England enjoyed an excellent day on the third day of the Third Investec Test at Edgbaston – and Chris Woakes says they now have to “back that up” to turn their fightback into a victory.
England will resume tomorrow on 120 without loss – 17 ahead – as the match heads into its final two days, like the series, perfectly poised.
“For Alastair Cook and Alex Hales to put that partnership together in the last session was a great effort and really important for us as a team,” said Warwickshire all-rounder Woakes. “A lead of over 100 is quite a decent margin in any game of cricket so for the guys to cancel that out the way they did was crucial.
“There’s a lot of cricket still left in the match. We are only 17 runs ahead but we do now have a great chance of setting the match up. We have a lot of batting to do tomorrow but have ten wickets in hand and if the boys can get through the tricky period early tomorrow we can hopefully kick on and get a strong lead and try to bowl them out.
“Pitches at Edgbaston generally hold together quite well and the way the guys played tonight showed that it is still a really good pitch. We actually felt we bowled quite well but just didn’t get our rewards.
“It is still a good batting surface at the moment which means we will have to get a decent score if we are going to have a chance of forcing a victory.
“We spoke in the dressing-room after play and definitely feel that it’s even-stevens now. We have got ourselves back in the Test match and, while there is a still a lot of hard work to do it’s great that we have given ourselves that opportunity. We did some of that hard work today – now we have to back that up.”