Veteran England bowlers James Anderson and Stuart Broad frustrated Australian bowlers in a nail-biting draw for the tourists in the fourth Test at the SCG on Sunday (January 9), denying the dominant hosts a fourth straight win in the ongoing Ashes 2021-22.
England has already lost the ongoing Ashes series after going down heavily in the first three Test matches against Australia. However, England showed immense character to record a morale-boosting thriller of a draw on Sunday.
Broad and Anderson hung on for the final two overs of the last day of the fourth Test to earn England a thrilling draw on Sunday at the SCG with the fifth and final Test to be held in Hobart from January 14.
Anderson walked out to bat with 16 balls remaining in the day's play and Australia just one wicket away from a win, but the 39-year-old played out six balls without losing his wicket, while Broad also put up a heroic display, playing 35 deliveries unbeaten to ensure a nail-biting draw for the tourists on Sunday.
After the thrilling draw at the SCG, Captain Joe Root hailed England’s “character, desire and pride” after the tourists managed to avoid another whitewash against Australia on Sunday.
Root said after the match: “Relief is the overwhelming emotion and I'm quite proud too. Coming into this game I spoke a lot about putting pride back into English cricket. This has done that in a small way. It was going to take a good performance and I'm really proud of the guys for doing that.”
He continued, “We had a lot thrown at us in this game, and guys have really stood up and shown a lot of character and pride. To come out and do that was really pleasing. It's a big step in the right direction. Avoiding whitewash was really important, especially on the back of the previous Test in Melbourne.
We didn't win and we were a long way behind in this game but to get a draw shows the character, desire, and pride in our side. It’s a very important step forward for this group and one we have to build on going into that last Test in Hobart.”
Speaking about the positives, the England skipper noted: “Today shows how much it means to them. When you find yourself out of the series it is really important you front up and time again show how much it means to you. I think everyone has done that this week.”
He had a special mention for the injured pair of Ben Stokes, who scored 66 and 60, and Jonny Bairstow (113, 41) for their efforts to help England bring a thrilling draw against Australia at the SCG.
Root signed off by saying, “Jonny's performance, having taken the knock (thumb) as well, was some of the best batting I've seen him produce in an England shirt. Similarly Ben and Jos as well, it showed a lot of character and put the team first. Jos is going to fly home. It's a quite serious injury. To front up after that knock shows a huge amount of character.”
(With AFP Inputs)