It was a horror day: McGrath

It was a horror day: McGrath

Australia great Glenn McGrath bemoaned a “horror day” for the tourists as Joe Root batted England into a position of total dominance in the second Ashes Test at Lord’s.

Ashes-holders England had finished on 333 for five at stumps on Saturday’s third day with Root 178 not out.

McGrath, who retired from Test cricket in 2007 with 563 wickets to his name — the most by any fast bowler — was dismayed by what he saw at Lord’s.

“It was a horror day for Australia, it was probably even worse than Friday,” McGrath, a member of BBC Radio’s Test Match Special commentary team, said.

“England saw them off early on and then the runs starting to tick over as the day wore on,’’ he added.

McGrath was also bemused as to why Australia didn’t take the new ball on Saturday, albeit England were 172 for four — a lead of 405 runs - when it became available after 80 overs.

“I am curious why Australia didn’t take the new ball, run in hard and have a red-hot go at England to show they won’t lie down,” McGrath, a thorn in England’s side for much of the 1990s and early 2000s, said.

“It became too easy at times. Nothing shy of a miracle can save them (Australia) from here,’’ he added.

Meanwhile opening great Geoffrey Boycott, also commentating for the BBC, marvelled at the audacity of 22-year-old Yorkshire and England successor Root.

“Joe Root is a modern player who has been raised on Twenty20 cricket. The reverse sweep is part of his game but players like myself and (Colin) Cowdrey didn’t even know that shot existed. It never crossed our minds to play it,’’ Boycott said.

Boycott criticised Michael Clarke’s decision to bowl teenage left-arm spinner Ashton Agar and leg-spinner Steven Smith in tandem for much of Saturday’s final session.

Boycott also could not resist a dig at Australia’s batsmen.

“If Bangladesh had been bowled out for 128 like Australia were, people would be saying they are pathetic and shouldn’t be playing Test cricket,’’ the former England captain said.

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