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Faulkner upbeat despite washed out day

Australia keeps the faith even though England has six first-innings wickets in hand with only three sessions to play

Faulkner upbeat despite washed out day - Cricket News
A groundsman uses the Blotter to remove water from the pitch on the rain marred 4th day.
The final Test of the Ashes was all but condemned to a draw, with the entire fourth day lost to rain. Conflicting reports have predicted both downpours and sunshine for Day 5, so if the more desirable of those results come up, England will resume four wickets into their first innings with three sessions to play. That they’re currently 245 runs behind Australia’s first-innings 492 for 9 is no longer relevant, England needing only to eat up time for a draw. It would be one of those days of cricket played entirely on principle. At least, that’s what everyone thinks but James Faulkner.

Faulkner, the Tasmanian all-rounder, is determined not to let his debut Test slip away until the final ball is bowled tomorrow. Wait, having taken all of four wickets on day three, was Faulkner actually suggesting Australia could get 16 tomorrow?

“Who knows? I can tell you one thing, we’ll be giving it a fair shake. That’s how we’re going to play our cricket. We’re going to try and win the Test match and not worry about how the opposition play,” said Faulkner. “If they want to play the way they’re playing, they can, but we’re going to go out and try and win the game.”

“Pretty boring day today, wasn’t it?” said Faulkner at the post-match press conference after play was abandoned at 4.06pm (local time) without a single ball being bowled on Saturday (August 24). “Much like yesterday was pretty boring. Hopefully tomorrow the sun comes out and we can have a chance at winning this Test match, and that’s what we’re going to do.”

Pressed on England’s approach, he grinned wolfishly. “It didn’t surprise me - any time they feel threatened they sort of go into their shell and play pretty defensive cricket,” said Faulkner. “They can play however they want to play. They’re 3-0 up for a reason. Having said that… if you’re 3-0 up there’s no reason why you shouldn’t push and try to be 4-0 up. I suppose if you face 115 overs for 240 it’s a pretty boring day. I know the fans get a refund for their ticket today, but maybe they should have for yesterday.”

Grins aside, it perhaps told of a frustrating day and debut for Faulkner. By the mid-afternoon the ground was so clearly soaked that there was no chance of repair, and play was formally abandoned at 4:06pm.

Faulkner, though, was typically upbeat. “We spent a lot of time in the change rooms, and just spoke about the game in general. I guess that’s when you learn as much about the game as you can off the senior players in the team. That’s what we did today, and we spoke about tomorrow when the sun comes out.”

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