das in Chennai. Caught & bowled.

Wicket 33: Fifth wicket of his first 5-for. Courtney Walsh.

Wicket 410: 409 was Nasser Hussain after the “Perfect Over” at Gabba in 2002. 410 was Craig White caught at gully by Matthew Hayden. 

Wicket 405: Same match. Mark Butcher. Same sort of dismissal.    

— On Sony Six during the fourth Test, day three.