Ashes Diary: MacGill: Hauritz superior to Beer

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The Independent Online

Michael Beer may have finally taken his first Test wicket on day three but not everyone was impressed. Stuart MacGill – a fine leg spinner whose Test chances were restricted by playing in the same era as the incomparable Shane Warne – believes he's not even the best tweaker in Australia. "I don't mean to be disrespectful," MacGill told The Sydney Morning Herald. "Based on his experience, he's acquitted himself quite well but he's not a bowler who at this stage can bowl a team out. Nathan Hauritz is far better equipped to do that. I don't think Beer gets as much work on the ball as a [Jason] Krejza or even a Hauritz on his day, and he doesn't have as much control as 'Haury' or even Xavier Doherty.

"The guy that impressed me as a work in progress is Steven Smith. I think he's worth persevering with but pretty much only in that second spin bowling role at the moment."

Aussies in flap at Beefy 'cheat' slur

The Aussie press is all a flutter over Ian Botham's chuntering about Phil Hughes's "catch", which would have seen Alastair Cook out for 99. It was pretty entertaining stuff. Botham went on the offensive on Sky, saying: "Terrible. Cheating. How much do you want it to bounce into your hands? He [Hughes] knows he hasn't caught it. There's no appeal. Someone else says something, and then he goes up."

Aussie statues just rub in current woe

Another stadium, another statue of a former Baggy Green great. After Adelaide's tribute to Jason Gillespie, Sydney has immortalised Steve Waugh with a rendering that sees him arms aloft after his dramatic century against England in 2003 at the SCG. That's just what this Aussie bunch needs: another reminder of their inadequacies.