‘Flabbergasted’ – Day one declaration ‘could yet come back to bite England’, says Mark Butcher
Former England batter Mark Butcher has labelled England’s declaration on the first day of the 2023 Ashes as “nuts”, suggesting that the decision could yet hurt the home side’s chances.
Ben Stokes sprung a surprise late on the first day, calling in Joe Root and Ollie Robinson with the score on 393-8 after a rollicking three sessions of play. Root was on 118 at the time, and he and Robinson had just taken 20 off a Nathan Lyon over when Stokes signalled from the balcony that he was inserting Australia to face the new ball before stumps.
David Warner and Usman Khawaja safely negotiated that passage of play, and while Stuart Broad struck twice early the next morning, Khawaja carried onto a magnificent century as Australia cut England’s lead to seven runs.