England still optimistic about winning Ashes finale
Sydney: England has reportedly insisted that they can still win the fifth and final Test of the Ashes series despite their snail-like progress on Friday.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the hosts put on only 215 runs in 98.3 overs on day three while scoring at a rate of 2.18 runs per over, although they lost only four wickets, disappointing the England team and fans alike.
The report said that even star batsman Kevin Pietersen was uncharacteristically dull in a contribution of 50 that took him 133 balls, making England, at 4-247, still 46 runs short of avoiding the follow on, although the team remained optimistic about their chances with rain expected on Saturday.
Defending England`s style, opener Joe Root, who top scored with 68, said that they needed to play the situation and make sure that they get the best possible outcome for England, although he admitted that players had to keep in mind that part of their role was to entertain their fans, or else no one would watch any more games.
However, Root said that entertainment could not happen in every game, adding that given Australia`s bowling, the conditions and the pitch, England was unable to score at a quick rate, although they have not decided to play for a draw despite Australia`s near-500 total.
Agreeing with Root, Australian quick Peter Siddle said that the visiting bowling attack had been to key to tying England down, although he added that his side was unlucky that they could not get many breakthroughs despite working hard and having patience.
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