Liam Plunkett urges England to take positive approach in fourth Ashes Test
Watch day three of the fourth Ashes Test between England and Australia on Friday from 10am on Sky Sports Ashes and Sky Sports Main Event
By Matthew Treadwell
Last Updated: 06/09/19 7:09am
Liam Plunkett has urged England’s batsmen to play positively on Friday as they chase Australia’s score of 497-8dec in the fourth Ashes Test at Old Trafford.
Steve Smith smashed 211 as he continued his imperious run of form, with England 23-1 in reply at stumps on day two of the contest, needing to get at least a draw out of the Test to have any hope of regaining the Ashes.
Ben Stokes hit an unbeaten 135 to help guide Joe Root's side to a seemingly-impossible one-wicket win in the third Test at Headingley and Plunkett is seeking a similarly gutsy performance from England this time around.
"They need to just come out and play their game. You can't go into your shell, you have to play positively like Stokesy (Ben Stokes) did last game," Plunkett told Sky Sports News.
"He batted smartly and when shots were there, he took them.
"Hopefully some of the guys have got something to prove and you want them to kick on, kick on and get big hundreds like Steve Smith did."
Smith may have made batting look easy this series but runs have been hard to come by for many, with Plunkett - an ODI World Cup winner with England in July - highlighting the quality of bowling on show this summer.
Plunkett added: "I think there's been a lot of good bowling. Obviously Steve Smith and Ben Stokes have batted well but bowlers have dominated in the series.
"There are some really class acts - Jofra (Archer) and Stuart Broad, (Chris) Woakes - and the Aussie bowlers are 'hit-the-pitch' bowlers.
"It's been tough to get runs but let's hope our boys come in and get some big scores."
Surrey bowler Plunkett is not convinced England have to settle for a draw in Manchester just yet and instead urged the players and staff to assess the match situation after Friday's play.
"I think we have to just come out, play some good cricket and see where that takes us," he said.
"Hopefully [England can] get a good score and go to the dressing room and reassess."