McGrath chases 500 Test wickets - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

McGrath chases 500 Test wickets

23/03/2005 05:42:24 PM Comments (0)

Having chewed up and spat out Stephen Fleming in two Tests, Glenn McGrath has cast doubts whether the New Zealand captain can be properly shielded down the order.

McGrath, only eight away from his long-held ambition of 500 Test wickets, claimed another victory over Fleming when he was moved from opener to No.4 for the third Test, starting Saturday.

Shunted into the skipper's place at the top of the order for the Auckland battle was uncapped James Marshall, who has enjoyed more success batting in the middle order in domestic cricket.

It smacks of a potential 'lamb to the slaughter' selection for the identical twin of NZ first-drop Hamish Marshall and McGrath didn't miss the chance to turn up the heat on both the rookie and Fleming.

The 35-year-old warhorse said it was a "massive ask" for Marshall and felt he had the same stranglehold over Fleming as former perennial Test victims Mike Atherton and Jimmy Adams.

"Hopefully, if all things go well we can get Flem in as soon as possible," said McGrath, who has exploited a flaw in the tall left-hander's technique to trap him leg before three times in a row.

"James Marshall is batting in a position he hasn't batted in (much lately) so I'm sure there will be added pressure on top of him. It's an interesting move.

"I guess they had to try something different really, but for Marshall to come into a Test match and bat in a position that you're not used to, it's a massive ask."

Out for scores of 0 and 1 in the drawn Wellington Test, McGrath has now dismissed prime target Fleming, also lucky not to have been lbw to him twice in Christchurch, eight times in 13 Tests.

He racked up 19 dismissals against Atherton in 20 Tests and 12 against Adams in 18 Tests.

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