England head coach Trevor Bayliss remains optimistic of his side preventing Australia from retaining the Ashes at Old Trafford, and has urged his batsmen to “put their hand up and be the hero.”
“I’m always positive – we can do it,” Bayliss told reporters at the end of the fourth day, which England finished on 18-2, still 365 runs away from their target. “We’ve already spoken about who is going to put their hand up and be the hero.”
England will need to bat out at least 98 overs to force a draw, failing which would result in Australia retaining the Ashes in England for the first time in 18 years. The unbeaten pair of Joe Denly and Jason Roy will resume batting on the fifth morning, and Bayliss expressed confidence in the duo, and the rest of the line-up, to defy Australia’s red-hot bowling form.
England finish the day 18-2 – Australia are in control.
— Wisden (@WisdenCricket) September 7, 2019
“It’s a big challenge, but we’ve got two very good players out there and we’ve got some guys in the shed that can make hundreds,” said Bayliss.
England were reduced to 0-2, after Pat Cummins extracted Rory Burns off the third ball of the innings, and followed it up with a stunner to see the back of Joe Root.
“When you lose a couple of wickets so close to the end of play, it’s a little disappointing but we are pretty upbeat,” Bayliss said.
Bayliss is hoping to draw inspiration from England’s incredulous one-wicket victory in the previous Test, where Ben Stokes’ innings of a lifetime conjured a 359-run chase. England were 203 runs behind on the final day of that Test, when Stokes took it upon himself to steer the chase. Bayliss said that one of the remaining batsmen will have to take the onus in a similar manner and notch up a big score.
“It will take a couple of our guys to make good hundreds but, as we saw in the last Test, anything is possible. Hopefully, we can bat well, save the game, and enjoy a beer after.”