“If you don’t think you’ve already been hit”; England’s multi-level player Ben Stokes insists the tourists aren’t out of their second Ashes test despite another disappointing day in Adelaide; Australia achieved a declared 473-9 before reducing England to 17-2 in the stumps

Last update: 12/17/21 2:28 PM

Ben Stokes not giving up hope of England's comeback in Adelaide

Ben Stokes not giving up hope of England’s comeback in Adelaide

Ben Stokes refused to accept England’s exit after a frustrating day of Ashes cricket in Adelaide.

Stokes’ never-say-die attitude and ability to imagine the impossible has served England well over the years, with Headingley’s steal against the Australians the most notable example.

At the time, England had cut deep all 67 before his unforgettable chase on day four, when he finished 135 not out and placed 76 with No. 11 Jack Leach.

A turnover of similar proportions could be needed to prevent England from going 2-0 down in the coming days, with Australia dominating the second day-night Test with bat and ball.

A horn from Marnus Labuschagne, 93 from Steve Smith and some late-tail punishment had them declaring 473 for nine, with openers Rory Burns and Haseeb Hamid.

Lightning and rain saved England from any further losses, but at 17-2 the road was back in a long run.

“If you don’t think you’ve already been beaten up,” said the multi-skilled coach, whose words seemed to target fans back home as much as their dressing-room teammates.

England needs a day three

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England need a “huge” three day if they are to salvage the Ashes’ second Test against Australia, says former opener Nick Knight

England need a “huge” three day if they are to salvage the Ashes’ second Test against Australia, says former opener Nick Knight

“We’ve seen a lot of support we get on social media from everyone in England, and the guys who have been supporting us here in Australia have been absolutely amazing.

“It’s unbelievable wherever we go. You hear them even though they are outnumbered and there are people staying in the middle of the night watching us from afar in bars and stuff.

“It’s unbelievable. Obviously the first test didn’t go well and Australia is ahead at the moment, but we know back home we’ll have the same amount of support as we always do, and for us it’s about letting them know that we really appreciate he-she.”

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go on with your life

Just a few months ago, Stokes wasn’t expected to be anywhere near this series, but he’s back from a mental health break to take his place at the touring gig.

When asked if the decision was worth it after six largely punishing days and some lengthy emaciation on the field, he was emphatic.

“Yes, I loved every minute of it,” he said.

“If you don’t feel pain when you get up in the morning, you probably didn’t do what was required of you. You just have to love the dirt when you go deeper into the game and understand what you are playing for.”

While player safety protocols dictate that the game ends when lightning strikes start to appear too close to rest, Labuschagne was only considering forcing home the Australian advantage.

Rory Burns' disappointing start to the series continued as he was separated for four

Rory Burns’ disappointing start to the series continued as he was separated for four

“I saw a big lightning bolt, like a big camera flash, but I was just hoping we’d stay in the field so we could get some more wickets,” he said.

Australia had already secured another tough day for Burns, who received a superb delivery from Mitchell Stark to take his tour record to 17 times in three rounds, with a total of 31 balls facing each other.

Labuschagne added, “Starcy is doing a great job getting Rory out at the moment, it looks that way.”

“We all know Starsey threw some really good balls in his face and we want to make sure we keep going forward and put England under pressure.”

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