Glenn McGrath says Australia's batsmen must back up their bowlers

Last Updated: 25/07/13 12:53pm

Glenn McGrath told Cricket AM Australia's bowlers can match their English counterparts, but that their batsmen must stand up and deliver.

The most successful fast bowler in Test history bagged 563 wickets during his remarkable career, so is well-placed to judge the current attacks of the two sides.

"The bowling attacks stand up pretty well, it's the batting side of things which I think will win the series for either team."

Glenn McGrath

And, despite the tourists' bowling department being unable to prevent England racking up 1300 runs in their first four innings of the series, McGrath insists the Aussie attack is a talented group.

"The bowling attacks are the strengths of both sides," he said.

"The batting hasn't been that flash but Jimmy Anderson, to me, is one of the best bowlers in the world right now. He's a quality bowler, while I always felt our strength was our bowling attack.

"Ryan Harris, for instance, who took five wickets in the first innings at Lord's, has been bowling quite well for some time.

"He had injury problems and that's why he wasn't in the team [for the first Test] but he's shown what he's capable of and hopefully he can stay on the park for a long time.

"The bowling attacks stand up pretty well, it's the batting side of things which I think will win the series for either team."

Change

England currently sit in prime position to take this summer's Ashes series after their huge 347-run win at Lord's moved them 2-0 up in.

However, the current state of affairs is a sharp contrast to Australia's dominance during McGrath's era.

The quick often predicted 5-0 successes for his side before Ashes series and, in his final contest with England in 2006-07, Australia matched that forecast to avenge their 2005 series defeat.

McGrath took a wicket with his final ball of his Test career in the fifth Test of that series, which he says was the perfect way to bow out of the five-day arena.

"They asked me what the perfect script would be and that was to get a wicket off my last ball," said McGrath. "I bowled a slower ball and Anderson chipped it straight to Mike Hussey at mid-on.

"It was pretty special to walk off the SCG, my home ground, my favourite ground in the world after we'd just beaten England 5-0. I'd got the prediction right, the 2005 series was behind us and order was restored!

"It was amazing to finish in front of a capacity crowd and to go out with Shane Warne and Justin Langer was pretty special."

Champions

However, that wasn't the last of McGrath - he helped Australia to World Cup glory later in 2007 with a Man of the Tournament performance, which he admits surprised even himself.

"I woke up one day and realised it was time to retire but I said I'd go on until the end of the World Cup," he reflected.

"I had a different attitude over there, working with the young bowlers and enjoying their success. For the first time I didn't care how I went, I was just bowling and everything I tried worked.

"I ended up getting player of the tournament but I couldn't wait for the World Cup to finish so I think that meant it was time to retire - it was the perfect way to go out."

Click on video above to see McGrath discuss how he developed his technique without the help of coaches, share some advice for young fast bowlers, and reveal his top three tips for the perfect BBQ!