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Road to the Ashes: Mike Atherton explains why Glenn McGrath had his measure and reveals England’s crucial Ashes battle


Former England captain Mike Atherton has spoken of the “gremlins’’ he confronted in dealing with nemesis Glenn McGrath as he nominated the important thing wicket set to form the future of the Ashes.

Speaking on Fox Sports’ Road To The Ashes podcast which spotlighted Australia’s 3-2 victory within the 1997 Ashes in England, Atherton mirrored on his jousting with McGrath who dismissed him 19 instances in Tests, probably the most for a bowler in opposition to the one batsman.

“It’s attention-grabbing as a result of at this level (in 1997) the nightmares weren’t there,’’ Atherton stated.

“We had seen not that a lot of Glenn McGrath at that time. I had solely performed him a few instances. It was from 97 onwards he had my quantity utterly.

“I discovered him robust as a result of he was fairly sharp early (in his profession) and the difficultly for me I discovered was that he bought so near the stumps.

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“If I had a weak point I might block myself off just a little bit with my footwork. With him coming very tight to the stumps it opened up little gremlins.

“McGrath and Warne collectively was a troublesome mixture, I used to be the kind of batsman who didn’t take bowlers aside. I trusted my defence and waited on unhealthy balls a try to grind it out. But you didn’t get many unhealthy balls with these two. Pressure simply kind of constructed and constructed.’’

Atherton believes for England to win subsequent summer time’s Ashes in Australia they have to not let David Warner escape from the maintain that Stuart Broad had over him final sequence in England when Broad dismissed Warner seven instances to limit him to only 95 runs for the sequence.

“It’s a completely essential level,’’ Atherton stated of Warner’s function.

“You have bankers in Smith and Labuschagne – two unbelievable gamers – and Warner is the opposite participant with the good report.

“Clearly with the Kookaburra (ball in Australia) it’s wholly totally different than a Dukes ball in England and he is a good participant however he’s 34 and never many individuals don’t get significantly better after 33.

“There might be a little bit of strain on him in these opening two video games and if England can get him out cheaply and open the door to a few of these doubts it leaves Australia’s batting very closely reliant on Smith and Labuschagne.’’

Atherton stated that England’s quick bowling was stronger than its batting and that veteran swingman Jimmy Anderson, who turns 39 subsequent week, was bowling higher than ever however wouldn’t play each Test.

He conceded England’s wobbly prime order was a fear however stated current English summers have been extraordinarily demanding for batsmen.



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