Ashes 2019, 3rd Test: Key takeaways from Day 3
Australia had England under the mat at 15/2 on Day 3 in their second innings. But skipper Joe Root (75*) and Joe Denly (50) batted brilliantly to keep the side in sight of a 359-run chase. England were 156/3 at end of Day 3 and need another 203 runs to win with two days left. Here are the key takeaways.
Aussies get the perfect start to remove England openers early
Australia's Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins gave the side a strong start. It was something Australia wanted to set the tone in the right manner. Sending both English openers early saw the Aussies lay a strong platform. Hazlewood got Rory Burns with a beauty and then Cummins castled Roy. Both were length deliveries and the zones were terrific to hurt England.
Root and Denly get along to grind it out
Root and Denly got together in a pivotal situation for the hosts. They shared a commanding 126-run stand for the third wicket. The two batsmen took their time and the approach paid dividends. Denly consumed 155 deliveries and hit eight fours for his maiden Ashes fifty. Root went on to stay unbeaten. Their strike-rates of under 40 showed a labored approach.
Aussie bowlers toil hard against England
Aussie bowlers were made to work hard and they didn't get the desired rewards. Someone like Ben Stokes consumed 50 balls to stay unbeaten on two. Aussies have work to do in breaking the English resistance. The second new ball is due in eight overs and that's where the visitors will target England. It's expected to be a mouth-watering battle on Day 4.
Skipper Root shoulders responsibility well
This is a big chance for Root to showcase his attributes. He is one of the best batsmen in world cricket and his mental strength will be highlighted here. Root was terrific once he settled down. The early stages tested him and there were few edges and misses. But from there on, Root scored square of the wicket on both sides.
Marnus Labuschagne was decisive for Australia
Earlier, Australia moved their overnight score of 171/6 to 246/10. It was Marnus Labuschagne once again that stood tall. He got a fighting 80 and struck a third successive Ashes fifty. His display was the biggest positive for Australia.