Warne slams Cook, McGrath hails England

By The Crowd, The Crowd is a Roar Guru

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    Australian great Shane Warne maintained on Wednesday that England had won the Ashes in spite, rather than because, of Alastair Cook’s overly defensive captaincy.

    England, who had already retained the Ashes, won the fourth Test at Durham by 74 runs on Monday with more than a day to spare to take an unbeatable 3-0 lead.

    The tourists, needing 299 to win, were well placed at 1-120 at tea.

    But in an extended final session, Australia collapsed spectacularly to 224 all out, with England fast bowler Stuart Broad, who took 6-20 in 45 balls on his way to Test-best match figures of 11-121.

    Warne, writing in Britain’s Daily Telegraph, said Cook had been far too defensive early in Australia’s second innings.

    “He had a deep point, would move slips out as soon as there was a good shot through the covers and the bowlers were bowling too short and not full and at the stumps.”

    Warne added Cook, who has lost only one Test in 12 as England captain, was too reliant on England coach Andy Flower and the team’s Australian bowling coach David Saker.

    “Saker and Flower knew England were losing the Test largely because of the captain’s approach but the tea interval came at the right time for England.”

    England offspinner Graeme Swann, the leading wicket-taker in the series with 23, said Cook’s critics were wide of the mark.

    “I know there are people saying he is too negative but I stand next to him in the field at second slip and know what goes on in his mind – he is very calculating.

    “He is both aggressive and defensive when he needs to be. That makes him an excellent captain.”

    Warne’s former Australian teammate Glenn McGrath said there was a hint of the old “Baggy Green mentality” in the England team.

    “The Australian team that I was lucky enough to play in had a certain aura and sometimes you had teams beaten before you walked on the field,” McGrath wrote in The Guardian.

    “England aren’t at that stage but, after 12 Tests without defeat and five wins in six, they’ve got that confidence, that belief.

    “When you’re playing in a good team where you’re confident in yourself and your teammates, when you’ve done the business before, it makes it so much easier.

    “The opposite is also true: when you’re used to losing, you somehow keep finding ways to lose.”

    The fifth and final Test starts at The Oval next Wednesday.

    © AFP 2018
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    The Crowd Says (17)

    • August 15th 2013 @ 2:31am
      Chris said | August 15th 2013 @ 2:31am | ! Report

      Worth pointing out that Warne has received an absolute caning from the readers of the Telegraph. McGrath, in contrast, has been read with respect.

      • August 15th 2013 @ 6:27am
        Lancey5times said | August 15th 2013 @ 6:27am | ! Report

        Of course McGrath has been embraced by the media. He is as thick as the next fast bowler and as dull as your weather.

        Warne is spot on but after years of torment the Poms are just happy to world beaters and no amount of boring cricket will change that.

        • August 15th 2013 @ 6:48am
          JimmyB said | August 15th 2013 @ 6:48am | ! Report

          Did you type that quickly Lancey because it doesn’t make much sense?

          • August 15th 2013 @ 7:04am
            Lancey5times said | August 15th 2013 @ 7:04am | ! Report

            Makes sense to me. Except I left out the ‘be’ before ‘world’

            • August 15th 2013 @ 7:13am
              JimmyB said | August 15th 2013 @ 7:13am | ! Report

              Fair enough, so you think that we’re world beaters then?

              • August 15th 2013 @ 7:29am
                Lancey5times said | August 15th 2013 @ 7:29am | ! Report

                You’re an Englishman I see. Jimmy Banderson.
                I’m speaking on behalf of your media. Personally I think your the best (along with SA) of an average bunch. The whole standard of world cricket is pretty average currently. But credit where it is due. You have certainly been better than us and the scoreline is a pretty accurate reflection. On Cook and his tactics, it has helped that we haven’t taken advantage. He hasn’t really applied any more pressure than our own tecniques have. Will be interesting to see how he goes in Australia without the bowlers creating there own luck and the ball not reversing. He seems to be unwilling to gamble to break a partnership and hopes for a batsman mistake or a jaffa. He has been fortunate to get a few of each in this series.

              • August 15th 2013 @ 7:46am
                JimmyB said | August 15th 2013 @ 7:46am | ! Report

                Mate, I think SA are clearly the best team in world cricket at the moment. England have done enough in this series to win without ever really hitting the heights of 2010/11. with regards to the general standard of cricket, you might be right but if you’re going to compare every team to the great Aussie team then most teams will come up pretty short of that including your own. The thing that most Aussies don’t seem to either understand or are unwilling to accept is that your great team is a once in a blue moon kind of team, they just don’t come around very often.
                I would agree about Cook, however he is still new to the job and is growing into the role. I’m willing to reserve judgment on his captaincy for a while, especially whilst his team are still winning anyway.
                P.s, not sure which British media outlet is claiming that we’re world beaters, I certainly haven’t heard or seen anything like that.

              • August 15th 2013 @ 8:04am
                Chris said | August 15th 2013 @ 8:04am | ! Report

                Nor have I. Except possibly for Michael Vaughan, who shoots his mouth off just as much as Shane Warne does.

            • August 16th 2013 @ 7:34am
              nickyc said | August 16th 2013 @ 7:34am | ! Report

              The Eng bowlers managed to reverse swing the ball in 10/11, so why do you think they won’t be able to do it again?

      • August 15th 2013 @ 10:52am
        jameswm said | August 15th 2013 @ 10:52am | ! Report

        LOL Chris – as if the Pommie readers would agree with Warnie! He’s criticising their captain.

        • August 15th 2013 @ 7:16pm
          Chris said | August 15th 2013 @ 7:16pm | ! Report

          No, he’s stirring and sledging. And unfortunately has spent all series insisting Australia were just about to win. There’s a credibility gap and they’ve rather noticed.

    • August 15th 2013 @ 11:49am
      ChrisT said | August 15th 2013 @ 11:49am | ! Report

      Good to see Warne still bowling spin, albeit rubbish these days. Seems some Aussies have even lost their ability to sledge effectively. What’s the world coming to ……

    • August 15th 2013 @ 12:19pm
      James said | August 15th 2013 @ 12:19pm | ! Report

      warne would have been a great australian captain in the early 00s with the team they had. his aggressive captaincy would have been incredible to watch. but with that team you could afford to be aggressive i dont know how warne would do with a team made up of not great players but just a few greats and mostly good or even worse, a team like this australian one with only 1 great and a few maybes. aggressive captaincy is good but results mean more and warne is afterall attacking a captain who is 3-0 up in an ashes series.

      and isnt one of the main jobs of a captain to bring a team together, to be respected by his team mates and thereby create a ‘team’. cook seems to have done that very very well.

    • August 15th 2013 @ 12:54pm
      Hookin' YT said | August 15th 2013 @ 12:54pm | ! Report

      There was so many drinks runners coming on to talk to Cook when Australia were 1/140ish, I though it was Super 15. Cook had dropped his bundle. Then Australia folded like a bloke with a pair of twos that sees an Ace and King on the flop.

    • August 15th 2013 @ 1:00pm
      MadMonk said | August 15th 2013 @ 1:00pm | ! Report

      This debate cuts accross all sports. Similar debates in rugby, football and cycling come to mind.
      If you are on top there is a temptation to play the attritional game.
      If you are playing from behind aggression can get you into a game you may not be entitled to be in. But in the end the top side usually prevails.

      For mine I wish Clarke would play with a third man more often particularly for Ian Bell.

      The challenge for Australian batters is to bat time, if Cook goes defensive they have to be good enough to make big scores without risk. Then his defensive mindset will be shown up. Until that time it wil lremain an effective strategy.

      • August 16th 2013 @ 7:40am
        nickyc said | August 16th 2013 @ 7:40am | ! Report

        The trouble is modern captains hate deploying a third man despite the large numbers of runs scored in that area.

    • August 15th 2013 @ 2:42pm
      Gezza said | August 15th 2013 @ 2:42pm | ! Report

      Didn’t Warnie first coin the phrase: Winning isn’t everything; it’s the only thing


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