Ashes Diary: McGrath is sure series will swing back to Aussies

His cricketing days may be behind him but Glenn McGrath isn't ready to hang up his sledging boots quite yet. With England having retained the Ashes in Melbourne, McGrath – who, it transpires, was able to enjoy such a long career thanks to the genetic benefit of extremely strong bones – refused to be downbeat when he spoke to reporters at the SCG, predicting an Aussie win and a tied series. "It's been a funny old summer with Australia dominating then England dominating, then Australia dominating. It's just such a topsy-turvy pattern there, it's the way it goes," he said.

"I think England have definitely been the more consistent side with their bowling plans. The way they've bowled in partnerships and batted as well. The challenge is up to our boys. If it follows the same pattern it has all summer then we should dominate this Test match, shouldn't we?"

Usman's parents play straight bat

Usman Khawaja's admirable efforts on day one were punctuated by TV shots of his parents looking tense in the pavilion. Their dignified reaction to Khawaja's untimely fall was all very well but if they want to get on the telly again they might want to spice it up – maybe take a leaf out of Annie Underwood's book, who celebrated every try scored by her sons for England at Twickenham in the early Nineties with what can only be described as complete abandon.

Bradman on song

On the day Australia discovered a young batsman, there was a reminder of the standard by which all Australian cricketers are measured. Sir Donald Bradman's granddaughter Greta sang the Aussie national anthem at the beginning of play and in the process gave Australia easily the best start they have enjoyed in the series.

Barmy for army in a Waugh zone

Among the crowd was @theashes, or Ashley Kerekes. She and her boyfriend sat next to Steve Waugh. "I've been told he's kind of a big deal – he was the captain of Australia for a while,'" she told The Sydney Morning Herald. Kerekes appears to have enjoyed her day at the Test if her twitter feed, where she famously claimed not to be "a freaking cricket match", is anything to go by. "I can see/hear thebarmyarmy quite well from where I'm sitting," she tweeted. "Very entertaining."

Gower a deliciously old-school scoundrel

David Gower gave his Terry-Thomas side full rein before play began on the first day, referring to Michael Clarke's former girlfriend as "the delicious Lara Bingle" as the Sky team previewed the action. David Lloyd, sitting alongside, pulled a face before claiming, rather implausibly, to have never heard of the Aussie model. Michael Atherton, sensibly, kept quiet.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Buttoned up: Ryan Reynolds with Helen Mirren in ‘Woman in Gold’
filmFor every box-office smash in his Hollywood career, there's always been a misconceived let-down. Now he says it's time for a reboot
News
people
News
Actress Julianne Moore wins the Best Actress in a Leading Role Award for 'Still Alice' during the 87th Annual Academy Awards in Hollywood, California
people
Sport
Ross Barkley
footballPaul Scholes says it's time for the Everton playmaker to step up and seize the England No 10 shirt
News
'We will fix it': mice in the 1970s children’s programme Bagpuss
science
Life and Style
2 Karl Lagerfeld and Choupette
fashion
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

War with Isis: Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria's capital

War with Isis

Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria
Scientists develop mechanical spring-loaded leg brace to improve walking

A spring in your step?

Scientists develop mechanical leg brace to help take a load off
Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock: How London shaped the director's art and obsessions

Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock

Ackroyd has devoted his literary career to chronicling the capital and its characters. He tells John Walsh why he chose the master of suspense as his latest subject
Ryan Reynolds interview: The actor is branching out with Nazi art-theft drama Woman in Gold

Ryan Reynolds branches out in Woman in Gold

For every box-office smash in Ryan Reynolds' Hollywood career, there's always been a misconceived let-down. It's time for a rethink and a reboot, the actor tells James Mottram
Why Robin Williams safeguarded himself against a morbid trend in advertising

Stars safeguard against morbid advertising

As film-makers and advertisers make increasing posthumous use of celebrities' images, some stars are finding new ways of ensuring that they rest in peace
The UK horticulture industry is facing a skills crisis - but Great Dixter aims to change all that

UK horticulture industry facing skills crisis

Great Dixter manor house in East Sussex is encouraging people to work in the industry by offering three scholarships a year to students, as well as generous placements
Hack Circus aims to turn the rule-abiding approach of TED talks on its head

Hack Circus: Technology, art and learning

Hack Circus aims to turn the rule-abiding approach of TED talks on its head. Rhodri Marsden meets mistress of ceremonies Leila Johnston
Sevenoaks is split over much-delayed decision on controversial grammar school annexe

Sevenoaks split over grammar school annexe

If Weald of Kent Grammar School is given the go-ahead for an annexe in leafy Sevenoaks, it will be the first selective state school to open in 50 years
10 best compact cameras

A look through the lens: 10 best compact cameras

If your smartphone won’t quite cut it, it’s time to invest in a new portable gadget
Paul Scholes column: Ross Barkley played well against Italy but he must build on that. His time to step up and seize that England No 10 shirt is now

Paul Scholes column

Ross Barkley played well against Italy but he must build on that. His time to step up and seize that England No 10 shirt is now
Why Michael Carrick is still proving an enigma for England

Why Carrick is still proving an enigma for England

Manchester United's talented midfielder has played international football for almost 14 years yet, frustratingly, has won only 32 caps, says Sam Wallace
Tracey Neville: The netball coach who is just as busy as her brothers, Gary and Phil

Tracey Neville is just as busy as her brothers, Gary and Phil

The former player on how she is finding time to coach both Manchester Thunder in the Superleague and England in this year's World Cup
General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?