Former Australia fast bowler Glenn McGrath has questioned skipper Pat Cummins’ strategies on Day 3 of the ongoing first Ashes Test at Gabba in Brisbane. Australia started the day in a commanding position at 343 for seven. The hosts quickly added 79 runs with Travis Head scoring 152. Australia managed to score 425 runs and get a humongous lead of 278 runs.
England’s reply began on an inauspicious note as they lost both their openers, Haseeb Hameed and Rory Burns for 27 and 13 respectively. However, the visitors managed to fight back as skipper Joe Root and Dawid Malan blunted the Australian attack for over a session and a half. The duo mixed caution with aggression and kept the scorecard ticking.
Root remained unbeaten on 86, while Malan was undefeated on 80 as the visitors ended the day on 220 for the loss of two wickets.
McGrath noted a few pointers from the day and questioned Cummins’ captaincy moves. McGrath was upset that Hazlewood didn’t bowl much in the second innings. Even after 70 overs in the innings, Hazlewood just had 8 overs to his name. McGrath felt the pacer could have dismissed Malan as he was continuously beating him.
“With Hazlewood, he only bowled the eight overs (all day) and looked good and dangerous, playing and missing from Malan,” he told BT Sport. “That’s a question mark for me, why didn’t he bowl? Was he injured, is there another reason? I’m not sure- so that is very surprising one from me.
The cricketer-turned-expert also felt strange when Nathan Lyon was brought into the attack immediately after Root walked in. Root is known to have a few issues against the pacers early in his innings and McGrath was not amused with Cummins introducing a spinner so early in his innings. “Another one was as soon as Joe Root came in, Nathan Lyon bowled quite a bit, a couple of interesting moves from the Australian captain and maybe we’ll find out later why.”
If England can wipe off the lead without further damage, they could hope for a miraculous win. However, Australia will be aware that a wicket can trigger a collapse. Also, the new ball is just 10 overs away.