Ashes: Glenn McGrath says Australia have hit 'rock bottom' and must axe Ashton Agar
Last Updated: 23/07/13 11:24am
Glenn McGrath: Ashton Agar must be axed
Australia have hit "rock bottom" in the Ashes series according to fast bowling great Glenn McGrath and should drop Ashton Agar.
McGrath - who took 563 Test wickets for Australia - believes coach Darren Lehmann should recall experienced spinner Nathan Lyon in place of Agar for next week's Old Trafford match.
McGrath has traditionally predicted a 5-0 victory for Australia ahead of Ashes series, and after watching England go 2-0 up with a thumping 347-run victory at Lord's, the 43-year-old, writing in his Guardian column, says the current squad are now playing for their international careers.
"They say that you have to hit the bottom before you can start to get back up. And that is where this Australia team are right now, rock bottom," he wrote.
"If these players have not heard the wake-up call by now, then they do not deserve to be in the Australia team. They have to turn this series around right now.
"If they don't, some of the blokes in this squad could find that their international careers end with the fifth Test at The Oval."
Agar hit the headlines by scoring a record 98 from No 11 on his Test debut at Trent Bridge.
But the spinner has taken just two wickets at a cost of 248 runs and McGrath - who presented Agar with his 'Baggy Green' before the match - says Lyon should return to the team.
"Nathan Lyon, between his debut in 2011 and the start of this series, took as many wickets in Test cricket as any other Australian bowler, 76 at an average of 33. He should start the next Test," McGrath wrote.
"I also expect Fawad Ahmed, who just took eight wickets in a match for Australia A in Zimbabwe, to come into the squad.
"I like Ashton Agar and admire his energy but on these dry pitches, we need a spinner who can make more of an impact on a match than he is able to at this early stage in his career."
McGrath is a friend of struggling Shane Watson but he admits the opener, dismissed lbw - and cheaply - three times in four innings, needs to start scoring big runs.
"He has always promised a lot and now he has to deliver," added McGrath.
"I think he needs to score at least a couple of hundreds in what is left of this series, because he is one of those guys who is, potentially, at crunch time in his Test career."