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Ashes 2017-18, 4th Test, Day 4 – 5 Talking Points

The Boxing Day Test is definitely on the verge of finishing on a stalemate as it stands.

David Warner | CricTracker.com
David Warner of Australia bats during day four of the Fourth Test Match in the 2017/18 Ashes series. (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)

Riding on Alastair Cook’s marathon knock, England has got themselves into a situation where they can either win or draw level blood in the worst case. As Michael Clarke said after the game, it was the best Alastair Cook has played in a very long time. Critics had written them off, but the senior pros Cook and Stuart Broad brought them back into action.

The Ashes Boxing Day Test is definitely on the verge of finishing on a stalemate as it stands. England failed to add any more runs to their overnight tally. James Anderson was dismissed off the first ball of the day England got bowled out for 491. A healthy 164 run-lead was what the visitors had in possession going into the break and that was fairly huge considering how the pitch has fared.

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The Aussies have palpably taken a backward step in the second innings. After going all guns blazing in the first innings with David Warner leading the charge, their approach was a tad tentative. It seems as though they’d settle with a draw and would that be a fair result? Maybe not, considering how wonderfully Cook has batted on a track which made all the other batsmen stutter.

Here are the five talking points of the penultimate day of the Boxing Day Test.

1. Rain-marred day reduces England’s chance of winning

Completely unfortunate and inevitable. The weather has been forecasting a rain for a long time now, and finally, it has arrived. Much to the disappointment of the English contingent, the rain gods stole a well-deserved opportunity from them. They were in complete command and with two days to go, a result in the visitors’ favour was certainly on cards, but not anymore. One can never known things will unravel on the final day, but both sides are likely to leave Melbourne taking nothing.

2. Cook carries his bat!

What a time to achieve a magnificent record! Alastair Cook registered the highest score ever by an opener carryin his bat. The former English skipper finished with a scintillating 244 off 409 balls which included 27 boundaries. He stole the headlines pretty much in every news paper back in England and also in Australia. Why not, that was one of the finest innings one can ever come across.

3. Overnight break does the trick

The final wicket partnership frustrated the Aussies the other day and they found no way through Anderson and Cook. The stylish opener was resolute with his approach right from the outset, but Anderson dug in well too. Nevertheless, on the very first ball of day 4 with a blooming bouncer, Pat Cummins bamboozled Anderson. He chipped the ball straight to the short-leg and was dismissed for a 16-ball duck.

4. Usman Khawaja continues his horrendous run

Just hours after Ricky Ponting lambasted Usman Khawaja’s lack of intensity, the latter failed yet again. It was a wierd approach from the southpaw, who stormed his way through to a lifeless 11 off 14 balls. He struck a six and a boundary in his innings. Eventually, James Anderson sent him back with an absolute ripper.

5. David Warner = Versatility!

The bowlers’ cries went unnoticed with the joyous cheers from the MCG crowd reverberating, thanks to David Warner’s exploits on day 1. Come day 4, he showed another side of his game. The Australian vice-captain is currently batting on 40 off 140 balls, much to the surprise of everyone watching the game. The game plan right now is to salvage a draw and Warner is playing his part brilliantly.

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