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HomeSport'We'll miss Broad too, but I have a last Ashes grumble'

‘We’ll miss Broad too, but I have a last Ashes grumble’


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England are not going to be the only ones who will miss the retiring Stuart Broad.Australia may have always cast him as the villain but that is only because we respect him.Taking the final two wickets of the fifth Ashes Test to draw an incredible series is a fitting end for a bowler I cannot speak highly enough about.His phenomenal statistics – 604 wickets in 167 Tests – speak for themselves. They are a testament to his mental desire, skill and longevity. In terms of us fast bowlers there is only his team-mate James Anderson ahead of him and no-one else is going to get close. Broad played his part of the final day but we should not forget Chris Woakes – another England player I have always admired.He is a quality cricketer with bat and ball. I don’t think he bowled a bad ball in the three Tests he played and those performances were capped by his four wickets to break Australia’s resistance.Of course, Australia will be disappointed to lose. They will have been in the dressing room on Monday night feeling flat because they came here to win the urn not just to retain it. We know David Warner will not be back and there will be doubts about whether Steve Smith or any of the bowlers will play another away Ashes too.A chase of 384 would have been Australia’s second-highest in Test history so it was always going to be tough.They stuck at it impressively, especially given the momentum England had built over the previous days.I must say – and it is not the reason England won – the fact the umpires changed a 37-over-old ball on day four – the original was knocked out of shape when Mark Wood hit Usman Khawaja on the helmet – for one that looked like it had been used for no more than 15 overs has to be looked into to.That should not happen.But, ultimately, the wait for a first Ashes series win in the UK since 2001 goes on another four years.This summer will be a great learning experience for Australia captain Pat Cummins.Some have called for him to step aside but he should carry on. Until now he has been excellent as captain and Australia still leave England as world Test champions, remember.This is the first time Cummins the captain has been really challenged. You learn the most from those situations.He will be able to look back on the fall-out from Alex Carey’s stumping of Jonny Bairstow at Lord’s or Zak Crawley’s whirlwind innings at Old Trafford and think what he can do differently.It is not going to get much tougher than facing this aggressive England side with the crowd so revved up behind them. Cummins can only get better as a result of this series.And Australia should still be proud for playing their part in what has been an incredible summer.It has captured the imagination of the public in England and Australia, just like the 2005 series I played in did.In that series we had two teams with relatively similar styles but what has made this one so special is England and Australia have played in completely opposing ways.England have had their attacking style and Australia stuck to their more traditional way of playing. I still insist there is room for both in Test cricket. We have seen you cannot ‘Bazball’ all of the time.But, having watched England up close throughout this series, I am still a massive fan of what Ben Stokes is doing.I love the concept of backing yourself to take the positive option and play on the front foot. After the second Test I said England had been too casual, that it was causing them to make mistakes, but since then they have certainly improved. At Old Trafford they played the perfect game until the rain came.I just wish occasionally England would be more honest with the messaging.We have seen them come out and up ultra-positive, like at Lord’s when Ben Duckett said England’s attack of Australia short balls which cost them three wickets was the right ploy.Sugarcoating everything does not work. People see right through it.But over the coming years it will be natural that Australia take on some of what they have seen from England. If nothing else, it is simply the way the game is moving. That is also how the young batters in Australia are playing the game.We have to protect Test cricket and series like these are the ones that will do it. Both teams have played their part in that because without Australia digging in as they have we would have not had the thrilling finishes we did.The fact we had four close Tests – Manchester was the only time one team really got on top – means both teams will feel they could have won.Equally, England and Australia will know they could have lost as well.Since Headingley I have copped a lot of stick from the crowds, with England fans asking me what happened to my 5-0 prediction at the start of the summer.I am always going to be positive and back Australia but I’ll admit 2-2 is a fitting result to the series. Both teams were on the ropes at times but managed to hang in there.We’ll have to see how things are but in two-and-a-half years time I bet I’ll be making the same prediction again.England have lost 4-0, 4-0 and 5-0 in their last three trips down under.Winning in Australia will be Bazball’s next frontier.Glenn McGrath was speaking to BBC Sport’s Matthew Henry

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