I love McGrath, he was my pace bowling hero growing up. Top of off was a very simple method and it worked brilliantly for him here in Australia, England and SA because the natural variation in the pitch coupled with his height made him a weapon. But he wasn't a big swinger of the ball and on flatter tracks he wasn’t as big a threat despite being deadly accurate. The best bowlers on flat tracks can swing the ball (either conventionally or reverse), throw in variations to unsettle the batsmen while still being relative accurate.
You would be correct, Fleming was our last great swing bowler. Hilfenhaus was also predominantly a swing bowler in his time. Could throw Bracken I think there too but he was more of a ODI threat. Harris was underrated, swung the ball a little both ways but also hit the deck hard at good pace.
Due to our pitches having generally been faster and bouncier, most of the bowlers we have produced have either been quick and/or able to bang the ball into the deck and extract whatever life was in it through extra bounce or seam. This means our natural length is a bit too short to let the ball swing much. Conversely, overseas bowlers have struggled to adjust to the extra bounce here but when they get it right, our batsmen struggle big time - Agarkar in Adelaide 03/04, Steyn in 08/09 and 12/13, Aamir and Asif in 09, 2010/11 Ashes, Rabada and Philander in 15/16 (all predominantly swinging the ball). I think the lack of quality swing bowlers here also explains why our batsmen are so suspectible to it. If they were playing it regularly then their ability to handle it might be a little better too.
This is why our pacemen have not been very effective in England and subcontinental conditions recently, where pitches lack the pace and bounce of Australia and SA, although seam is a bigger factor in England especially with the Dukes ball. We have lost the last 4 tours to England and our pacemen are continually outbowled by their subcontinental counterparts in India/Sri Lanka/UAE.
Not sure why it isn't developed more as a skill here in Australia. Yes you don't need to swing the ball as much here but it would make you a more well-rounded bowler overseas. Having a guy who can swing it both ways while being able to control it would give our attack at anytime a different edge.
Correct, SA is similar to Australia but the conditions there allow for more lateral movement. Steyn, Philander, Ngidi, Rabada and now Olivier all have the ability to move the ball in the air and off the pitch at good pace in both directions while being accurate. Pollock was more like McGrath but swung it a bit more. I'd say Morkel was the most 'Australian' type of bowler they had. That being said, our bowlers have also been successful in SA (until the last tour) because the pitches are still quick and have bounce. Bowling there must be like a dream for these guys, they are the most fast bowler friendly in the world.
It'll be hard to displace Starc and Hazlewood. Cummins is the most secure. Starc the least secure because he has been very average since taking his last 5fa in South Africa. Doubt they'll change it, though. I like the look of Sayers but our fixation on being able to bowl 140+ has hampered him so far.
Not sure if we already do this but perhaps we should be sending our bowlers to the MRF Pace Foundation in India to help hone their skills in more unfamiliar surroundings? Would also help if we played more tour games before the test matches to help acclimitise.