Ashes 2019: Cricketing great Glenn McGrath predicts Australia sweep

It's a week late, but Glenn McGrath, buoyed by Australia's comeback victory in the Ashes opener at Edgbaston, has delivered his trademark 5-0 series win prediction.

McGrath and former England captain Michael Vaughan both believe the first test is a sign of things to come, with the latter fearing the series had 'mess' written all over it for the hosts, if they play on similar pitches.

McGrath's series forecast had been a dependable part of the phoney war that preceded so many previous showpiece series between Australia and England.

The legendary fast bowler held fire in recent weeks, waiting to see how both teams performed in Birmingham.

"I was only hesitant, because I didn't want to be predictable," McGrath said on the BBC. "Everyone thinks I'm just going to come out and say 5-0 at the start of the series. 

"Assessing [it now], I might make a bold prediction and go 5-0.

"To think Australia were 122/8 in that first innings, to win by 251 is an amazing effort."

Vaughan, speaking alongside McGrath, suggested such a turnaround highlighted some "warning signs" for the hosts.

Vaughan suggested England were suffering from a World Cup hangover, arguing Moeen Ali and Jos Buttler looked "a little bit shot".

McGrath with Australia captain Tim Paine.
McGrath with Australia captain Tim Paine. Photo credit: AAP

"I worry about this England side," he said. "Because the World Cup is massive for them, once you've achieved that huge high, to come and play in this series two weeks later [is challenging].

"It sounds like an excuse, but emotionally, I do have a concern about two or three of the England players.

"If the ball doesn't move laterally... this series has got mess written [all] over it for England.

"If it's slow and low... and you're relying on your spinner, they've got a world-class spinner in Nathan Lyon with 352 test wickets.

"Moeen Ali just wasn't good enough... didn't bowl well enough."

England captain Joe Root rejected Vaughan's World Cup comments, preferring to highlight his team's mid-tournament turnaround.

"Emotionally, how things changed throughout the World Cup, that's probably a good example to the group," Root said.

"Look at where things seemed to be after that Sri Lanka [loss]... and where we finished up.

"That will stand us in good stead and could work very well in our favour."

AAP

 

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