Ashes 2019: England’s Joe Denly reflects on a special three days

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From Amy Lofthouse
BBC Sport at The Oval
“It’s an easy game when there’s no strain , eh?”
They have been Steve Smith’s words into Joe Denly following the England opener had danced down and struck on Nathan Lyon back.
The Ashes have been gone, yes. But whether Smith wants to believe it or not, Denly is under stress. Pressure to extend his Test career. Pressure to create the winter tour. And he’s had a lengthy week.
33, denly, smiled when asked about Smith’s comments. “He asked me when I’d had some sleep. It was rather friendly banter,” was the reply.
At the conclusion of day one, Denly drove 60 miles to get to Whitstable, in Kent, to be present for his daughter’s birth and left The Oval.
He stayed with his wife then drove the round trip back and from 6pm he had been confronting also a new ball plus an upset Pat Cummins.
It’s not the first time – for his own name, when he also received a telephone call, he finished the play of a day for Kent against Derbyshire in 2016.
“I was in Derby, batting overnight and also got a call about five in the morning,” Denly explained. “She stated I think that the baby is on the way, however, the midwife said don’t hurry, so I did not.
“I strolled down, had a breakfast, then hit rush hour traffic on the road again and missed the birth by about 5 minutes”
Luckily, Denly made it the second time. And there was a single, little advantage to being away from house -“I had a fantastic kip last night because I stayed in the hotel and got about 10 hours. The previous night I got about 3 hours.”
As Denly stated, it has been a”fairly special” few days. While he might rue those six runs which could have taken him into the decision making a maiden Test century and mental power he showed in creating a Test-best 94 was admirable.
Denly missed played. Matthew Wade, who England may wish came installed with a mute button, then commentated non-stop from leg. Afternoon denly was dropped in the gloom on Friday. He benefited from Australia’s terrible use of the inspection system to avoid being handed out lbw.
He’s had a series that is challenging. He and a handful of England players within the last couple of years have pogoed down and up the batting order being requested to open bowlers hostile and accurate as Australia’s is simple ask.
But Denly grafted. His assault Lyon has been a glorious display in moving your feet to throw a bowler away line. He pay drove, he ducked, he weaved, till Peter Siddle found that the edge of his bat also he had a little luck, up and Smith took that which was offered up.
The disappointment in the England group was obvious. Captain Joe Root, seeing in the room, dropped his mind directly away, eyes. Ben Stokes, who shared with a nice partnership with Denly in the afternoon, concealed his face within his palms. Root gave a standing ovation to Denly as did the Oval audience as he left the area.
But the innings of Denly was vital in assisting England reach 313-8, leading Australia by 382 runs and placing them to draw on this Ashes series 2-2.
Denly is an affable individual. He was relaxed in the post-match press conference, waving away questions about Wade, describing him as”a very aggressive player seeking to get the very best for his team”, adding he had learned”nothing too over the line”.
He also, with a wry grin, admitted he believed he was outside when Marsh pinned him on the mat. But Australia captain Tim Paine, who cut a figure when talking to the press, opted not to examine it.
“I’m going to perform some umpiring college once I get home,” has been Paine’s sardonic response to a question about the review system.
“I will enrol in a degree three course and determine if I could get them right.”
Harry Maguire was the transfer priority of his manager also, the England defender is beginning to show his value, after hammering while being jeered against former team Leicester.
Analysis and view from the BBC’s cricket correspondent.

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