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'Strauss, Cook are my Ashes bunnies'

india Updated: Aug 01, 2006 15:09 IST
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Australian speedster Glenn McGrath has named England's stand-in captain Andrew Strauss and Alastair Cook as his likely bunnies for the upcoming Ashes series.

In last year's Ashes, McGrath's target was England's full-time skipper Michael Vaughan, who has fallen to him six times in seven Tests.

But with Vaughan likely to miss the most, if not all, of the Ashes after knee surgery, the New South Wales paceman is looking for new victims.

"There's a few new guys that are coming ... That are doing well," McGrath told Sydney radio 2KY, a media report said.

"There's the young fellow Cook who's done well so far. He's one of many, there's no use naming one (bunny) these days you name two or three.

"They've captained Strauss at the moment, you always name the captain," said McGrath, who has been missing from the frontline of Australia's bowling attack since January, after stepping down to support his wife Jane in her battle with breast cancer.

But the 36-year-old bowler is back in action, bowling in a three-day clinic with Australia bowling coach Troy Cooley in Brisbane last week.

In what would certainly not be music England team ahead of the Ashes rivalry in November, the man with 542 Test scalps said he was doing better than expected after the six-month lay-off.

"It felt great. To have six months off and to go up there and feel that good, it doesn't take long to feel like you have not had a break," McGrath said. More

"It will take a little while to build it up but I'm probably in front of where I thought I would be."

McGrath said while he would be happy to line-up for NSW to get some practice, the international schedule that starts with a two-week tri-series tournament in Malaysia and Singapore ahead of the Champions' Trophy in India would be a perfect preparation for the grudge Ashes series.

"I guess the selectors are meeting later this week and I will have a chat to them before that," he said.

"There's that pre-ICC tour coming up to KL (Kuala Lumpur), which is out of season - there's nothing here in Australia -- so that might be a good hit-out to see how things are going and to give the selectors a bit more of an idea of where I am at.

"My preference would probably to go to India, it's a good place to really build it up.

"On previous tours I've been there, I've always come back to Australia and bowled well straight away, whether it's been a one-day tour (or a) Test tour.

"I sort of look at it a bit like our players doing altitude training.

"There's no harder place for a fast bowler than India, so when you come back to Australia to bowl on the wickets here it gives you a huge lift."

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