arcus Trescothick revealed England’s frustration at being unable to bowl Mark Wood on the during a pivotal phase of Fourth Test at Old Trafford, admitting their chances of regaining the Ashes are now in the hands of the weather gods.
England went into Saturday needing six wickets to regain the Urn but saw the day heavily disrupted by rain, with both the morning and evening sessions wiped out.
Their task was made all the more challenging when, roughly midway through the 30-over middle session, the umpires decided that visibility was too poor to allow fast bowling.
Ben Stokes had been hoping to bring Wood’s express pace back into the attack, but instead was faced with a straight choice between going off the field and relying exclusively on spin.
The decision ended up working in England’s favour, with part-time spinner Joe Root making a vital breakthrough to dismiss centurion Marnus Labuschagne, but batting coach Trescothick confirmed England were surprised by the call.
“We were sat on the balcony and we didn’t it had deteriorated that much to not allow the seamers to bowl,” he said. “The umpires out in the middle deemed it was too dark and they’ve got to make that decision. It didn’t feel like it from where we were, but we’re 50m, 60m from the edge of the pitch.”
Sunday’s weather forecast is also poor and with Labuschagne’s the only wicket to fall, England still have work to do, with Australia now only 61 runs from forcing the home side to bat again.
Even if some play is possible tomorrow, light could be a factor in Stokes’s bowling options again but Trescothick says England will plough on regardless.
“If that’s what we’ve got, and that’s what we’re given, then that’s what we’ll take,” he added. “Any opportunity that we can get out in the middle tomorrow we will be grabbing with both hands.
“I’m pretty confident that if we get a decent amount of play tomorrow we’ll be in the right position. It’s down to the volume we can play. If we can only play an hour or two hours like today it will be a challenge. if we get longer, and get two sessions at them I think we’ll be in good shape.”