McGrath wants one last hurrah
Perennial persecutor Glenn McGrath wants to make Sunday's World Cup contest at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium his last against England.
The Australia seamer has tormented England’s batsmen for the past dozen years and still gets a buzz out of beating the Ashes enemy.
Celebrating a 19th victory in his 33rd one-day appearance would all but end England’s bid to progress from the Super Eight stage, less than two months after they upset Australia to claim the Commonwealth Bank Series title.
“It would be perfect, wouldn’t it?” said McGrath. “But it’s not going to be easy.
“I still look forward to it: being an Australian cricketer it is about playing England and hopefully beating England.
“I grew up in the bush watching Ashes series and always wanted to play against England for Australia.
“There is a good chance this is the last time I will come up against them, so I am looking forward to it.”
Australia went some way to avenging their three consecutive defeats to England on home soil with a win in the warm-up contest in St Vincent.
However, Australia have found England their most difficult opponent since they claimed their second successive World Cup crown in South Africa.
In 14 completed matches during that four-year period they have won only seven, representing a 50 per cent win ratio and one considerably lower than against other nations.
McGrath, however, has forged a career on negating England’s cricketing achievements.
“The way they played before the Ashes series in 2005 added to that a bit and obviously the last three games in Australia would have helped those stats out a bit,” said McGrath.
“There are reasons why Australia did not play as well as we could have done in those last few games.
“I don’t think we prepared as well as we could have, plus England played some pretty decent cricket, led by Paul Collingwood - his form of late has been exceptional.
“We probably had one eye on the World Cup at that stage but now we are here, focused on this, we’ve played some decent cricket and no team has got close to us.
“We feel if we concentrate on what we are doing, it doesn’t matter who we are playing - we will win the game.”
England captain Michael Vaughan, who has 121 runs in his last eight one-day international innings, is on McGrath’s to-do list.
“Vaughan is a key, obviously being captain and coming in early in the order,” McGrath said.
“If they set a good platform it helps guys like (Kevin) Pietersen, (Andrew) Flintoff and Collingwood, so it is a big key to get early wickets.”