London: Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting said he is curious to see how England will play in their second innings on day three of the fifth and final Ashes Test at The Oval Saturday.
England will begin their second innings on day three with trailing Australia by 12 runs after the tourists were all out for 295 in reply to the hosts’ total of 283. In their first innings, England suffered batting collapses of 3-11 and 4-28 on day one of the Test at The Oval.
“I am intrigued to see how hard England go. They got bowled out at Edgbaston trying to set the game up early and gave Australia a sniff. Are they going to go hard again and chance those little collapses we saw on day one here or will it be a bit more circumspect? Will there be a mixture of out-and-out Bazball and traditional cricket?” said Ponting to Sky Sports.
On the other hand, former England batter Mark Butcher stated he wishes to see England play smart on Day 3 while respecting the situations where they won’t be needed to attack from the word go.
“What I hope will happen is that they will go out with that intent but then recognise periods in the game when they might have to sit in. If they do that and have a number in mind they want to defend, then get there however you feel best to get there. Don’t go against your attacking instincts but be smart,” said Butcher.
Meanwhile, veteran India wicketkeeper-batter Dinesh Karthik feels England should target to get 350 runs in second innings so that they give their bowling line-up some time to rest.
“I don’t think England have a bone in their body that is going to make them score any less quickly than they have done, but they should bat at least 80, 85 overs – for their own good so that they score 350 but also so the bowlers get some rest,” said Karthik.
Ponting also expressed disappointment over Australia not being able to take a larger lead over England. Steve Smith top-scored with 71 off 123 balls, and was supported by Usman Khawaja (47), Cummins (36) and Murphy (34) as Australia managed to take a narrow lead after being 185-7 at one point.
“I think Australia will be disappointed, to be honest. Smith talked about how good the wicket was. There was swing but that’s part of playing Test cricket in England. England did bowl really well this morning but I don’t think there was enough pressure put back on them. Australia have been lucky to escape and get out of jail a bit with the late runs from Cummins and Murphy at the end,” he said.