Men’s Ashes Fifth Test Report Card, Day Three
Featuring three questions, performative bits and Stuart Broad's retirement
England began the third day of the Test with a looming number three problem, with Moeen Ali unable to bat in the position due to his time off the field with a groin injury.
Who would fulfil the role instead? It was the greatest three question since Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Various players were spotted with pads on, raising the prospect that perhaps when the first wicket fell, it would simply be a foot race to the middle to decide who batted in the role.
Or perhaps it would be Moeen himself. After all, after two hours, he would be able to bat wherever he pleased. With England setting off in helter-skelter Bazball fashion, erasing the first innings deficit in the first over and barely slowing up from there, there was a very real prospect that the openers would bat out the entire first session and render the question moot.
But then Alex Carey heard a faint nick off the edge of Ben Duckett’s bat that nobody else could detect and, more importantly, convinced Pat Cummins he wasn’t imagining things. Carey hears as if he has Adam Gilchrist’s ears. Great wicketkeeping lineage.
As it turned out, Duckett’s wicket saw Ben Stokes emerge at first drop for England. Huh. Who knew the Kneeless One was so sharp in a foot race?
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