London, July 29 : Veteran India wicketkeeper-batter Dinesh Karthik said England skipper Ben Stokes falling to Australia off-spinner Todd Murphy on Day Three of the fifth and final Ashes Test was an example of the all-rounder’s mantra of ‘living and dying by the sword’ in the longest format of the game.
Stokes took his familiar aggressive option in a bid to take on Murphy, but he miscued the shot and holed out to mid-on, to fall for 42 off 67 balls.
During his innings, Stokes broke the record for the greatest number of sixes hit in an Ashes series, hitting his 15th maximum to go past Kevin Pietersenâ€™s previous record of 14 hits over the fence.
“If you look at it generally, it’s a poor shot. But the way England have been batting, it’s a case of ‘you live by the sword, you die by the sword’. The way Stokes leads is a lot with his heart.”
“He sees the spinner and thinks if he can take him down, Australia will need to go back to the fast bowlers. If he loses his wicket, so be it, but he saw that as being the right thing for his team,” said Karthik to Sky Sports.
With England reaching a strong position in the match, Karthik thinks the hosts would want to bat till Day Four on Sunday to bat Australia out of the game.
“England are in a very strong position. But you would think that they would want to bat much longer, probably leading into day four.”
“They have time here, they’re batting really well — particularly Root — and Bairstow has come out swinging as usual. It’s good to watch. I thought Australia’s shoulders slumped in the first session a little bit, but they’ve pulled things back well…albeit with England constantly attacking them,” he concluded.
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