Ben Duckett admitted he was “gutted” to have left two deliveries during his innings of 98, as England fans were left bemused by their side’s batting decisions during a thrilling day of Ashes cricket.
Joe Root gloved an ugly miss-timed pull shot through to wicket-keeper Alex Carey, was handed a no-ball reprieve, but only added another nine runs before top-edging a hook shot to Steve Smith, and was out for just 10.
Duckett was caught off a top edge for 98, and Ollie Pope was caught on the boundary for 42 picking out deep square leg.
As ever under Bazball, their scoring rate pressed on, but England arguably allowed what would have been a definitively dominant position slide.
Duckett did not leave any of his first 100 deliveries of the series, and on day two at Lords, did not offer a shot on just two occasions during his 134 balls faced.
“No (I was not surprised). that’s exactly how I play in county cricket, I always make jokes about never leaving the ball and sometimes I don’t know how I’m getting runs because of it,” Duckett said.
“But if I think back to maybe three years ago, I was thinking that I could never be an opener in Test cricket because of how I play and then actually last summer I was like ‘why not?’
“Why do I have to bat like Sir Alastair Cook or these great openers of the past, I had that backing from Stokes and Baz to go play how I play, the only reason I’m not surprised is because I’ve changed nothing from how I play county cricket to this.
“I don’t leave many balls in county cricket and that’s probably because I like to cut and drive and play the ball out there so it doesn’t surprise me.”
Duckett had played the short ball well, managing to roll his wrists over the ball before his wicket fell, and has no regrets over not letting more balls go through to the wicketkeeper.
“I was gutted actually, I think it was two,” he said, “One of them should have been a wide and the other one was probably over my head. So I was gutted.”