Skipper Joe Root and Dawid Malan led a
stirring second-innings comeback on Friday to eat into Australia’s lead and
give England a fighting chance on Day 3 of the Ashes opener at the Gabba,

Things went from bad to worse for the England after being bundled out for 147 as they trailed the hosts by 278 runs in the first innings. The Three Lions got off to a shaky
start in the second innings as well, with opener Rory Burns narrowly avoiding a
dreaded pair before being sent back by Mitchell Starc for just 13.

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England were 61 for the loss of two when
his opening partner Haseeb Hameed was dismissed by Mitchell Starc for 27. But Malan
(80) stitched an unbroken 159-run stand for the third wicket with Root – who surpassed
former skipper Michael Vaughan’s record for most Test runs by an Englishman in
a calendar year with an unbeaten 86 – to give some much-needed respite for the tourists.

“What we did was fantastic, (but) the job
is not yet done. It’s about scoring a big 100 which will potentially change the
game,” BBC quoted Malan as saying.

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Despite the headway made on Day 3, Malan is
wary of the constant Australian threat, and knows that the new ball available
to Australia 11 overs into Day 4 can swing things back in the hosts’ favour.

“As soon as we think too far ahead you open
the door for Australia and they are so brilliant at closing that door,” Malan
said. “The first hour will be really important and then we can think about how
well we can play. We need one good 100-run partnership to put a good score on
the board and then who knows what can happen.”

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Malan also admitted he never thought he will
represent England in Tests before being recalled to the squad in the home
series against India earlier this year.

“I thought I’d never play another Test
again,” he said. “When me and Root were both on about 40, the Barmy Army
were singing and I said to him that I really missed this. I missed someone trying
to blow my head off, the crowd going and playing against the best bowlers.”