Legendary Australian paceman Glenn McGrath says the heroics of young West Australian Ashton Agar has breathed new life into what was looking to be a challenging series for the tourists.

Agar broke many records on his way to a swashbuckling 98 as he and partner Phil Hughes guided Australia from 9-117 to be 280 all out in an innings that McGrath believes has changed the complexion of the entire series.

McGrath told FoxSports, "I think for this whole series, for the whole 10 tests, it was needed.

"It was looking a little embarrassing for the Aussies unfortunately and at 9-117 I thought this could be ugly and set the tone for the rest of the series.

"But that innings with him and Hughes... brought us back in the game. Now we've got a contest here."

McGrath was given the honour of giving the young left arm orthodox spinner his Test cap and was immediately impressed by the young man

"I looked up his stats and noticed he was born one month before I made my debut for Australia (1993). So that made me feel a little old.

"All I said to him is it's a very proud moment and an honour, And whatever the situation, have that mental strength and never give up because you never know."

It was this that most impressed McGrath about the performance of the young Australian.

"He's gone out there with no nerves, and looked a very confident young fella and that's what I like about him."

McGrath knows from personal experience the tiny moments that can change the course of an Ashes contest.

Many on this side of the world still believe that had McGrath not trodden on a loose ball before the beginning of the Second Test back in the 2005 series, then Australia would have been triumphant in that most closely fought of series.

His figures from the First Test of that series back up these claims, with McGrath having taken 5-53 in the first innings of that game and backing up with 4-29 in the second innings. 

Australian fans can only hope that Agar's blistering performance with the blade in this Test match has turned the momentum of this series in the visitors favour.


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