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August 16, 2005
Glenn McGrath has become Test cricket's most prolific No. 11 batsman, after he scored 5 not out to save the third Ashes Test at Old Trafford. McGrath's knock took his aggregate to 555 runs, the highest by any last man, overhauling Courtney Walsh's 553.
McGrath, who needs just seven more wickets to break Walsh's record of 519, and become the most successful fast bowler in Test history, said he had mixed feelings about his newly acquired batting record. "I think I've been pushing my whole career to get out of the No. 11 spot and to finally have the most runs at 11 in the history of the game," he was quoted as saying by AAP. "I guess it's good in one respect and bad probably [that I'm] still batting at No.11."
McGrath said that he was now looking for a batting promotion "I have been into Ricky [Ponting] again today to say I need to be moved up the order," he said. "He is still resisting the temptation so obviously I will be back to 11 again in the next Test."
McGrath has worked hard on his batting over the past two years, and now has a Test half-century to show for it. He is also yet to be dismissed in the Ashes. "When I came off, I actually asked the boys what it's like to get out in this series," McGrath said. "I've worked pretty hard and feel reasonably confident out in the middle, which is something quite new to me."
The last pair of McGrath and Brett Lee endured one of the most nerve-wracking final stages of any Test as they played out the last four overs to deny England victory.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.