Australian captain Tim Paine said his team would focus on the next test as quickly as possible, instead of “pouting” over the heartbreaking loss to England on Sunday, August 25, in Headingley.
“We are coming to Manchester in a much better mood or to our next training instead of the guys sulking or whatever you want to call it,” said Paine, after Ben Stokes’ heroics had helped England to victory out of the jaw of defeat pick up . “It hurts, take care of it, keep going.”
Australia started the fourth day with a good score: David Warner scored an excellent catch to send Joe Root back for 77. Stokes made sure that it did not come to a collapse afterwards, and put together with Jonny Bairstow an important stand with 86 runs.
But the dismissal of Bairstow triggered a collapse when England was reduced from 245/5 to 286/9, with 73 more needed to win the test – anything less than a win for England would have meant Australia retain the ashes would have. With Jack Leach as No. 11 Stokes but prevailed with 135 * and won England as an absolute classic.
Australia had its chances. Their ace spinner Nathan Lyon missed a chance to move Leach out of the way, which would mean a win in one go for Australia. Earlier, Marcus Harris also missed a tough shot at the third man ahead of Stokes.
Immediately after the defeat, Paine ran towards Lyon. “[I told him] that if our players see that he deals with it very quickly and carries on, then our younger players will do the same,” Paine revealed.