Australia v England, 5th Test, Sydney January 1, 2011

McGrath not interested in official bowling coach role

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Australia are looking for a new bowling coach with Troy Cooley leaving to head their Centre of Excellence, but Glenn McGrath won't be applying. While his former team-mate Justin Langer quickly traded life in the middle for a role as the team's batting coach, McGrath is comfortable as an occasional adviser to the attack.

McGrath, who took 563 wickets in 124 Tests, will be omnipresent at the SCG over the next week and will seek out the fast men to pass on some tips. "I'm always happy to give advice where I can," he said at the SCG. "I'll chat to the boys a fair bit during this Test match and see what I can do." But he is not interested in an official role.

Four years ago McGrath retired after the 5-0 Ashes whitewash, but the scenery has changed dramatically since then. "To play the Ashes here and lose is pretty disappointing but you know what? It amazes me how, when Australia was so dominant, everyone was saying it was bad for world cricket. All of a sudden, the boys have lost a few games and everyone is calling for their heads."

He maintains faith in the leadership of Ricky Ponting and is confident the team will again climb towards the Test peak. "I've got total faith the boys will bounce back and get back to the top of the tree," he said.

The main purpose of McGrath's week is to raise money for the McGrath Foundation, which supports breast cancer sufferers, and the organisation's major event of the year is the "Pink Test". England want to finish the series with a 3-1 result while Australia are desperately hoping to fight back to secure a draw.

McGrath was the master of the 5-0 pre-series prediction but he has had to revise his tip. "It'll be 2-all," he said, unprompted.

Peter English is the Australasia editor of Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • wibblewibble on January 2, 2011, 23:15 GMT

    If it's a 5 match series McGrath predicts 5-0 to the Aussies, it's as reliable as death and taxes. The last time before this series that he predicted 5-0 to the Aussies was 2009, and that wasn't particularly accurate either, was it?

  • on January 2, 2011, 10:04 GMT

    we are gonna beharder up once the bowling coach leaves... how about getting an outsider for bowling coach.... outsiders have worked for englands setup.

  • Ozcricketwriter on January 2, 2011, 2:03 GMT

    I don't know if McGrath would make a good coach. How he handles himself suggests that he wouldn't be all that good. We'd do better with someone like Craig McDermott, someone with aggression, fire and energy.

  • ashes61 on January 1, 2011, 22:58 GMT

    tjsimonsen: - Ah, but Spofforth & Barnes weren't fast-medium ...

  • ygkd on January 1, 2011, 22:05 GMT

    Professional bowlers should not need McGrath to tell them how to put it on a spot. Practice does that. They should also not need him to tell them where the spot might be for any particular player at any particular time. Experience, startegy and brains should tell them that, at least some of the time. Sure, under pressure, it might go missing, but if its drilled in early it sticks longer. Is that not what McGrath himself did in his teens?

  • tjsimonsen on January 1, 2011, 19:25 GMT

    @ashes61 and land47: and all of them behind Spoffoth, Lohmann and not least SF Barnes.

  • mamahajan89 on January 1, 2011, 19:21 GMT

    Sir_Freddie_Flintoff-- man u are one hell of a funny man!!! aussies wont win ashes in next 50 years only if england and ausies decide not to playe one in next 50 years....cometh ashes 2013 and poms would be crying like they did after 5-0 bashing at scg in 2007 thanx btw...u gave me some light moments in this hell busy life... last time glenn predicted 5-0 and u know who was on the receiving end!! u very well know that....poms...!!!

  • mamahajan89 on January 1, 2011, 19:17 GMT

    who'd b missing the pigeon more than the current aussie pace attack...which almost seems listless.....wish pidge could save aussies the blushes.... i think its time for tait to reconsider his retirement from the test arena.....and its time to rope in young blood with hazlewood and pattinson and Mitchell leading them..(if only he can overcome his erratic ways..) btw..what a legend and gem mcgrath was.....miss his discipline(bowling)...immaculate lines and that nagging sledge here and there very badly....cricket needs legends like him.. but i doubt if there would be any after him in world cricket!! PS....poms...get ready for a complete bashing at SCG....aussies will rise...!!

  • Beefy_B on January 1, 2011, 16:11 GMT

    From an English point of view I was so glad McGrath retired when he did. Great bowler, and the scourge of the English top order. Just a shame one of his 5-0 predictions actually came true.

  • timelord24 on January 1, 2011, 16:03 GMT

    mcgrath likes to make outlandish predictions about england. coaching would befuddle him.

  • wibblewibble on January 2, 2011, 23:15 GMT

    If it's a 5 match series McGrath predicts 5-0 to the Aussies, it's as reliable as death and taxes. The last time before this series that he predicted 5-0 to the Aussies was 2009, and that wasn't particularly accurate either, was it?

  • on January 2, 2011, 10:04 GMT

    we are gonna beharder up once the bowling coach leaves... how about getting an outsider for bowling coach.... outsiders have worked for englands setup.

  • Ozcricketwriter on January 2, 2011, 2:03 GMT

    I don't know if McGrath would make a good coach. How he handles himself suggests that he wouldn't be all that good. We'd do better with someone like Craig McDermott, someone with aggression, fire and energy.

  • ashes61 on January 1, 2011, 22:58 GMT

    tjsimonsen: - Ah, but Spofforth & Barnes weren't fast-medium ...

  • ygkd on January 1, 2011, 22:05 GMT

    Professional bowlers should not need McGrath to tell them how to put it on a spot. Practice does that. They should also not need him to tell them where the spot might be for any particular player at any particular time. Experience, startegy and brains should tell them that, at least some of the time. Sure, under pressure, it might go missing, but if its drilled in early it sticks longer. Is that not what McGrath himself did in his teens?

  • tjsimonsen on January 1, 2011, 19:25 GMT

    @ashes61 and land47: and all of them behind Spoffoth, Lohmann and not least SF Barnes.

  • mamahajan89 on January 1, 2011, 19:21 GMT

    Sir_Freddie_Flintoff-- man u are one hell of a funny man!!! aussies wont win ashes in next 50 years only if england and ausies decide not to playe one in next 50 years....cometh ashes 2013 and poms would be crying like they did after 5-0 bashing at scg in 2007 thanx btw...u gave me some light moments in this hell busy life... last time glenn predicted 5-0 and u know who was on the receiving end!! u very well know that....poms...!!!

  • mamahajan89 on January 1, 2011, 19:17 GMT

    who'd b missing the pigeon more than the current aussie pace attack...which almost seems listless.....wish pidge could save aussies the blushes.... i think its time for tait to reconsider his retirement from the test arena.....and its time to rope in young blood with hazlewood and pattinson and Mitchell leading them..(if only he can overcome his erratic ways..) btw..what a legend and gem mcgrath was.....miss his discipline(bowling)...immaculate lines and that nagging sledge here and there very badly....cricket needs legends like him.. but i doubt if there would be any after him in world cricket!! PS....poms...get ready for a complete bashing at SCG....aussies will rise...!!

  • Beefy_B on January 1, 2011, 16:11 GMT

    From an English point of view I was so glad McGrath retired when he did. Great bowler, and the scourge of the English top order. Just a shame one of his 5-0 predictions actually came true.

  • timelord24 on January 1, 2011, 16:03 GMT

    mcgrath likes to make outlandish predictions about england. coaching would befuddle him.

  • ashes61 on January 1, 2011, 15:34 GMT

    landl47: - ... but probably behind Statham, certainly behind Bedser and indubitably, incontrovertibly and irrevocably behind the great Tate?

  • ihaq1 on January 1, 2011, 15:24 GMT

    well the aussies need their spinners to spark and it will depend on who bats first...while the english spinner has been successful the aussies have not seen a masterful spin display since warne...will smith and beer be able to accomplish that ...one is uncertain whether they even have the capability...they ar playing smith not for his bowling but for his fielding and batting...the english side could replace collingwood by eoin morgan barring the collingwood catching abilities...they should offer mcgrath not the coaching job but make him a bowling selector that is if he can see talent and be able to nurture the talent...the best teams always make the best selections...aussie selections donot look too good and changing one batsman places immense responsibility even though usman seems tobe in form

  • on January 1, 2011, 13:44 GMT

    i think McGrath also knows that it will waste of time to become Australian coach and it will only harm his image in the world cricket..!

  • TheHooker on January 1, 2011, 13:29 GMT

    Rather than bring in McGrath, Langer, Warne Gilchrist etc etc the Aussies need a break from the 'Golden Generation'. It will quickly become a millstone around their necks. By all means use them in a few years time, but rather than being inspring having all these great cricketers telling you how they did it, it could also become overbearing. Let the new generation find their feet, forget a little about the great things of the past and focus on the future. And this from an Aussie-bashing Englander

  • Biggus on January 1, 2011, 11:08 GMT

    @Sir_Freddie_Flintoff-"Australia will never ever win an Ashes series in the next 50 years". Tee hee! That's the spirit Freddie! You've made my day matey. Funniest comment I've seen to date during this Ashes series. Perhaps it would be best if you were to start taking your medication again or those nice men in the white coats may be forced to take you away again.

  • CricketingStargazer on January 1, 2011, 10:58 GMT

    It is always bad to see one side dominating totally. Happily, you now have the nearest that we have seen to equality at the top for many years. India, South Africa, England, Sri Lanka and Australia can all give each other a good game. Australia may be slipping off the pace a little, but having to play India and England in consecutive series may be giving a false impression of weakness.

  • AJ_Tiger86 on January 1, 2011, 9:23 GMT

    This is is such a big loser. He predicted 5-0 before the series. Oh how destroyed be to see England THRASHING his beloved Australia!!! Australia are currently the 8th best team in the world (slightly ahead of Bangladesh, although they will lose if the play them in Bangladesh). Australia will never ever win an Ashes series in the next 50 years.

  • Boris72 on January 1, 2011, 8:11 GMT

    I love the way everyone takes McGrath so seriously. It's become a bit of a friendly joke that McGrath always predicts that Australia will win every Test. Whether he truly means it or not it's just a funny little thing he does, and journalists always ask him. If he can get the Pommy fans stirred up through the media, just imagine how he was out on the field playing against him.

    Anyone remember the 1980s? Everyone said Australia would never come back from their massive losing streak. 15 years later they were the top of the world for over a decade. Australia grows talent in groups, at the moment this team will slowly fade into the new world dominator. Which is a sad thing for us Indians.

  • landl47 on January 1, 2011, 8:01 GMT

    McGrath was among the greatest medium-fast seamers the game has known. I'd put him slightly behind Richard Hadlee and Joel Garner, who were both quicker, but McGrath's ability to bowl over after over on the spot, with no bad balls and the ball always lifting and doing a bit off the seam made him one of cricket's greats and a bowler no batsman liked to face. I don't know whether he would be a great coach, but he obviously doesn't want to try his hand at the moment. Too bad, because the present crop of Australian bowlers need some of his discipline.

  • shaileshacharya123 on January 1, 2011, 7:10 GMT

    Magrath was grt bowler and the top secret for the sucess of Australia Criciket in the past time.Due to the lack of the grt bowlers like magrath , warne the australia is in the way to lose the series 3-1 or 2-1....

  • Vilander on January 1, 2011, 7:07 GMT

    He keeps it simple, say what ever sounds ok at the time. before series 5-0; after loosing 2 tests winning 1, '2 all' ; after loosing the series '3-1 was always on cards' probably. Eng is a very good team, with some very respectable players and good fans.Would love and hope to see the Indian middle order conquer this team one last time coming summer and then it would be England's time, Colly and all..

  • sharidas on January 1, 2011, 7:03 GMT

    Like many teams in the past,when a whole bunch of good players retire in a short span of time, it leaves a huge gap to fill.Australia may have the talent, but it will still take time to mould it into a good side again. Ponting should play and will do well without the captaincy mantle and a player such as Mcgrath should give all the support to the newly grafted in and potential players. I am surprised that players such as Sean Marsh,Cameron White, Ferguson etc are not given enough chances. Bowlers like Sean Tait should be encouraged to play test cricket again. Personally I do not believe it is going to be 2 all. It will most lokely be 3-1. Anyway lets hope Australian selectors now will be sensible with their team selection and dont leave players like Nathan Hauritz out.

  • sweetspot on January 1, 2011, 6:51 GMT

    With Clarkey as captain, my money is on England winning big. Are you kidding us Glenn? You lived in a different era my friend, and even you were dropped for Dirk Nannes even while playing for an IPL franchise!

  • on January 1, 2011, 5:45 GMT

    2 all.....bahahahaha....NOT...even if u and warnie cum bak

  • on January 1, 2011, 5:38 GMT

    This guy is one of the worst motivators the game has probably seen. He keeps on saying things which don't mean anything and obviously cannot lift up anyone's spirit. He used to use head while bowling, it appears that he used up all of it! B4 d series he said "The match will be won by the Aussies, margin 5-0". And now he says the margin will be 2-2. So what happ to his confidence (perhaps arrogance) that his side will complete a whitewash. Senseless!

  • CharlieAlanJakeHarperFamily on January 1, 2011, 5:38 GMT

    Well Glenn australia might not require u but as an indian surely India needs a professional established bowling coach/former quickie I'm not sure what Eric Simons is doing to improve ever deteriorating Ishant/Sreesanth and don't u worry about the fund-raising mate BCCI will fulfill all ur bank accounts and needs just come to India mate they will love to have u anytime

  • mattyboy95 on January 1, 2011, 5:13 GMT

    He'ld be a good coach. He would tell them to keep it simple-top of off. It worked for him 500 times, so what's wrong with it?

  • on January 1, 2011, 4:55 GMT

    hope Mcgrath can get the current bowlers out of the pegionhole.

  • on January 1, 2011, 4:42 GMT

    I am dead sure that it will be 3-1 and aus won't be back at the top of tree under pontings captaincy. This guy makes the whackiest of predictions and thinks his team will always win everything. A great bowler, but a worse sportsman I haven't seen on live tv, grumping after evry ball, pressurizing the umpires, sledging the batsmen, etc

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  • on January 1, 2011, 4:42 GMT

    I am dead sure that it will be 3-1 and aus won't be back at the top of tree under pontings captaincy. This guy makes the whackiest of predictions and thinks his team will always win everything. A great bowler, but a worse sportsman I haven't seen on live tv, grumping after evry ball, pressurizing the umpires, sledging the batsmen, etc

  • on January 1, 2011, 4:55 GMT

    hope Mcgrath can get the current bowlers out of the pegionhole.

  • mattyboy95 on January 1, 2011, 5:13 GMT

    He'ld be a good coach. He would tell them to keep it simple-top of off. It worked for him 500 times, so what's wrong with it?

  • CharlieAlanJakeHarperFamily on January 1, 2011, 5:38 GMT

    Well Glenn australia might not require u but as an indian surely India needs a professional established bowling coach/former quickie I'm not sure what Eric Simons is doing to improve ever deteriorating Ishant/Sreesanth and don't u worry about the fund-raising mate BCCI will fulfill all ur bank accounts and needs just come to India mate they will love to have u anytime

  • on January 1, 2011, 5:38 GMT

    This guy is one of the worst motivators the game has probably seen. He keeps on saying things which don't mean anything and obviously cannot lift up anyone's spirit. He used to use head while bowling, it appears that he used up all of it! B4 d series he said "The match will be won by the Aussies, margin 5-0". And now he says the margin will be 2-2. So what happ to his confidence (perhaps arrogance) that his side will complete a whitewash. Senseless!

  • on January 1, 2011, 5:45 GMT

    2 all.....bahahahaha....NOT...even if u and warnie cum bak

  • sweetspot on January 1, 2011, 6:51 GMT

    With Clarkey as captain, my money is on England winning big. Are you kidding us Glenn? You lived in a different era my friend, and even you were dropped for Dirk Nannes even while playing for an IPL franchise!

  • sharidas on January 1, 2011, 7:03 GMT

    Like many teams in the past,when a whole bunch of good players retire in a short span of time, it leaves a huge gap to fill.Australia may have the talent, but it will still take time to mould it into a good side again. Ponting should play and will do well without the captaincy mantle and a player such as Mcgrath should give all the support to the newly grafted in and potential players. I am surprised that players such as Sean Marsh,Cameron White, Ferguson etc are not given enough chances. Bowlers like Sean Tait should be encouraged to play test cricket again. Personally I do not believe it is going to be 2 all. It will most lokely be 3-1. Anyway lets hope Australian selectors now will be sensible with their team selection and dont leave players like Nathan Hauritz out.

  • Vilander on January 1, 2011, 7:07 GMT

    He keeps it simple, say what ever sounds ok at the time. before series 5-0; after loosing 2 tests winning 1, '2 all' ; after loosing the series '3-1 was always on cards' probably. Eng is a very good team, with some very respectable players and good fans.Would love and hope to see the Indian middle order conquer this team one last time coming summer and then it would be England's time, Colly and all..

  • shaileshacharya123 on January 1, 2011, 7:10 GMT

    Magrath was grt bowler and the top secret for the sucess of Australia Criciket in the past time.Due to the lack of the grt bowlers like magrath , warne the australia is in the way to lose the series 3-1 or 2-1....