Stuart MacGill is tired of hearing that his style does not complement Shane Warne's. At the SCG the pair operates as well as clock hands and MacGill has pleaded for a chance to continue a successful partnership that has appeared in only ten Tests.
"Somebody needs to look at the numbers and realise this is not the first time Shane and I have worked well together and that after a certain number of wickets we have made a strong case to be a regular feature," he said. "It's disappointing that other bowlers can bowl in partnership and Shane and I can't."
The combination bowled Australia to victory with 13 wickets against Pakistan in January and today seven wickets were harvested, MacGill capturing 4 for 39 and Warne 3 for 23 as they sparked a stunning collapse. In an era of abundance for Australian legspinners, the two first-rate performers have been used together sparingly, but the case for retention is growing, especially as the team is experimenting with back-up bowling options.
In Tests where both bowlers have played MacGill has 48 wickets at 23.57 and Warne has 41 at 30.15. MacGill said he still wished he was given a chance during the winter in England. "Shane took 40 wickets on the Ashes tour and as far as an advertisement for a second spinner that's as good as you are going to get," he said. "It's a question that will remain unanswered. I may not have fired a shot over there but we'll never know."
While Warne and MacGill blew the World XI over, Glenn McGrath made the early indents with a testing pre-lunch spell of 2 for 11 from seven overs that pushed him passed Courtney Walsh's fast-bowling world record of 519 wickets. McGrath said overtaking the mark was a "big honour" and he was already looking for the next milestone.
"Courtney was a cricketer that I looked up to and admired, a freak of a player who competed for 21 years straight, hardly taking a break," he said. "I can't see myself catching the next two [Warne and Muttiah Muralitharan] but without doubt my next goal is to reach 600 Test wickets."