England batting coach Graham Thorpe has urged his team to 'show character' after Australia batsmen put their side on a dominating position over the hosts in the first Ashes Test. "We have got the character. They have to go out and use their skill, but also be smart and show character. It will not be easy but this is Test cricket. Four days have shifted backwards and forwards and it is on us to soak it up for one more day," ICC quoted Thorpe as saying.
After saving the sinking Australia by smashing 144 runs in the first innings, Smith continued his form to play a knock of 142 runs in the second inning. Mathew Wade also hammered a ton, scoring 110 runs, to consolidate visitor's position in the match being played at Edgbaston. On 478/7, Australia decided to declare their innings, setting a target of 398 for the hosts.
Nathan Lyon took three wickets in the first inning and acknowledging the danger, Thorpe termed Lyon as a 'threat'. "The pitch has flattened a bit for seamers. It is taking turn. We said our seamers found it harder, the pitch has slowed down for seamers so it is hard work. Obviously, Lyon will be a threat but the way we are looking at it, it is putting partnerships together, not looking too far ahead and being confident in our belief we can play the day out and keep intent to score runs as well. When trying to play for a draw it is very important you keep the scoreboard ticking over as well," he said.
Thorpe also said he encourages players to have a 'positive mindset'. "Fundamentally, not look too far ahead but keep a positive mindset as well. However, the individual wants to go about it and however, he feels is his best way of playing the situation he sees in front of him. I would always encourage guys to have a nice positive mindset, look to score runs, build partnerships because that builds confidence throughout the course of the day as well," Thorpe said. (ANI)
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