McGrath: I’d hoped Josh would do better…


Former Australia fast bowler Glenn McGrath has given his assessment of Josh Hazlewood's efforts during the Ashes, and despite the paceman sitting near the top of the wicket-taking list, McGrath has been underwhelmed.

Hazlewood missed the fifth Test due to a shin niggle, but before that he took 16 wickets in four Tests, at an average of under 26. But the most he took in a match was five, and McGrath felt he was not as effective as he should have been.

The legend said on the Cricket Australia website: "I had such high hopes that Josh Hazlewood would bowl really well in English conditions. Unfortunately it hasn't quite worked out that way.

"Josh himself would be disappointed with the way it's gone, but I have absolutely no doubts that he still has a very long and prosperous career in front of him.

"I noticed that his action is looking a little bit different now. I'm not sure whether he's been tinkering with it or if he's trying something different. But hopefully he'll get it sorted very soon and get back to the way he was bowling.

"In some ways, the last few Test matches might even be to his long-term benefit. Heavy defeats are bitter pills to swallow but they will have been a very good learning process for him."

As for Peter Siddle, who was picked for the fifth Test and thus played his first Test of the tour, McGarth said Siddle should have played in the fourth match already, at Trent Bridge, a ground suited to him.

McGrath said, agreeing with Shane Warne's opinion on Siddle: "Peter Siddle has been a quality bowler for Australia for a long time. You can't take anything away from 'Sidds'.

"Hindsight is a wonderful thing and probably he should have played the fourth Test at Trent Bridge but I can see why they stuck with the same bowling attack.

"Showing some faith in your bowling attack is a wonderful thing, but at the end of the day you need those players to get out there and perform. Siddle brings more experience and control.

"Perhaps the selectors were worried about Pat Cummins getting through the Test given how little first-class cricket he's played lately. I think he probably would have – he's young and fit and has been working pretty hard."