McGrath reveals the best bowler in the world on ‘Home soil’
Legendary Glenn McGrath feels that England’s James Anderson will steal the spotlight once again in the upcoming Ashes 2019 series, starting August 1.
The first Test will be played at Edgbaston in Birmingham. The 37-year-old Anderson was ruled out of the just-concluded one-off Test between England and Ireland due to a calf injury.
Thankfully, England Cricket Board (ECB) announced a 14-man squad for the first Ashes Test and they included Anderson in the set-up. Speaking on James Anderson’s presence, McGrath said that in English conditions with Dukes ball, the unstoppable James Anderson is the best in the world.
“On home soil with the Dukes ball, he’s the best in the world bowling in those (English) conditions,” McGrath told the Sun in an interview.
“He is a big player and if he has a big series for England, Australia will find it tough. If Australia bat well and can get on top of him, that’ll make a massive impact on their chances,” McGrath added.
“But Jimmy is on his way to 600 Test wickets, which is absolutely incredible.”
James Anderson is now just 25 wickets away from becoming the first fast bowler in the world to take 600 in Tests. He has already surpassed former paceman McGrath’s haul of 563 against India last September.
“Jimmy’s got the record now and it won’t be beaten,” said McGrath. “For a fast bowler to beat whatever record he sets, they are going to have to play 150 Tests-plus.”
It should be learnt that this season’s Ashes is being played with last year’s Dukes ball, which means that it has a bigger seam than the one currently in use for the 2019 English domestic season.
While that should give an added advantage to both James Anderson and new-ball partner Stuart Broad. Glen McGrath thinks the 2018 Dukes will assist Australia’s attack quite well.
“Pat Cummins will bowl really well with it and if Mitchell Starc is swinging that new ball 150 kilometres (93 miles) per-hour-plus and bowling attacking lengths, he’s a handful for anyone,” he said.
“It’s going to be whether our batsmen have learned and adjusted from last time they were here when they just went too hard at the ball.”
To make things worse, Australia have won just 3 of their past 19 Tests in England including the match at Edgbaston in 2005, when Glen McGrath was ruled out on the morning of the match after sustaining an injury on his ankle while he was treading on a stray ball during fielding practice.
Though McGrath strongly feels that teams are getting stronger at home and quite the opposite away, the six-time Ashes is confident that Tim Paine’s men could retain the iconic Ashes.
“Teams around the world are becoming stronger at home and worse away. That is a massive concern,” he said.
“But having been here for the World Cup, a lot of Australia’s players have been able to adapt and adjust to conditions, to play on the pitches and get a little bit of a feel for everything.
“We have got the players to do it. But they are going to have to be on the top of their game if they are going to compete with England in their own conditions.”
(With AFP inputs)