The Ashes: England still have lot of work to do, says David Lloyd
David Lloyd says England will have to put in plenty of hard graft to draw the third Ashes Test.
Last Updated: 03/08/13 8:10pm
The hosts - already 2-0 up in the five-match series - reached stumps on 294-7 in reply to Australia's first inning 527-7 declared, still some 233 runs behind and needing another 34 to avoid the follow-on. Read our match report here.
Australia remain in control despite Kevin Pietersen's 23rd Test hundred for his country and more runs from Ian Bell, who continued his fine run of recent form by striking 60.
Wicketkeeper Matt Prior (six not out) and all-rounder Stuart Broad (nine not out) will continue their innings when England's innings resumes on Sunday.
Reflecting on the home side's position, Lloyd told Sky Cricket: "England have still got a lot of work to do - they are still 233 runs behind - and the follow-on will be intriguing.
"I like Pietersen's comment that they are looking to put overs into the opposition's legs because the next Test match comes around in three days' time after this one finishes.
"But Australia have got to get something from this game. Realistically, this game is probably a draw.
"Pietersen will always talk bullishly - you never know what is going to happen in two days, and we all understand that - but as it stands now England have got a lot of work to do before they are pretty clear in this game."
Should England fail to avoid the follow-on Australia have the option of asking their hosts to bat again and Sir Ian Botham said that's a route the tourists should seriously consider, particularly if the forecast suggests that there could be interruptions on the final two days' play at Old Trafford.
"If England can't get the runs they need to avoid the follow on, where do Australia go from there?" Botham mused.
"It wouldn't surprise me if Australia batted - just to give the bowlers a few hours' rest, because if they end up 220 ahead, for example, and they bat for a session-and-a-half to two sessions they could be up to 400 ahead.
"Something says to me you want to bat to give your bowlers a rest but the other side of me says you've got to back yourself; go out there and bowl them out.
"If you knock England over quickly then bowl because you can't lose the game from there but you can win it by bowling England out and knocking the runs off.
"I think this game could go all over the place at the moment. I just hope that the weather doesn't interfere," he added.
"If England do get past follow-on, Australia will dangle a carrot to try to give themselves a chance to win the game because if they don't England retain the Ashes."
Watch day four of the third Ashes Test between England and Australia from 10am on Sunday on Sky Sports Ashes and catch every ball on the Ashes Events Centre, online, on iPad and on mobile.