Saturday, 4 December 2021

Australia deserved to win at Headingley: Glenn McGrath

Glenn McGrath

LONDON: Australia will take the dramatic loss by one wicket in the third Test at Headingley extremely hard.

When you have chances to win the game but do not do it then it is always more difficult to take.

Ben Stokes played one of the best innings I have seen but Australia will rue those missed opportunities at the end.

The dropped catch by Marcus Harris at third man off Stokes when there were 17 runs needed was a tough chance – but Australia will really regret the two missed run-outs.

First, there was the one down to third man where the throw went to the wrong end, and then the chance when Nathan Lyon fumbled the ball.

All he had to do was take it cleanly and Jack Leach would have been run out by half a pitch.

Those are the things that take the wind out of you.

At the start of the day I gave England less than 20% chance of winning, but I always thought in the back of my mind that if Stokes was there then England would have a chance because he is such an aggressive, powerful player.

He is a player every team in the world fears.

Stokes is a brilliant batsman who can concentrate, build an innings and also be destructive when he needs to be, but he also runs in and bowls all day and is a fantastic fielder.

He is easily the best all-rounder in the world and there are not too many who could have come close to doing what he did.

When people talk about the greatest innings of all time I always think back to Ian Botham’s century at Headingley in 1981, and that innings was probably the last time we saw anything close to this one from Stokes.

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