Aussies' attack as good as ever: McGrath

Scott Bailey
Glenn McGrath rates Australia's current bowling unit as one of the best of all time

Glenn McGrath has declared Australia's current bowling attack comparable with the great one he led and says the rotation policy should be used to keep them together.

Australia's fast-bowling cartel of Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc are all rated in the world's top 10, with Cummins No.1 in the ICC rankings.

James Pattinson also made an impact in Melbourne replacing the injured Hazlewood, taking 6-69 for the match.

Each of the quartet have averaged 25 or below this summer against New Zealand and Pakistan, and they have not conceded more than 350 in any of their last 15 innings.

McGrath in comparison led one of Australia's great all-time attacks.

Along with Brett Lee, Jason Gillespie and Shane Warne, they helped Australia to 16 consecutive Test wins in a side that dominated Test cricket for more than half a decade.

But he said the current group could be put in the same category, with Starc providing the point of difference as a left-armer and Cummins and Hazlewood both relentless.

"They are right up there, without a doubt. Their stats prove that. Nathan Lyon has 350 Test wickets (as well)," McGrath, who is at the SCG for the pink Test, said.

"It's as good a bowling attack as we've had and the way they work together is pretty good."

All four of the quicks are under the age of 30, while 32-year-old Lyon shows no sign of letting up as he nears becoming just the third Australian to reach 400 wickets.

This summer marks the first time all five have been fit for Test cricket at the same time for a home season.

Both Pattinson and Starc were brought in and out of the side during the Ashes, while the former will play back-to-back Tests for the first time in four years in Sydney.

And while the rotation policy was never implemented through his own career, McGrath said the current batch of quicks had to come on board to keep them together long-term.

"These days it's not a team of 11, it's a squad of 12, 14 or 15," McGrath said.

"We've come to terms with that. We saw the Ashes where the fast bowlers were rotated and that's the way to go forward.

"The game has changed slightly in that respect."

HOW THE ATTACKS STACK UP

Golden era:

Glenn McGrath: 563 wickets at 21.64

Brett Lee: 310 at 30.81

Jason Gillespie: 259 at 26.13

Shane Warne: 708 at 25.41

Total: 1842 at 25.24

Current era:

Pat Cummins: 139 wickets at 21.92

Mitchell Starc: 240 at 27.08

Josh Hazlewood: 195 at 26.20

Nathan Lyon: 380 at 32.11

Total: 954 at 28.17.