Ashes 2013: McGrath unable to pinpoint cause of Australia’s struggles

Ashes 2013: Former Australia bowler Glenn McGrath admits he doesn't know why the Wallabies have failed to perform

Harry Kemble
By Harry Kemble

Glenn McGrath admits he can’t put his finger on why Australia have not competed with England in either of the first two Ashes Tests.

The tourists spent a month in England before playing two first-class fixtures against county opposition, getting themselves attuned to British conditions, in the build-up to the series.

McGrath, who has been at close quarters with the Australian camp, says now is the time to do some soul searching and find some answers to why they are not playing to their potential.

“I guess it’s disappointing with the way things have gone for the first two Test matches here and I’m sure the team would agree with me,” said McGrath.

“I’ve been around the boys for the first two (matches) and there’s a good energy and a good feeling around the team, so I’m not sure what’s happening out in the middle. It’s now time for them to put their hands up.

“It’s tough watching because I want the boys to do well and I’ve got a lot of respect for the players there and I think they’re good enough to be there.”

While the bowlers have shown glimpses of promise, Australia’s batsmen have lacked any real substance, failing to post a score in excess of 400 so far in the series.

Ashton Agar – when batting at number 11 – holds the highest series score for the beleaguered Aussies with his 98 in Nottingham. Only six other fifties have been scored in four innings.

Australia must win the next test at Old Trafford if they want to keep their hopes of reclaiming the urn alive.

But McGrath just wants to see some fight from his fellow countrymen.

“It doesn’t matter what the situation – just never give up, because you never know,” added the ex-fast bowler. “As long as they play with pride, you don’t mind if they lose a couple here and there – as long as they go down with a fight, they don’t just give up and roll over.

“If they fight hard all the way down, put a big price on their wicket, run in as hard as they can when they are bowling and just work as hard as they can in the field. As long as they do that – I’ve got no issues.”

Australia are currently playing Sussex at Hove in a warm-up match ahead of the third Ashes test due to start on 1 August.

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