The third Test of the Ashes 2023 has been an enthralling affair as the game is rapidly progressing forward. On Day 2, England were once again rescued by their captain Ben Stokes who played a brilliant counter-attacking knock of 80 (108) to help his side add crucial runs batting with the tail. The English skipper took off-spinner Todd Murphy to the cleaners as he smacked him for five sixes.
However, the off-spinner made a remarkable comeback by getting him out caught at long-on to help Australia get a slender lead of 26 runs in the first innings. Talking about his battle with Stokes, Murphy revealed that he had the backing of his captain Pat Cummins who kept telling him to believe in himself.
“It was just about being brave and Patty (Cummins) was just reiterating that ‘Keep backing yourself mate, you’ll create a chance for us.’ Probably cost myself a bit with that dropped catch, but it’s always good fun to get in a contest like that with a guy of that calibre (Stokes),” Murphy was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au.
Notably, Stokes got two lives in his innings as first Mitchell Starc failed to reach the ball at deep mid-wicket. Following this, Murphy let down a caught and bowled chance off the very next ball.
Further answering what would be a good score for Australia to defend in the fourth innings, Murphy said that anything above 250 will be good enough to bowl England out and go 3-0 up.
Todd Murphy confident of Australia going 3-0 up
“As many as we could get could be great. I think it’s evenly balanced at the moment. If we can get a lead of 250+, I think that will give us a chance of picking up 10 wickets and hopefully, we can go 3-0 up,” he added.
Australia finished Day 2 on 116/4, leading by 142 runs with Travis Head (18*) and Mitchell Marsh (17*) at the crease. Meanwhile, the play hasn’t been possible on Day 3, with relentless rain delaying the start of the proceedings at Headingley.