“This team is known for fighting and we have to come out there and do that tomorrow,” Blundell said. He said, “You took two wickets there and you never know. Obviously you have two players who are in good form but if we get one of them, who knows.
“The wicket is deteriorating. Slight variable bounce, obviously even with spin. It’s pretty tough to drive with that old ball. Looks like it’s going to get worse and hopefully we can get used to it tomorrow.” Huh.”
“It’s frankly disappointing: as a group we probably aren’t quite there,” he said. “Who knows tomorrow. Personally, Daryl has been great to bat with and with those partnerships, it’s unfortunate that some of the results haven’t really been our favourite.”
Leach was to come in next if a wicket fell in the final 20 minutes of the fourth day and joked that Stokes had told him that he would be used as a “night-pinch-hitter” instead of a nightwatchman.
“It was the longest 20 minutes I had as a Nightwatchman,” he told Sky Sports. “I put my head out the window and I said, ‘Are we going to have this tonight too if I go in?’ Stokes said it’s a night-pinch-hitter now. But no, I would have been trying to survive [until] There is a hammock in the morning and then.
“It’s a challenging surface, it’s the fourth day and things are happening, so it was really cool to see the way Poppy and Ruthie played in particular. We have to come back tomorrow and do good things again.” But it’s just a positive mindset. You realize how many decisions in cricket are probably based on negativity.
“This new approach is extremely positive, if you want. It seems that in four- or five-day games, you tend to give up on winning much earlier in the game, whereas [in this England team] It seems like you’re always pushing for that win. It is clearly being tested – and is being tested now, because we need 100 more on a day-five wickets.”