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McGrath: "Anderson is England's only hope"

James Anderson takes a wicket for England
James Anderson takes a wicket for England

Australian pace legend Glenn McGrath believes that England's only chance of success in the Ashes this summer rests with James Anderson.

Speaking ahead of the first Investec Test match between England and Australia at Cardiff next week, McGrath believes Anderson must perform for England to regain the Urn.

If it's not swinging he doesn't seem to know what to do

"Jimmy Anderson is a guy who I think will be key," the 45-year-old told Lords.org.

"He has to bowl well if England are to have any chance at all.

“He bowls well in English conditions with a Duke ball and if it's swinging he's as good as anyone around."

However, the former Ashes winner - who took 563 Test wickets during a 14-year career - was critical of Anderson's approach when the ball fails to move around.

McGrath continued: "If it's not swinging he doesn't seem to know what to do, which surprises me a lot.

"So, I think for England to have any chance at all, he has to play a big part."

McGrath’s comments come as England make their final preparations for the Ashes with new coach Trevor Bayliss.

Bayliss has taken charge of a confident England side that have returned to winning ways in the ODI format, thanks in part to youngsters like Joe Root, Ben Stokes and Mark Wood.

But McGrath highlighted England’s potential vulnerability to Mitchell Johnson - who was man of the series against England in their 5-0 Ashes series defeat Down Under in 2013/14.

He added: “If he comes out (at Cardiff) and produces a spell like he did the whole series in Australia then that’s going to re-open a can of worms and get England on the back foot and [for them] it’ll be like ‘here we go again’.

“The previous time here things didn’t go too well for Mitchell Johnson so I think it’s a big moment not only for him, but for the Australian team too.”


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