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McGrath: Anderson's form could be the key in Ashes
The Ashes 2019

McGrath: Anderson's form could be the key in Ashes

Glenn McGrath feels the form of James Anderson could hold the key in determining the result of the Ashes.

Australia hold the urn but head into opening Test at Edgbaston searching for their first series win in England in 18 years.

McGrath believes Anderson could have a massive impact on the outcome of the Ashes if he manages to stay fit in a tightly scheduled series.

"On home soil with the Dukes ball, he's the best in the world bowling in those conditions," McGrath told the Sun in an interview.

Also Read: Broad and Anderson will hold the key for England in Ashes, says Harmison

“He is a big player and if he has a big series for England, Australia will find it tough. If Australia bat well and can get on top of him, that'll make a massive impact on their chances."

The 49-year-old McGrath added: "But Jimmy is on his way to 600 Test wickets, which is absolutely incredible."

Anderson is now just 25 scalps short of becoming the first fast bowler in the history to take 600 wickets in Test cricket, having surpassed McGrath’s tally of 563 last year.

"Jimmy’s got the record now and it won't be beaten," said McGrath. "For a fast bowler to beat whatever record he sets, they are going to have to play 150 Tests-plus."

‘Dukes ball will aid Australia’s attack as well’

This season's Ashes will be played with last year's Dukes ball, which has a much pronounced seam and is expected to produce challenges for the batsmen.

While that will benefit the experienced duo of Broad and Anderson, McGrath believes that would help Australia’s strong pace attack as well.

"Pat Cummins will bowl really well with it and if Mitchell Starc is swinging that new ball 150 kilometres (93 miles) per-hour-plus and bowling attacking lengths, he's a handful for anyone," he said.

"It's going to be whether our batsmen have learned and adjusted from last time they were here, when they just went too hard at the ball."

Talking Technique: How do you cope with the moving ball?

While the former paceman refused to give his trademark whitewash predictions, he said Australia had the ability to adapt to the tough conditions in England.

"Teams around the world are becoming stronger at home and worse away. That is a massive concern," he said.

"But having been here for the World Cup, a lot of Australia's players have been able to adapt and adjust to conditions, to play on the pitches and get a little bit of a feel for everything.

"We have got the players to do it. But they are going to have to be on the top of their game if they are going to compete with England in their own conditions."