Fire up or fade away
Glenn McGrath has effectively been put on notice by Trevor Hohns, Australia's chairman of selectors, ahead of today's selection of the squad to play Sri Lanka next month.
Hohns has told Melbourne's Herald-Sun newspaper that the progress of McGrath, if he is picked, will be watched with particular interest.
Asked if the two-Test series might be McGrath's last chance, Hohns replied: "It could well be. Watching his speed on TV [in Zimbabwe], it wasn't anything to write home about. It's up to him to do the business. It's an important one for him if he is chosen to play. We need to assess and see whether there is something left for Glenn McGrath."
The comments, entirely out of character from the normally monosyllabic Hohns, would seem to be a thinly veiled attempt to fire McGrath up. Now 34, he took only one wicket in 26 overs against Zimbabwe in his comeback one-day tournament, prompting concerns among various observers that he might be nearing the end of the road.
McGrath, for his part, has maintained he is "not too far away" from his best.
Australia will announce either a 12- or 13-man squad for the two Tests at Darwin and Cairns. The rookie fast bowler Shaun Tait is a chance to step in should Brad Williams be judged too big an injury risk.