Australia could struggle to shift a Headingley hangover that will have their bowlers doubting whether they can finish the job and win the Ashes, ex-England bowler Simon Jones has said.
Tim Paine’s team were just one wicket away from retaining the urn in Leeds and England still needed 73 when last man in Jack Leach joined Ben Stokes at the crease, the two sharing an incredible stand to guide the hosts to their highest ever successful Test chase.
England bowler Stuart Broad said the manner of the team’s success had shifted momentum in the series ahead of the fourth Test, which begins at Old Trafford on Wednesday, and Australia coach Justin Langer admitted it felt like the Ashes had been “stolen” from them.
Jones was in a similarly tight Test in 2005 when a two-run win at Edgbaston inspired England to a famous series success, and he told Omnisport doubt could be creeping into the Australia ranks 14 years on.
“I’m sure the Aussies will have more questions than we did…’Why couldn’t we take those last couple of wickets?'” said Jones, who was speaking on behalf of Specsavers, the official Test partner of the England cricket team.
“So that’s the biggest question they will be asking themselves. They might doubt each other as a bowling unit.
“They’re still a very good outfit, they really are.”
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Australia had their opportunities to take the final wicket they needed in Leeds before Stokes crunched a four to complete a remarkable success.
Marcus Harris failed to take a difficult chance to remove Stokes, Nathan Lyon squandered an easy opportunity to run out Leach and Paine’s wasteful use of the review system meant he was unable to challenge an lbw decision against Stokes that would have gone in Australia’s favour.
“I think the Aussies will be thinking a little bit about what went wrong in that last Headingley Test,” Jones added.
“They don’t want to be doing that. You’ve just got to try and clear your head and move on.
“But it’s a natural thing. I think England are in a slightly better position at the moment.”