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The Ashes: Mcgrath blames Stokes, says England should have declared early

Former Australia fast bowler Glenn McGrath criticised the England captain for scoring way too many runs instead of trying to give his bowlers 10-15 more overs on the third day to get Australia all out

Former Australia cricketer Glenn McGrath coined the term 'Cazball' in comparison to Bazball. Photo: Twitter

Former Australia cricketer Glenn McGrath. Photo: Twitter

BS Web Team New Delhi

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Glenn Mcgrath criticised England captain Ben Stokes, for not giving his bowlers extra 10-15 overs to try and bowl Australia out on the third day of the fourth Ashes Test in Manchester. Saying that giving Jonny Bairstow a chance to bat and get the century was alright, but it shouldn’t have come at the cost of not being able to get the urn (of the Ashes). 

“I have to be honest, England dominated this match. It was their 'Bazball' style in its finest form but Ben Stokes' decision not to declare earlier on day three cost them victory,” McGrath wrote in his column for BBC Sport. 

“England were 506-8, leading by 189, but Stokes decided to bat long into the afternoon session. Jonny Bairstow's 99 not out may have been brilliant for team morale but had Stokes pulled out England would have had another 10 overs when the ball was reverse swinging late on the third day,” added the Aussie fast bowler who took 563 wickets in 138 Tests for the Kangaroos. 

Mcgrath, who took 157 wickets against England, the most for him against any country in Tests, said that England can call themselves unlucky but they did not make harsh decisions.  

“It rained as much as was forecast. They [England] should have declared at lunch and backed themselves to bowl Australia out,” said the 53-year-old. .

McGrath says Australia should now be aggressive in their approach 

In his previous column ahead of the third Test, the Aussie who took 87 wickets in England in 14 Tests, had said that England were casual in their approach and termed their style as Cazball. Now he wants Australia’s Pat Cummins and the management to learn from Bazball and go aggressive in the fifth Test. 

“Now they have retained the Ashes I would like to see them be more aggressive. Play with freedom and take to the field without fear. We saw it from Marnus Labuschagne with his century at Old Trafford on day four, and Mitchell Marsh at Headingley,” said Mcgrath. 

Mcgrath further added that he would rather see Australia lose while going for the series win instead of watching them whimper their way to a tied series once again.  

“I would rather see Australia lose the last Test by backing themselves, really taking it to England, rather than going down with a whimper. Winning in England for the first time since 2001, beating this energised England team under Stokes and coach Brendon McCullum, should be massive motivation. To return to Australia with a 3-1 victory would be a huge response to Bazball - an incredible achievement,” Mcgrath ended his column. 

The fourth Test ended in draw as the entire fifth day was washed out with England leading by 61 runs and Australia five wickets down in their second innings. Having won the first two Tests, Australia retained the Ashes, going into the fifth and final Test with an unassailable 2-1 lead.  

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First Published: Jul 24 2023 | 8:49 PM IST

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