Ashes 2017: Australia's unsettled team unlikely to clean sweep England, feels Glenn McGrath

"If our bowlers can stay on the park and bowl well there could be a good chance of that again," said McGrath.

AFP, Nov,04 2017

London: Legendary Australian paceman Glenn McGrath is fond of predicting Ashes whitewashes for his compatriots over England - but this time round he is not so sure.

The 47-year-old, who brought the curtain down on his stellar Test career 10 years ago with a 5-0 clean sweep of England, told Saturday's Daily Mail newspaper everyone is expecting him to say 5-0.

File image of Former Australian cricketer Glenn McGrath. AFP

File image of Former Australian cricketer Glenn McGrath. AFP

"Well, it would be rude of me not to, wouldn't it?" jested McGrath.

"If our bowlers can stay on the park and bowl well there could be a good chance of that again."

"It's always up to the batsmen. Bowlers will win matches as long as the batsmen score enough runs. That's coming from a bowler."

However McGrath — who took 563 Test wickets in 124 Tests over a 14 year period — admits that prediction could be tempered by a couple of personnel issues the Aussies are facing.

"I think it will be a fascinating series and I don't think there's a real stand-out winner," said McGrath, not just a Test bowler but an integral part of the Australian side that won three successive One Day World Cups.

"Both teams have got issues, there's no doubt about that, and looking at the England squad, half the guys I haven't really seen play before to be honest."

"I don't think the Australians have settled on their team."

"The No 6 position and the keeper are up in the air at the moment so we'll see what happens. It's still special. It's still the ultimate."

McGrath says the Ben Stokes affair has obviously affected the balance of power between the two sides.

Stokes has had to remain in England as he awaits the outcome of a police investigation into an incident in Bristol in September

"Being vice-captain you do have to set the standards both on and off the field and what happened there was not good, you can't say anything but that," said McGrath.

"The great shame of it is that he has the world at his feet. He's such a good player."

"He's two players in one so it's a big blow to England. I wouldn't be surprised if he's not here for the entire series."

"If he did come out here it will be interesting to see how the fans warm to him but there's a lot to happen first before we see whether that can happen."

"It could be a distraction."

"Of course it's a blow to the series."

"You want to play against the best players. For Australia to win you want the opposition to be at full strength and that's the way it's always been."

McGrath was speaking ahead of taking part in the New York Marathon on Sunday.

He is running for The McGrath Foundation which raises money for cancer, an illness that claimed his first wife Jane.

Published Date: Nov 04, 2017 | Updated Date: Nov 04, 2017

Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 4969 124
2 South Africa 3888 111
3 Australia 4174 104
4 New Zealand 3489 100
5 England 4829 99
6 Sri Lanka 4058 94
Rank Team Points Rating
1 South Africa 6386 120
2 India 6680 119
3 England 6320 115
4 New Zealand 6404 114
5 Australia 6012 113
6 Pakistan 4811 96
Rank Team Points Rating
1 New Zealand 2262 126
2 Pakistan 2843 124
3 India 3385 121
4 England 2029 119
5 West Indies 2538 115
6 South Africa 2238 112