England’s brutal plan to storm fortress Gabba

England batsmen plan to grind Pat Cummins and co down.
England batsmen plan to grind Pat Cummins and co down.

ENGLAND has declared they're out to push Pat Cummins and the Aussie bowlers into the red zone on day four and storm the Gabba fortress.

Despite being effectively 2-7 to start day four, Broad is adamant England are the best positioned side in 30 years to break Australia's stranglehold in Brisbane because the home quicks are on the brink of accumulating "critical workloads".

England are motivated by a belief that if they can keep Australia's prized quicks Cummins, Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc out in the field for a match total of 50-55 overs, they can push them to breaking point.

England batsmen plan to grind Pat Cummins and co down.
England batsmen plan to grind Pat Cummins and co down.

Cummins and Starc have already each bowled 33 overs for the game, and Broad says if Joe Root can emulate his rival captain, England will find themselves in the driver's seat and at the same time put Australia's bowlers at risk of injury or exhaustion.

"Generally you bowl about 40 overs a Test match. That's how you get into critical workload if you go over 40 overs in a test match," warned Broad.

"The Australian bowlers are a spell off 40 overs.

"If we can show a lot of patience in that first innings, in that first hour, take them into 50-55 overs for the Test match we put ourselves in a great position.

"It's in our hands if someone plays a Steve Smith type knock and gets the bowlers into their third, fourth spells. We're in the driving seat.

"I really do think it's a new ball pitch. Once the ball gets 20 overs old I think the pitch gets quite slow and it's quite hard to force a mistake out of the batsmen.

"If we have a couple of batsmen apply themselves and play with some great patience, we can build a really good score to put Australia under pressure on the last day. It's in our hands."

Australian spearhead Hazlewood was below his usual high standards in the first innings, but bounced back emphatically before stumps last night to claim two quick wickets.

Hazlewood got the key wicket of the struggling Alastair Cook and then followed up by nicking off first-innings top scorer James Vince.

Smith said Hazlewood has come into his own and believes Australia can strike a crucial blow in the first session on day four.

Mitchell Starc runs off a leg injury on the boundary.
Mitchell Starc runs off a leg injury on the boundary.

"He probably didn't bowl as well as he would have liked in the first innings but I thought today he came and bowled with that zip that he gets," said Smith.

"The wicket sped up a little bit but it's still quite two paced. The majority of balls are a little a bit quicker which suits him.

"He came out and bowled with some good zip and to get the wicket of Vince the way he did was spot on. That's how he gets his wickets and that's how he bowls, so hopefully he can do that again in the morning."

Topics:  ashes

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