Australia v New Zealand, 1st Test, Brisbane, 3rd day November 20, 2004

'It's quite funny when the tail is batting'

Glenn McGrath: knows exactly how many runs he's got besides his name © Getty Images
Glenn McGrath hit his first half-century in Test cricket, to raucous applause from his thrilled team-mates, while Daniel Vettori, with 4 for 154, struggled all day in the field. Here's what they had to say:

Glenn McGrath
On comparing a fifty to a big wicket haul
It's nearly better. When I hit that one and realised it was going for four it was a pretty good feeling.

On working on his batting
I probably didn't do as much work on it [in the past] as I do know. My three highest scores have always been with Dizzy [Gillespie], he's good at hanging around. When I'm hitting them well the batsmen get out or I get a good one early - it's tough work batting at No. 11.

On his batting practice
When I was injured I was going to the nets twice a week with my trainer and he'd feed the ball machine. I'd probably hit 500 balls a week, which is more than I'd do in one month, two months - actually, that's being kind, 12 months.

On hitting a six
It was my first one in a Test. A few of the boys were ribbing me that my Test wickets had nearly reached my runs again. I had a look at them and it was 477 to 454, but that six brought up 25 and 500 Test runs. Unlike Matthew Hayden, who doesn't know how many runs he's got, I pretty much knew where I was.

On when he thought he could reach fifty
At 34 I thought it could be today. The next thing is to get Dizzy to his fifty. I started to get nervous for the first time after I'd made mine - he's in the 40s, I've got to get him to the 50s.

On his team-mates' reaction
They reckon it was some of the most exciting cricket they have ever watched. It's always quite funny when the tail is batting and making runs. The response from the crowd was quite amazing as well. I wasn't too sure how to celebrate. The whole crowd just cheering was something I'll always remember.

Daniel Vettori: kept his spirits up during a long, hard slog © Getty Images

Daniel Vettori
On the team's mood
We were pretty happy until the last session, obviously it's not easy watching that partnership develop and we need to get that wicket quickly tomorrow. The track's reasonably good so we need to bat for a long time and put a score on the board that is competitive.

On the strong lbw shout when Gilchrist was 7
It was pretty frustrating, especially when he goes on to make a hundred. It was a pretty big momentum shift for the day, but it's something that you really can't control.

On Clarke's innings
I've seen him a few times in one-dayers and understood that he's a pretty fair player, has all the shots and looks to play them. He's obviously got a good future for Australia.

On the speed the game changed
Everyone in world cricket knows how threatening Gilchrist can be. Not only did they hit boundaries, but they ran well between the wickets. It's all good stuff that you want from your middle order and they managed to do it today

On his bowling form
Yeah, I'm comfortable with where it's at. Obviously I'd have liked to pick up one or two more wickets. The biggest thing that we didn't do was bowl in partnerships. To beat the Aussies you need 11 guys at once.

On the team's confidence levels
They're pretty good and it only takes a little bit of time to turn them around. Nine and eleven don't often put on that many runs so it's obvious that there's some frustration around and we dropped some catches.