Former Australia spinner Stuart MacGill could’ve been the most prominent Test spinner for Australia if not born in the era of Shane Warne. Stuart MacGill was known for his effective leg-breaks and a deceptive googly. The 49-year-old gained more popularity when he was the team's lead spinner in the home series against Sourav Ganguly's India in 2003-04.
Stuart MacGill was also a member of the 2005 Australia squad for the Ashes series but failed to make it to the team in any of the five Tests. While speaking on the Cricket Life Stories YouTube channel, Stuart MacGill let out his frustration at Australia's preparations for the 2005 Ashes as he put most of the blame on the then coach, John Buchanan. Stuart MacGill called it the most disappointing experience of his life.
Stuart MacGill said that preparations for that series from an Australian point of view were disgraceful. He added that in the squad that was selected for that tour, the team had seven players, including him, who had played quite a bit of county cricket. He further said that they knew the bowlers, the conditions, the balls, the approach and what to expect from the opponent.
Stuart MacGill revealed that they had a three-day planning meeting just prior to leaving for the tour and they were doing Edward de Bono’s ‘[Six] Thinking Hats.‘ He further said that they didn’t talk about Simon Jones or about Andrew Flintoff or any of the leading players who were in the England set-up at the time. MacGill even went on to say that according to him as well as a lot of people, the Australian team didn’t show England any respect at all.
MacGill further said that once Simon Katich came up to him after Day 1 of ‘The Seven [Six] Thinking Caps’ and asked him if they are going to talk about any of the England players at all. MacGill shared something common with Warne besides leg spin, i.e. finding John Buchanan overrated. He said that Buchanan was a passenger with the Australia team in the period of time that he was involved. He also said that he had a poor relationship with him, which is why in reply to Katich, he said that Ricky Ponting would be a better person to answer that question, as he was the captain of the team at the time.
MacGill was not a part of the Australia squad for the white-ball series before the Ashes. During that series, MacGill worked as a commentator in Australia and noticed that something wasn’t quite right with some of the members of the Australia team. MacGill said that when he landed in the UK, he went up to Buchanan and said to him that he been working in media and he had noticed a few things and advised him to discuss it with the players concerned.
MacGill added that after a month or so Australia were 1-2 down, he once again met Buchanan and asked him if he had spoken to the concerned players, which he did not. MacGill added that Buchanan facilitated arrogance and disrespect of the conditions and the talent that was on show in the England side.