The Ashes 2005 September 4, 2005

McGrath fit to play at The Oval

Cricinfo staff



Glenn McGrath is raring to have a crack at England © Getty Images

Glenn McGrath, the Australian fast bowler, has declared himself ready for the final Ashes Test at The Oval beginning on September 8 after missing the fourth Test at Trent Bridge because of an injured elbow. He had also sustained an ankle injury that made him miss the second Test at Edgbaston.

"It's back to business as usual for the fifth Test. I've made a full recovery and will definitely play at The Oval," McGrath said in The Mail on Sunday. "It's been frustrating sitting out two of the first four Tests, but now I can get at England in the decider."

Conceding that his prediction of a 5-0 Australian win was incorrect, McGrath was confident that Australia would regroup to win at The Oval. "I concede I got my figures wrong in predicting that England would collapse to a 5-0 whitewash. My statement has proved to be way off beam, but I've lost none of my confidence in backing Australia's ability to retain the Ashes. Come the end of The Oval Test, I believe the precious urn will remain where it belongs - in our hands. Our focus is only on winning the fifth Test. Nothing less than a total triumph will do."

Australia have lost both the Tests that McGrath missed, giving England an unbeatable 2-1 lead. A drawn series will mean that Australia retain the Ashes. McGrath underwent training on Friday without his elbow causing any problems but sat out of the tour match against Essex as a precaution.