Despite the disappointment of missing out on a hundred, walking off to a standing ovation in an Ashes Test at The Oval is a moment Denly can cherish. It might not quite match the send off Alastair Cook received on the same ground last year but if it does prove to be Denly’s last knock in a home Test, it is not a bad way to go out.
Of course, having scored 94 in his last innings of the Test summer, Denly has, at the very least, kept himself in the conversation ahead of the winter tours to New Zealand and South Africa. At 33, it might be that Denly is considered too short-term an option for England as they plan for an expected shake-up of the top order over the next few months but the Kent man did just about everything he could in the second innings at The Oval to possibly earn himself another chance.
Among all the talk of England’s batting issues this summer, it has gone somewhat under the radar that Jonny Bairstow has made just one Test fifty in his last 14 innings. The focus has been on the struggles of Jason Roy, Buttler and Denly. However, Roy has been dropped and both Denly and Buttler have made runs at The Oval, so is the pressure now on Bairstow?
Tweets of the Day
Shane Warne on Denly: “I thought he left the ball a lot better in this innings and I love the way he plays the spinners. He sweeps well and uses his feet well. Any player who can do both of those things is hard to bowl to. He summed up the match situation well. He’ll find the next series that he plays a lot easier than this one!”
Mike Atherton: “England are in a very strong position and will fancy their chances of winning this game and drawing the series. For Australia to chase anything around 400 you would think they would need another huge innings from Steve Smith, Marnus Labuschagne is another man in form and David Warner has got to find some form.”