England's batsmen need to step up – Denly

By Sports Desk December 27, 2019

Joe Denly knows England must find a way to halt their batting collapses after South Africa built a 175-run lead on day two at Centurion.

Denly was England's top scorer with 50 on Friday as the tourists were all out for 181, losing their final seven wickets for just 39 runs.

James Anderson, Stuart Broad and Jofra Archer led the England fightback with the ball, restricting South Africa to 72-4 by stumps.

However, Denly acknowledged England's batsmen must now step up if Joe Root's side are to keep themselves in contention in the first Test of a four-match series.

"It's frustrating. It felt pretty comfortable out there. Myself and Ben [Stokes] were starting to get a really good partnership going. I managed to nick one and we lost a few wickets after that," Denly told Sky Sports.

"We spoke at tea about trying to bat long, keep them out there as long as we could. It wasn't to be in the end but a great fightback at the end.

"We have spoken about trying to get those first innings runs. It's trying to assess the conditions a bit better, understanding game situations, where we're at, who's bowling, trying to get through those tricky periods and wear them down that way.

"You have to be clear in your plan. What is the surface doing, how the bowlers are trying to get you out and working together as a partnership, get through those tough periods.

"We're in a stronger position than where we could have been. A big morning coming up and hopefully the batters can get some runs."

Denly was dropped while still on zero, though looked comfortable at the crease up until he reached his half century, succumbing to Dwaine Pretorius three balls later.

"It was tough, a very impressive opening spell [from South Africa], very high-class bowlers and they challenged us. It was tough," Denly said when asked about his performance.

"I was just being patient, I knew it was going to be tough and they were going to make me work hard for every single run, but it was just a case of being patient and sticking to my plan of trying to have a tight defence and seeing off [Vernon] Philander and [Kagiso] Rabada to start with.

"Once the new ball wore off, it was hot off there as well, so they couldn't charge in for too long, I managed to find a bit of fluency."

Related items

  • Coronavirus: Joshua among bidders after Buttler auctions off World Cup final shirt Coronavirus: Joshua among bidders after Buttler auctions off World Cup final shirt

    Anthony Joshua was among the bidders after Jos Buttler put the shirt he was wearing when he sealed England's historic Cricket World Cup final win over New Zealand up for auction.

    Wicketkeeper-batsman Buttler drew bids in excess of £60,000 on eBay, having put his shirt up for sale to raise funds to help those affected by the coronavirus crisis on Tuesday.

    The highest bidder will provide much-needed funds for the Royal Brompton and Harefield Hospitals Charity, which last week launched an emergency appeal to provide life-saving equipment for people suffering from COVID-19.

    World heavyweight boxing champion Joshua responded to Buttler's social media promotion of the auction – which ends next Tuesday – by vowing to make a bid.

    Buttler was wearing the shirt, which has been signed by his team-mates, when he ran Martin Guptill out off the final ball of a dramatic Super Over at Lord's last July to secure a first World Cup triumph for the hosts.

  • Coronavirus: ECB provides £61m support package 'to keep the lights on' Coronavirus: ECB provides £61m support package 'to keep the lights on'

    The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has announced a £61million support package to "keep the lights on" amid concerns the entire season will be lost due to the coronavirus pandemic.

    ECB chief executive officer Tom Harrison on Tuesday warned the governing body faces the biggest challenge in its history with the United Kingdom in lockdown.

    Around £40m has been made available immediately as first-class counties and local cricket boards suffer from the financial impact of COVID-19, while around a further £21m will follow in interest-free loans for recreational clubs in a bid to ensure cricket can survive at all levels.

    The start of the county season has already been delayed by six weeks until May 28, but there are fears that no play will be possible at all.

    Alternatively, England's Test and limited-overs sides could play at the same time to cram in fixtures later in the season, while the inaugural edition of The Hundred may be postponed until next year or staged behind closed doors.

    Harrison also confirmed that England players with central contracts will not be asked to take a pay cut or furloughed.

    He said in a statement: "It is no exaggeration to say this is the biggest challenge the ECB has faced in its history.

    "We are working around the clock to understand the impact on the game and we have taken these short-term steps to help counties and clubs get through the immediate impact."

    Harrison added: "This is a real hammer blow to our plans. Our season is massively under threat now. It's an incredibly difficult time for the country and the game.

    "Everyone will be impacted. Right now we are addressing the short term. There's more pain ahead if we lose a substantial portion of the season. We are building scenarios where we can take further steps as needed. We don't think this will be the end of it.

    "We won't be playing until we know it is safe for players and eventually fans. We will then be prioritising the most valuable forms of the game: first international cricket, then the Blast and maybe The Hundred as and when we get there.

    "This money - £40million in cash for immediate and then £20million in interest-free loans - is to give certainty in these extremely difficult times. It's to keep the lights on."

  • Despite 36-wicket haul, Chemar Holder coy about Windies call up Despite 36-wicket haul, Chemar Holder coy about Windies call up

    With a 36-wicket haul in the just concluded West Indies Championships, few would argue that Barbados’ Chemar Holder is not too far away from a call to the West Indies senior team.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.