The Ashes: England have 'huge opportunity' to win Fifth Test

Stats Perform
15/01/202220:14
Sam Billings makes a catch in the fifth Ashes Test in Hobart.
Sam Billings makes a catch in the fifth Ashes Test in Hobart.

Sam Billings claims England have a "huge opportunity" to win the fifth and final Ashes Test, despite another poor batting display from the tourists on the second day in Hobart.

A frantic day of action saw England bowled out for just 188 in response to Australia's first innings of 303, before three late wickets gave them a glimmer of hope as they look to restore some pride after a disappointing series.

Looking ahead to day three, where Australia will resume on 37-3, Billings was optimistic about the chances of reducing England's 3-0 series deficit.

"I still think all results are possible," said Billings, speaking after the close of play on day two. "We have to cut out those bad sessions and take it to a manageable total for us as a batting unit.

"There is a huge opportunity to get a result out of this game. The first session is going to be huge, and will set the tone for the rest of the match. You have to look at those big moments and really grasp them.

"This evening was the template of how we have to bowl. The intensity and consistency was there, and we made it really difficult for Australia."

Billings joined the England squad as a late replacement last week after driving over 500-miles along the Australian coast, and became the 700th man to represent England in test cricket on the opening day of the Hobart Test.

The 30-year-old put in a composed performance behind the stumps with both Jos Buttler and Jonny Bairstow absent through injury, before being called in to bat on the evening of day two, scoring six boundaries en route to a total of 29.

His efforts were not enough to stop England from posting another disappointing total, but Billings enjoyed the experience nonetheless.

"I absolutely loved it", Billings said. "It's far better than being sat on the sofa, or waiting to board a plane.

"I loved every minute of it. It was a great challenge out there, against a brilliant attack that have been on fire this series.

"That’s what you want to do as a cricketer, pit yourself against the best. It was a shame I got out when I did, because I felt in good rhythm, good flow, and I really enjoyed it.

"The most disappointing part was that whenever we wrestled back any momentum, we lost wickets.

"There is a lot to play for, for everyone in this squad, we’re playing in an Ashes Test. The series hasn’t gone to plan, but everyone has a reason to get up for it and be motivated to put in a performance."

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