CRICKET; England hierarchy happy with Atherton's hook

ENGLAND WILL instruct Michael Atherton to carry on hooking if he believes that is the best way to combat the new-ball threat of Glenn McGrath when their personal duel resumes in the second Test at the WACA tomorrow.

Atherton was dismissed for 28 in the first Test in Brisbane when McGrath snared him for the 11th time in their last eight matches, on this occasion caught at fine leg before England were saved from defeat by an electrical storm.

It was the fourth time in 15 months Atherton had fallen victim to the hook shot - and one McGrath is happy to see him play in his bid to continue his stranglehold over a batsman the Australians have nicknamed "cockroach" because of the difficulties they normally have in "stamping" him out.

But neither England coach David Lloyd nor captain Alec Stewart will instruct Atherton to cut out the shot and will be happy to see him hooking at will on Perth's pacy and bouncy pitch. "I wouldn't insult his intelligence," said Lloyd. "He's got nearly 6,000 Test runs and if he is happy hooking then I'm sure he knows what he's doing. Before McGrath got him out, Athers hooked two or three times very well in Brisbane - I was more concerned with one or two of our tailenders who came in and tried hooking first ball thinking they were Roy Fredericks."

Lloyd's view is shared by Stewart, who insisted: "He can play as he wants. He will play his own way, and everyone in this squad will have their own game plan - just because you get out doing one thing, you don't have to stop doing it.

"The ball that got him out went away from him, and he ended up dragging it from outside off stump - and that's why it ended the way it did. That shot has got him a lot of runs, and he will weigh up how much success and how much failure it brings him."

The England thinking is likely to come as music to McGrath's ears on a rock hard pitch. "I've never really played on it when it's been a normal pacy WACA wicket, and it's important not to get carried away on it," said McGrath.

"It's easy to do that with bouncy wickets, putting it in short and watching it fly through to the wicketkeeper, but you don't want to fall into that trap."

HOW McGRATH HAS TAMED ATHERTON

Michael Atherton has been dismissed by Glenn McGrath 11 times in the last eight Tests in which they have both played.

February 1995, Perth

c Healy b McGrath 4

c Healy b McGrath 8

June 1997, Edgbaston

c Healy b McGrath 2

not out 57

June 1997, Lord's

c Taylor b McGrath 1

hit wicket b Kasprowicz 77

July 1997, Old Trafford

c Healy b McGrath 5

lbw b Gillespie 21

July 1997, Headingley

c Gillespie b McGrath 41

c Warne b McGrath 2

July 1997, Trent Bridge

c Healy b Warne 27

c Healy b McGrath 8

August 1997, The Oval

c Healy b McGrath 8

c S Waugh b Kasprowicz 8

November 1998, Brisbane

c M Waugh b McGrath 0

c Fleming b McGrath 28

Arts and Entertainment
Attenborough with the primates
tvWhy BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
News
Campbell: ‘Sometimes you have to be economical with the truth’
newsFormer spin doctor says MPs should study tactics of leading sports figures like José Mourinho
Sport
football
Life and Style
Agretti is often compared to its relative, samphire, though is closer in taste to spinach
food + drink
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Kelly Osbourne will play a flight attendant in Sharknado 2
people
News
Down-to-earth: Winstone isn't one for considering his 'legacy'
people
News
The dress can be seen in different colours
i100
Sport
Wes Brown is sent-off
football
Voices
Lance Corporal Joshua Leakey VC
voicesBeware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
Life and Style
Alexander McQueen's AW 2009/10 collection during Paris Fashion Week
fashionMeet the collaborators who helped create the late designer’s notorious spectacles
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Bookkeeper / Office Co-ordinator

£9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This role is based within a small family run ...

Recruitment Genius: Designer - Print & Digital

£28000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Design and marketing agenc...

Recruitment Genius: Quantity Surveyor

£46000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This property investment firm are lookin...

Recruitment Genius: Telesales / Telemarketing Executive - OTE £30k / £35k plus

£18000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company specialises provid...

Day In a Page

War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003
Barbara Woodward: Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with the growing economic superpower

Our woman in Beijing builds a new relationship

Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with growing economic power
Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer. But the only British soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross in Afghanistan has both

Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer

Beware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
Alexander McQueen: The catwalk was a stage for the designer's astonishing and troubling vision

Alexander McQueen's astonishing vision

Ahead of a major retrospective, Alexander Fury talks to the collaborators who helped create the late designer's notorious spectacle
New BBC series savours half a century of food in Britain, from Vesta curries to nouvelle cuisine

Dinner through the decades

A new BBC series challenged Brandon Robshaw and his family to eat their way from the 1950s to the 1990s
Philippa Perry interview: The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course

Philippa Perry interview

The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef recreates the exoticism of the Indonesian stir-fry

Bill Granger's Indonesian stir-fry recipes

Our chef was inspired by the south-east Asian cuisine he encountered as a teenager
Chelsea vs Tottenham: Harry Kane was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope

Harry Kane interview

The striker was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope
The Last Word: For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?

Michael Calvin's Last Word

For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?
HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?