WATCH: Sachin Tendulkar reveals the reason behind Steve Smith’s success in Ashes 12222
The year-old has enjoyed a stellar County Championship season and scored two hundreds in his last match against Nottinghamshire this week. England have struggled in the opening department since the retirement of former captain Sir Alastair Cook last September.
Since then Rory Burns, Keaton Jennings, Joe Denly and Jason Roy have been given chances to open, but only Burns has cemented his spot, which saw him earn a central contract in red-ball cricket. England started the Ashes series with Burns and Roy opening, but dropped the latter down to four after three Tests and he missed out completely for the fifth and final match at his home ground of the Oval.
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Denly was promoted to open and responded with two half-centuries, but the year-old may find himself down the order in New Zealand or may not feature at all after he failed to receive a central contract for Test cricket. Their remarkable victory at the Leeds ground came thanks to an unbeaten by Ben Stokes as England won by one wicket. It revived memories of England's Ian Botham-inspired miracle of and Mark Butcher's unforgettable pursuit of in The result ties the series at with two tests to play and means England can still regain the famous urn.
Australia, as holders, would have retained the urn with victory and looked favourites for most of the day, until Stokes and Jack Leach combined for an unbeaten last-wicket stand of Stokes told Sky Sports he always believed victory was possible: "I never gave up," he said, adding that "when it [the target] got into the 20s, I thought it was on". Had England lost, the chance to win back the trophy which Australia took in would have gone.
It was unbelievable.
I'll never forget it," Stokes added. He said: "We've seen some freakish things already this summer in the World Cup but I didn't think we'd see something similar in this series. Stokes paid tribute to his last-wicket partner Jack Leach, who scored one of the 76 runs they added together and was often seen cleaning his glasses between balls.
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