Australia v England, 5th Test, Sydney, 2nd day January 3, 2007

McGrath confident to the last

Cricinfo staff

All smiles for Glenn McGrath and Brett Lee © Getty Images

Glenn McGrath believes the farewell party is on track after two days of the SCG lap of honour. McGrath departs the Test scene with Shane Warne and Justin Langer on Saturday and with Australia at 4 for 188, 103 runs behind England's first innings, the game is evenly poised.

However, McGrath, who bowled well to pick up 3 for 67, said Australia were well positioned in the chase for a win that would give them a 5-0 victory. "We're pretty much on track if we put on a good partnership tomorrow," McGrath said. "It would be nice to get a sizeable first-innings lead."

England lost 6 for 57 in the opening session today as McGrath, Stuart Clark and Brett Lee used the second new ball cleverly. On the first day McGrath was frustrated by the number of plays-and-misses he created, but today the bowlers were able to find the edges and Adam Gilchrist finished with five catches. "We thought if we took a couple or at least one wicket this morning we would do some real damage, and with 6 for 50-odd you can't really complain."

McGrath said he was coping with the extra attention caused by the trio's departures and it helped that he was going on to the World Cup. "It's felt a little bit strange because I've still got the one-dayers," he said. "Myself and Shane have kept their emotions in check, whereas Justin's quite an emotional person. He's found it tougher than we have."