It won't take much to get on top of England, says McGrath

The pace bowler, with 499 Test victims under his belt, said that England were oozing self-belief in the one-day matches at the start of the Australians' tour but had started to lose confidence with the tourists' crushing wins in the last two games.

"Body language is the biggest key and that is one thing Australia do so well," McGrath said.

"During the last two one-dayers [at Lord's and The Oval], it was obvious to see that their body language had dropped. It was so quiet out there [on the field]. That is a sign that it won't take much to get on top of them.

"It is easy to get aggressive when things are going well. They believe in themselves more than in the past. They have world-class players, but whether they really believe they can beat us, we will have to wait and see.

"In the back of their minds, they will know we probably had the edge over them in the one-dayers."

McGrath, whose use of pre-Ashes mind games is as predictable as his bowling is accurate, also said that the Australians had devised a plan for England's newcomer, Kevin Pietersen.

"It has been good to see the way Pietersen plays before the Test," he said. "I think he is very much suited to the one-day game. We have seen a few things to enable us to make a plan of how to bowl to him that we think will be successful."

McGrath also feels England rely too heavily on certain players, notably Marcus Trescothick, Andrew Strauss, Michael Vaughan and Steve Harmison. He believes England need to ensure that Harmison is in the right frame of mind since he was disappointing in South Africa last winter.

"England had a far better team and should have beaten South Africa, but Harmy didn't perform as well as I thought he would," McGrath said. "Matthew Hoggard bowled well, but they won't get away with relying on just two guys. If they do, we will win and win well."

McGrath went on to question Harmison's self-belief. "I thought he started one-day series very well but in the last few games he didn't seem the same so whether his confidence has dropped a bit, I'm not sure."

While McGrath's confidence is clearly sky high, the England spinner Ashley Giles insisted his side are no longer in awe of Australia.

"We certainly aren't afraid of them," he said. "We will go toe-to-toe with them and, while we know they are a good side and capable of beating us, we will take them on. All the players have said there is a lot less baggage than in England teams in the past. There is a lot less history. There aren't many guys who have been used to losing to Australia."

Yet Giles admits that England have to be at their peak to win. "If we play like we did against South Africa, then Australia will thrash us," he said. "But if we play as we did last summer, we have more of a chance."

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
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

Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

Broadcasting plays and exhibitions to cinemas is a sure-fire box office smash
Shipping container hotels: Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Spending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but these mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
Native American headdresses are not fashion accessories

Feather dust-up

A Canadian festival has banned Native American headwear. Haven't we been here before?
Boris Johnson's war on diesel

Boris Johnson's war on diesel

11m cars here run on diesel. It's seen as a greener alternative to unleaded petrol. So why is London's mayor on a crusade against the black pump?
5 best waterproof cameras

Splash and flash: 5 best waterproof cameras

Don't let water stop you taking snaps with one of these machines that will take you from the sand to meters deep
Louis van Gaal interview: Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era

Louis van Gaal interview

Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era
Will Gore: The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series

Will Gore: Outside Edge

The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series
The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz