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“Miracles come along once in blue moon” – Michale Atherton on Ben Stokes’s chances of saving the 2nd test match for England

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England is down and out in this test match and only a miracle from Stokes, Buttler or the weather can save them. Speaking to SkySports, Michael Atherton was asked about the chances of Stoke’s playing a similar Headingly innings to save the 2nd test match in Adelaide.

Atherton replied, “Well I am afraid. Miracles only come along once a blue moon. And I wouldn’t hold any hope of a miracle tomorrow but one never knows as you said Ben Stokes is in there. He is a fantastic test match cricketer and he has done it before but it’s a huge steep mountain for him and England to climb I am afraid”

Ben Stokes played once in a lifetime innings of 135 not out in Headingly in 2019, taking England to victory with the last wicket partnership of 76 runs with Jack Leach. England was three down with Stokes being not out at one end when they resumed their chase of 359 runs on Day 5 of the famous Headingley match. At the stumps of Day 4 of this ongoing test match, Stokes is present at the crease along with Ollie Pope.

England were always behind the game – Michael Atherton

The presenter asked whether England was in the game until the departure of Joe Root, to which Atherton replied “Well they were very much behind the game. Australia is in charge of the match. Four done overnight is not a good place to be exactly. Australia’s attack has been relentless and it is a steep task tomorrow.”

England’s bowling coach Jon Lewis hinted after the end of Day 4 on Sunday that the bowling combination could have been better with a specialist spinner. The pitch started to spin from Day 2 and even the likes of Root prevented the Australian batsman to score freely. Such was the state of the affairs, that the medium-pacer Robinson donned the off-spinner’s hat for a while. Robinson has off-spin bowling experience of nearly 26 overs for his Sussex county.

The presenter revealed that Haseeb Hamid holds the most ducks in a year for a batsman in Test cricket, to which Atherton replied that England had trouble finding stable openers after Sir Alaistair Cook and Andrew Strauss. Atherton also stated that England had tried close to 21 or 22 opening partnerships since Strauss and Cook.

England has not enjoyed a good run in test cricket since the early part of 2021 as they lost the Test series to India by 1 -3, lost to New Zealand in home conditions by 0- 2, are trailing behind 1- 2 in the postponed home series against India, and are currently looking at the possibility of two-nil down in the Ashes.

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