Roundly booed by a partisan English crowd when he came into bat, far earlier than he or Australia anticipated, Glenn McGrath then ripped through the English in what was a quite astonishing spell of bowling. As much as it sickened me to watch it, I couldn’t help but be in awe of his metronomic control of line and length. While the Australian and English batsmen often got themselves out (Australia were in one-day mode, it seemed, and England refused to come forward to good length deliveries), both Harmison and McGrath were outstanding through their own efforts. A quite incredible day’s Test cricket – who could have predicted it?
Jones and Pietersen, I thought, batted very calmly given the situation (19-5 or whatever it was) – but, with England a hundred behind, Australia take the first day’s honours. At lunch, no one would have thought that likely.
At the end of this match, whatever its outcome, we will be better placed to judge McGrath’s five wickets (so far). At this moment, it is certainly a fast-bowling-highlight for me. Apart from his sickening gold-embossed trainers (“500 Pony”), I can’t help but be in awe of his bowling.
A truly magnificent start to the greatest series in years.