Ashes 2023: England should put their foot down and build that lead, says Michael Atherton ahead of Day 3

By India Today Sports Desk: Former England captain Michael Atherton has said that England need to put their foot down and build up a lead against Australia at Old Trafford in Manchester. England ended Day 2 at 384 for 4, and hold a 67-run lead over Australia.

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Speaking after the end of Day 2, Atherton said England would have to be aware of the weather forecast, adding that the match would probably miss most of Saturday due to rain. England opener Zak Crawley scored a stunning century to help England take a lead on Day 2.

“First of all [if I’m England], I’m getting the best possible, up-to-date forecast Friday morning. Come to the ground Friday, and try and find out what the most accurate forecast is. It seems clear we’re probably going to lose most of Saturday. But we might get most of Friday and most of Sunday, in which case you play as they’re playing now,” said Atherton.

He went on to say that England need to put their foot down and build a lead at Old Trafford. England bowled out the visitors for 317 before putting up 384 for 4 on the board at the end of Day 2.

“Putting their foot down and trying to build that lead until maybe lunchtime, and then you’ve got to get Australia in, because you need those 10 wickets,” Atherton added.

The highlight of Day 2 was Crawley’s exceptional performance, scoring a remarkable 189 runs off 182 balls. His innings included 21 fours and three sixes, earning him a standing ovation from the crowd. Alongside Crawley, England’s captain Joe Root also played a significant role, scoring a swift half-century. Despite losing their opener Duckett for only one run, England managed to surpass Australia’s first-innings total of 317, ending the day at 384/4. This gave them a crucial lead of 67 runs.

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