London, Aug 23 (ANI): England bowling coach David Saker has defended England's 'go-slow' tactics on day two of the final Ashes Test at The Oval, where Australian player Steve Smith's maiden Test century ensured that Australia retained their dominance in the Test.
According to Metro.co.uk, Smith hit an unbeaten 138 as the tourists piled up 492 for nine declared in their first innings to take control the match, even as England, which is increasingly seeing their hopes of winning an Ashes series 4-0 go down the drain, saw out 17 overs at the end of a rain-curtailed day to reach stumps on 32 without loss.
Although in total, 31 overs were lost to bad weather after the morning was washed out, the report said that England came under fire when they bowled just 11 overs in 64 minutes in an apparent attempt to slow Australia's scoring rate.
However, Saker defended the tactic, saying that the main problem was that ball was extremely wet and some of the players had complained about it being out of shape as well for which it became slow, adding that if the ball is wet, the team that is batting can win.
According to the former Australian cricketer, England bowlers were just trying to dry the ball by bowling slow, about which some of the booing crowd would not know, adding that the ball should be changed in such situations even if it was not wet enough to come off.
Meanwhile, the report said that left-arm debutant England spinner Simon Kerrigan, who suffered a nightmare first day, was not used at all on Thursday, while Chris Woakes picked up his first Test wicket when he dismissed Australia's James Faulkner.
Backing the decision to select two debutant bowlers in the final Test, Woakes and Kerrigan, Saker also said that it is still harsh to say that England cannot yet succeed as there are two days still left to the game. (ANI)