McGrath backs Australia to win Ashes

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Glenn McGrath has ridiculed the critics for considering Australia's bowling weak and backed Ricky Ponting and his men to regain the Ashes from England

Updated: November 07, 2010 07:55 IST
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Former seamer Glenn McGrath has ridiculed the critics for considering Australia's bowling weak and backed Ricky Ponting and his men to regain the Ashes from England.

Australia have been on a losing streak in all forms of the game and critics pinpointed lack of "swagger" and "arrogance" as a sign of collective weakness in Australia's pacemen.

Legendary spinner Muttiah Muralitharan felt Australian bowling lacked talent, while former England skipper Michael Vaughan also criticised the Aussie attack, saying it lacks the "X factor" and even suggested the bowlers could ultimately be responsible for Ponting losing his captaincy.

"It makes you laugh, doesn't it?" said McGrath, who retired in 2007 after taking 563 Test wickets.

"They were [once] saying we were too arrogant; you can't win either way.

"It just amazes me ... when the Australian team was too strong, No. 1 in the world, it was bad for world cricket, bad for this and bad for that but now because all of a sudden they've lost a few games, Australia is now accused of hurting cricket because the team isn't strong enough.

"I think it's ridiculous. Before Australia lost to Pakistan in England, they'd won 13 in a row ... the players know they're good enough and with one or two wins under their belts, they'll be OK," he added.

McGrath also backed Ponting's men to regain the urn during their five-match Ashes series against England starting November 25 in Brisbane.

"I was away on holiday when Australia played over in India but I have total faith in our boys," he told 'The Sun-Herald'.

"The Test series will be played on our wickets and guys like Mitchell Johnson, Doug Bollinger, Peter Siddle, Ben Hilfenhaus and Ryan Harris will do great. I know what they can do and I am confident they'll do it," he said.

McGrath reposed faith on the Australian pacers, especially Siddle who has been away for almost a year because of injuries.

"When he first came on the scene, Peter grabbed that role as the enforcer to get stuck into the opposition," said McGrath.

"You need that kind of guy in the team and Peter has done it before and I can see no reason as to why he won't again. That was more my role within my team, and when I first retired, Brett [Lee] bowled so well and then Mitchell Johnson came along so it's about consistency as well, and I think there's plenty of guys who can do that.

"When we [the attack he spearheaded in the West Indies in 1995] first started, we had big shoes to fill with Lillee and those who'd gone before, too.

"I think Mitchell Johnson has shown how good he is, Dougie is a quality bowler - especially in Australia - while Siddle, Ben Hilfenhaus and Ryan Harris have all done exceptionally this year.

"Look, it's just been a flat time for the Australian team. To play in India is always tough and while the first two one-dayers against Sri Lanka would've knocked the wind out of them, they'll bounce back," he said.

McGrath also threw his weight behind Ponting and said he is the perfect person to lead Australia's revival.

"I always thought Ricky would finish his career as leading Test run scorer of all time but I think [India's] Sachin Tendulkar is trying to put that out of reach," he said.

"I have total faith in Ricky as a person, a batsman and captain and would support him 100 per cent. To have his experience in a team is invaluable - he has to be there and he has to be leading the way," he said.

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