With two days left in the Headingley Test, England is set to win their first game in the Ashes series. The team needs 226 runs to win the match. After rain wiped out the first two sessions of Day 3 on Saturday, the English bowlers put on an excellent performance to dismiss Australia for 224. As Australia’s batting collapsed, Travis Head (77) was crucial in enabling the guests set a challenging 251-run goal for England.
The hosts, though, got off to a good start despite opener Ben Duckett again having serious problems with extra bounce, finishing the day at 27/0. As a result, England must consider themselves favourites to win the Test and maintain their Ashes series lead. Batting icon Sachin Tendulkar offered Ben Stokes and company some words of wisdom as they strive for victory in Leeds.
Tendulkar issued a warning on his official Twitter account, urging England to play cautiously and refrain from carelessly giving up their wickets in the pursuit of fast runs.
Tomorrow’s opening hour at Headingley will be crucial, Tendulkar wrote.
“I believe the pitch is playing perfectly beautifully, and England will win if they bat wisely and have confidence in their strategy. They will pursue the total if they are disciplined in their shot selection and have a good attitude.
The first innings of the match saw England struggle with the bat, as they were bowled out for 237. However, Ben Stokes’ brave 80-run effort at the crease prevented a much lower score from being recorded.
England has received harsh criticism for their excessive batsmanship throughout the Ashes series thus far, with legends of the team like Geoffrey Boycott denouncing “Bazball.” However, Brendon McCullum, the head coach, and both of Stokes’ teammates have defended the approach to play that has paid well for the English side over the previous 12 months.