| McGrath: Verbal bouncer
London: Australian fast bowler Glenn McGrath has dismissed England’s chances of regaining the Ashes this winter.
England begin the five-match series in Brisbane on November 7 and McGrath was quoted in Wednesday’s Daily Mail as saying that English captain Nasser Hussain displayed a defeatist approach in recent remarks about his side’s prospects in Australia.
Speaking from Sharjah where Australia are preparing for Saturday’s third and final Test against Pakistan, McGrath said: “I heard a comment that he (Hussain) would be happy if England just compete in this series.
“It’s a very negative comment. It makes me think they believe they are beaten before they arrive.”
McGrath, who needs just four more victims to become the eighth man to take 400 Test wickets, said he believes that confidence is the key to a successful series.
“You’ve got to be pretty confident going in to have a chance. You’ve got to go out there and back yourselves. We are very confident that we will win the series,” he said. The 32-year-old has a good record against the Ashes rivals and was the nemesis of England’s former captain Mike Atherton.
McGrath is yet to reveal who his target will be in the upcoming series, though he has promised to name the player before the series begins. “I’ll be happy to say who I am targeting as I am confident in my ability to produce the goods. It puts the pressure on but you’ve got to believe in yourself,” he said
Meanwhile, England all-rounder Andrew Flintoff has increased the side’s injury worries by telling a British paper that he could not even run. He had a double hernia operation at the end of August but a slow recovery rate means he could miss the first Test.