Jan 2, 2014
Glenn McGrath heaped compliments on Australia’s fast-bowling attack in the ongoing Ashes 2013-14 series. He said the bowling attack is as good as he has ever seen from an Australian side as they aim to complete a 5-0 whitewash of England in the fifth Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG).
The Australian legend, who is the highest wicket-taker amongst fast bowlers in Test cricket, has been impressed by the manner Australia have systematically dismantled England’s batsmen. They have made what was once a world-class top seven look like an amateur side.
Only one England batsmen has scored a century from the first four Tests — Ben Stokes. They also do not have a batsman averaging above 36, and have passed 350 in just one of the eight innings in the series.
“Looking at the way the bowling unit has gone about its business this series, that’s probably as good as I have ever seen,” McGrath said as reported by the Sydney Morning Herald. “They have got good bowling plans, they are bowling well, they are executing their plans well and it’s working; there’s no weak link in the unit. It’s been as good as I have ever seen.”
McGrath was part of some of the greatest bowling attacks fielded by an Australian side. McGrath’s partnership with legendary leg-spinner Shane Warne is well known but he also formed a menacing fast bowling combination with the likes of Brett Lee, Jason Gillespie and Michael Kasprowicz from the mid 1990s to the late 2000s.
Fast bowler Lee is one of only four Australians in the 300-wicket club, while Gillespie is sixth in Australia’s all-time list.
McGrath has been particularly impressed by left-arm fast bowler Mitchell Johnson, but said he was not surprised by his extraordinary comeback despite his indifferent performances in the past.
The left-armer, with 31 wickets at 14 and three Man of the Match, has arguably been the biggest difference between the two sides.
‘‘I don’t think you could have predicted him to go any better but to bowl at that pace with that consistency, and aggression and hostility; he’s not only taking wickets but lifted the whole of the Aussie boys as well,’’ McGrath said.
‘‘When you’ve got a guy bowling like that, and has an X-factor, it just lifts the whole team.
‘‘You need someone to lead the attack and he’s well and truly doing it. I can’t remember the last time someone’s bowled with this hostility and had such impact.
‘‘Without a doubt, you don’t see someone bowling up around the 150 kmph and with that aggression and that hostility and that in-your-face attitude, England have just been shell-shocked.
‘‘Six wickets down and they are all out for bugger all, the last four or five wickets haven’t been getting much. When you can do that you are all over them.’’
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