The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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McGrath doubtful for first Test

Melbourne, Oct. 4 (Reuters): Australian fast bowler Glenn McGrath is doubtful for next week’s first Test against Zimbabwe after struggling to regain full fitness following ankle surgery.

The lanky paceman said he had suffered soreness in his left ankle after training on the hard practice wickets in Perth.

“Obviously it would be better if I played totally pain-free. That’s what we’re trying to aim for now,” McGrath said.

“I don’t think I’ll go into this Test if there’s a chance I won’t make it through. I’m a little bit unhappy with the way it’s gone today,” the 33-year-old added.

“I was hoping it would be a lot better. With the bowls I’ve had back in Sydney it’s felt really good and I couldn’t (have been) happier.”

McGrath’s likely absence will leave quick bowlers Brett Lee and Jason Gillespie in charge of the new-ball attack with regular back-up Andy Bichel expected to win a recall as first-change.

McGrath said he was keen to pace himself over the season.

“I’d like to go into this season 100 percent. If it’s too much less than that then there’s no real point,” McGrath said.

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