McGrath backs 'underdogs' Oz to win Ashes

London, July 10 (ANI): Former Australian pace bowler Glenn McGrath has said that Australia can defeat England 2-1 and regain the Ashes urn this time, although he admitted that that they are still the underdogs in the iconic series.

According to BBC, McGrath's predictions of Australian whitewashes have become a regular feature of pre-Ashes series build-ups, adding that he was correct in 2006-07, when the Australians regained the Ashes with a 5-0 victory at home.

However, the report added, England has won the past two series and are set to open their defence when the first Test begins at Trent Bridge on Wednesday.

Stating that England is the favourite in this series, McGrath, who played 124 Tests for Australia, however, said that being the underdogs could work in Australia's favour as they have nothing to lose and will be prepared to fight with all their might, free of the pressures of being favourites, to snatch away the urn.

McGrath further said that unless there is rain, he believes that there will be a result in every Test and backed Australia to win the series 2-1.

Meanwhile, the retired Test cricketer also said that he believed in pace bowler James Pattinson's urging to sledge new England opener Joe Root, adding that Australia would be right to show aggression towards the Yorkshireman by trying to unsettle him verbally and let him know that he is playing in Test cricket.

The right-armer, who took 563 wickets in 124 Test matches, further said that being an opener facing the new ball, Root might slide back down the order if he gets off to a couple of bad starts.

Although McGrath was sympathetic with Pattinson, who holds dual English-Australian nationality and turned down the chance to play for England (external), for what he perceived to be the poor treatment of his brother Darren, who played one Test in 2008, he however, advised him to not let his emotions boil over as he still has to play.

Praising England fast bowler James Anderson, who in May became only the fourth England player to pass 300 Test wickets, McGrath further said that Anderson is a quality bowler, adding that he always thought that he had the potential to be really good.

Although McGrath admitted that Anderson had always bowled well in England but struggled overseas, he however, said that he is an exceptional bowler all over the world, adding that the experience and confidence that he brings to the team, makes him the leader of the attack. (ANI)

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