Trevor Bayliss says England are confident they can keep their Ashes hopes alive at Old Trafford by avoiding defeat on the final day against Australia as “anything is possible.”
Australia had England on the ropes on 18-2 at stumps on day four in Manchester after Pat Cummins dismissed Rory Burns without scoring and Joe Root from the next ball in a brilliant first over.
First-innings double-centurion Steve Smith starred again with 82 after Stuart Broad and Jofra Archer reduced the tourists to 44-4 with two wickets apiece, Australia declaring on 186-6 late in the day.
England – all out for 301 in their first innings after lunch – need a highly unlikely 365 more runs to take a 2-1 lead or bat all day on Sunday for a draw that would set up a decider at The Oval.
Head coach Bayliss says they can inflict pain on Tim Paine’s side once again, a fortnight after they pulled off a record run chase at Headingley courtesy of Ben Stokes’ heroics.
The worst possible start.
— England Cricket (@englandcricket) September 7, 2019
“It’s a big challenge but we’ve got two guys out there who are very good players and we’ve certainly got some guys in the sheds who can make hundreds,” said England head coach Bayliss.
“It’ll take I think a couple of our guys to make big hundreds but as we saw in the last Test, anything is possible.
“I’m always positive, I think we can do it. We’ve already had a chat and we’re certainly not going out there thinking it’s all over, if we do there’s no use playing at this level.
“They believe they can go out and bat for 98 overs, put in a good performance and save the game.”
Bayliss added that Stokes’ incredible knock has given his team-mates belief that they can get themselves out of trouble again.
“It gives the guys a lift that if one guy can do it then somebody else can,” the Australian said.
“We’ve already spoken about who is going to go out there and be the hero, we know it will take some hard work, but they’ll be going out there with the aim to do that.”