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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Kieran King

Australian legend Glenn McGrath savages England tactics with damning 'Bazball' nickname

Glenn McGrath has slammed England for being "too casual" at the Ashes so far as Ben Stokes' side trail 2-0 heading into the third Test at Headingley on Thursday.

Australia took another step closer to retaining the urn with a fine victory at Lord's, despite a late fightback from Stokes and England. The Aussies ran away victors by 43 runs as a century from Steve Smith and impressive knocks from Usman Khawaja and Travis Head helped them to victory - following up their two-wicket win at Edgbaston.

In the aftermath of the second Test, Stokes and England have been once again criticised for their 'Bazball' approach, especially on day two of the clash at Lord's. After Australia record a respectable 416 in their first innings, England collapsed from 188-1 to 325 all out, with six wickets falling for just 17 runs.

Former Australia bowler McGrath has delivered his verdict on England's style and admitted that, although he is a massive fan, the way it was put into practice was all wrong.

He told BBC: "Now, I am a fan of Bazball. The concept of backing yourself, playing without fear and putting pressure back on the opposition - that I agree with wholeheartedly.

"But Bairstow's dismissal epitomises what we have seen from England in this series. It has been Casual Ball - CazBall if you will, not Bazball. If you go back to day one of the Lord's Test, England were too casual.

"After a rain delay, Australia's batters were champing at the bit to get out there. The umpires were on the field, but despite conditions massively in their favour, half the England players, captain included, still had their feet up on the balcony. In the first Test England declared on day one - again, casual."

Ben Stokes' England have struggled in the Ashes so far (Getty Images)

There was a major piece of controversy on the final day as England chased 371 to win. It came when Alex Carey knocked down the stumps of Jonny Bairstow as he walked out of his crease. Australia felt the ball was still alive and decided to run Bairstow out, despite contrary views from England and Stokes who believed the over had finished.

It was a decision that sparked wild debate as thousands of fans decided to boo the Australians, while the Long Room at Lord's also chipped in. McGrath added: "I want to start by saying Jonny Bairstow's controversial dismissal was not my favourite. I have been thinking about it a lot, reading all of the reaction, and it has had me in two minds.

"Originally I would have liked to have seen Australia captain Pat Cummins withdraw his appeal, after Alex Carey stumped Bairstow as the Englishman wandered out of his crease

"But the more I think about it the more I think it was the right decision from Cummins. I think it is a sign of something deeper in England's mentality. What is telling is every single one of the former players I have spoken to, English or Australian, did not have a problem with it. Even West Indies legend Brian Lara has said it was out."

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