Legendary Australian fast bowler Glenn McGrath has expressed his belief that Scott Boland would be better suited to a green Lord’s pitch than Mitchell Starc. Boland struggled to make an impact on the flat Edgbaston pitch in the first Ashes Test, finishing with figures of 2-147. While Starc is known for his ability to extract reverse swing from dry pitches, it has been suggested that he would have been a better choice for the first Test. McGrath, in his column for the BBC, argued that Boland would be the better option at Lord’s, although selectors may be hesitant to leave Starc out again.
McGrath acknowledged that Australia will give serious consideration to their team selection for Lord’s. He noted that the dry conditions at Edgbaston made it difficult for Boland and that England looked to target him. However, McGrath also acknowledged Starc’s eagerness to play, especially after being left out in Birmingham and only playing once on the last tour in 2019. McGrath mentioned that the conditions at Lord’s may be more suited to Boland’s style of bowling, but predicted that Australia may not want to leave Starc out for two consecutive matches.
In terms of England’s team selection, McGrath mentioned that they will go into the second Test with an all-out pace attack, dropping Moeen Ali in favor of Josh Tongue. Tongue made his Test debut in England’s one-off Test against Ireland, where he impressed by taking 5-66 in Ireland’s second innings. McGrath highlighted the versatility of all-rounder Cameron Green, which gives Australia an advantage as it allows them to have a fourth quick bowler while still having Lyon in the team.
McGrath speculated that a win at Lord’s would all but ensure Australia retain the Ashes. He pointed out that the last time a team came back from 1-0 down to win an Ashes series was England in 2005, and believes Australia would have won that series if they had won at Edgbaston. To regain the Ashes, England would need to win the series outright. If Australia wins at Lord’s, England would have to sweep the remaining three Tests at Headingley, Old Trafford, and The Oval.
McGrath also praised England’s aggressive playing style and their self-belief. He mentioned Ben Stokes’ declaration on day one, stating that it would have been seen as a brilliant move if they had taken a wicket or two. McGrath concluded by saying that he wants to see all sportspeople playing without fear, as it is only when they do that they can truly discover their capabilities.
The second Test at Lord’s begins on Wednesday night. Every ball of the Ashes can be watched live and for free on 9Now, and full highlights and exclusive replays are available after each day’s play. To stay up to date with the best breaking news and exclusive content from Wide World of Sports, subscribe to their newsletter.
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Hasibur Rahaman is a passionate sports journalist. He covers everything from cricket to field hockey, delivering up-to-the-minute updates and in-depth analysis of sporting events, both within India and on the international stage.