Liam Plunkett has urged England’s batsmen to play on Friday as they chase Australia’s rating of 497-8dec from the fourth Ashes Test.
Steve Smith crushed 211 as he continued his imperious streak with England at stumps on day two of the contest, having to get at least a draw from this Exam to get some hope of regaining the Ashes.
Ben Stokes hit an unbeaten 135 to assist the side of guide Joe Root to a seemingly-impossible one-wicket triumph in the third Test at Headingley and Plunkett is looking for a likewise gutsy performance from England this time around.
“They will need to just appear and play their match. You can’t go into your shell, so you have to play like Stokesy (Ben Stokes) failed last match,” Plunkett told Sky Sports News.
“He batted smartly and when shots were all there, he also required them.
“Hopefully a few of the men have something to prove and you want them to kick on, kick on and get major countless such as Steve Smith did”
Smith may have made batting look simple this show but runs have been difficult to come by for many, together using Plunkett – a ODI World Cup winner with England in July – emphasizing the quality of bowling display this summer.
Plunkett added:”I think there has been lots of fantastic bowling. Clearly Steve Smith and Ben Stokes have batted well but bowlers have mastered in the collection.
“You can find some really class acts – Jofra (Archer) and Stuart Broad, (Chris) Woakes – and the Aussie bowlers are all’hit-the-pitch’ bowlers.
“It’s been tough to have runs but let’s hope our boys come in and find some big scores.”
Surrey bowler Plunkett isn’t convinced England have to settle for a draw in Manchester only yet and urged staff and that the players to appraise the match position.
“I think we must just come out, play some fantastic cricket and see where that takes us,” he said.
“Hopefully [England can] get a fantastic score and go to the dressing area and reassess.”