It would have been nice to get to that milestone: Denly on missing maiden Test ton
Joe Denly walks off six short of a maiden Test hundred. (AFP Image)

Joe Denly was the star of the show for England on a gruelling Day 3 of the fifth Ashes Test at the Oval as he top scored with 94 to lead the home team’s charge against Australia on Saturday. Denly’s knock helped England finish the day on 313/8, a lead of 382 runs over Australia, who, although have retained the Ashes urn, face a huge mountain to survive the remaining two days of the Test.

ASHES 2019 FULL SCHEDULE | ASHES 2019 LATEST NEWS

It hasn’t been the best of the series for Denly but Saturday’s innings will surely hold him in great spirits. While it’s majorly come down to Ben Stokes and Rory Burns to do the bulk of the scoring for England, Denly had a couple of half-centuries before this – 50 in Leeds and 53 in Manchester. However, Denly would rank his 94 on Saturday right up there as it helped push England into a strong position. Denly is a bit disappointed to miss out on his maiden Test hundred but is satisfied to have contribute to the team’s cause.

ALSO READ: Paine on Australia’s missed DRS calls

“It would have been nice to get to that milestone, of course, having worked so hard to get into that position,” he said. “But England are in a very good position going into day four, hopefully we can get a few more runs and put them under pressure.

“When you’re batting at the top of the order for England there’s always that pressure and expectation for you to score runs and do well. It’s been frustrating at times this series to get starts and not be able to capitalise. I felt pretty good today. This Australian attack is certainly up there and make you work hard for every single run. Hopefully I’ve impressed the selectors and the guys who pick the winter tours. We’ll have to wait and see.”

Ever Since Joe Root had expressed his desire to bat at No. 3, Denly was pushed down to No. 4, where he’d batted throughout the series. But with Jason Roy dropped, England needed someone who could resist the new ball. Once again, it was Denly who volunteered and did a rather impressive job. He put on 54 for the opening wicket with Rory Burns, and later went on to add 127 runs with Stokes for the third wicket. Denly mentioned he is open to batting anywhere as for him, representing England is all he’s lived for.

“Wherever Rooty [Joe Root, the England captain] asks me to bat, I don’t think I’m in a position to demand where I want to bat,” he said. “To be playing for England is a privilege, certainly at my age. I didn’t think I’ll be here a couple of years ago, so to get the opportunity is very special. And if that opportunity [to open] presents itself again in the future, then I’d be happy to do it.”