Alastair Cook (L) and Stuart Broad turned the tides at MCG    Getty Images
Alastair Cook (L) and Stuart Broad turned the tides at MCG Getty Images

After England conceded the urn in the third Ashes Test versus Australia at Perth, Alastair Cook and Stuart Broad were in danger of losing their spots due to poor run. Before the Boxing Day Test at MCG, Cook had a miserable average of 13.83 and Broad only accounted for five wickets from five innings. Nonetheless, the duo turned the tides emphatically in the ongoing penultimate Test. While Cook (244 not out) scored the highest score by a visiting batsman at MCG also the highest score by virtue of carrying his bat and Broad claimed a four-for to restrict Australia in the first innings. The pair even added a 100-run stand for the ninth wicket with Broad contributing with a gritty 56. England coach, Trevor Bayliss, revealed that the senior pros were never in danger of getting dropped.

“[There was] no genuine chance of them missing out, but obviously they were disappointed and we were for them as well. Obviously extremely happy they were able to show the ability that they have got, we hope it continues for a few more years,” said Bayliss.

England have their tails up with Australia still trailing by 61 runs and eight wickets in hands at stumps on Day Four. The day’s play ended early due to persistent rains, and Bayliss spoke about his team’s chances. “At times it was doing a little bit, a think in those times when we were able to move the ball we had their batters – they were watchful – we had them in a bit of trouble. A fifth-day wicket, even though it’s still a very good wicket, still gives us an opportunity to force a result.”

From Australia’s perspective, they have David Warner and Steven Smith in the middle. Bayliss feels England can push for a win if they remove Warner-Smith quickly on Saturday. “If we can get rid of those two guys early on tomorrow and put some pressure on the opposition, late-order batters, anything’s possible,” opined Bayliss.