England won't change plan to Steve Smith, says Jonny Bairstow

NICK HOWSON AT OLD TRAFFORD: The Australian batsman went to his third century of the series in Manchester as the tourists took a grip of the fourth Test


Jonny Bairstow insists England have no plan to change their approach to Steve Smith despite the Australia batsman hitting a third career double century to leave the tourists with a strong grip of the fourth Ashes Test at Old Trafford.

Smith struck an inspired 211 having survived a dropped catch from Jofra Archer and edging behind off a Jack Leach no ball as the visitors declared on 497 for 8.

Joe Denly was caught at short leg by Matthew Wade off Pat Cummins to leave England 23 for 1 heading in to day three.

Trying to repeat the problems Smith encountered at Lord's when he was peppered and eventually floored by a Jofra Archer bouncer and forced out of the third Test, England persevered with short-pitch deliveries but to no avail.


"I am sure we are the only team around the world who have tried a few different plans," said Bairstow. "We'll be sticking to the plans that we've got. He's played and missed to a few balls today which he hasn't previously in the series. On another day we get him out earlier."

Trailing by 474 runs with only three days of play remaining, Joe Root's side face an uphill task to stay in a series which is locked at 1-1.

But following the heroics of the one-wicket win at Headingley, Bairstow is refusing to give up on England claiming another unlikely win.

"There are three innings and three days of cricket left," he added. "If we can go out and apply ourselves tomorrow, bat for a long period of time like we did at Headingley there is no reason why not.

"Let's look at the next day, let's look at the next session and see where we get to. I don't think looking too far ahead, we've had two contrasting days with the weather, we'll see how the pitch changes over a period of time."




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