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England batting coach remaining positive

By AAP Newswire

Batting coach Graham Thorpe insists England are not out of the third Ashes Test despite their embarrassing performance at Headingley on Friday.

After bowling Australia out for 179 on day one, the hosts were greeted with bright sunshine and perfect batting weather in front of an expectant home crowd.

However, those hopes of seeing off the Steve Smith-less Aussies were demolished in just under three hours when they were skittled out for 67 - their lowest Ashes score since 1948 - as Tim Paine's side put one hand on the Ashes urn, which will be retained with victory in Leeds.

Led by Ben Stokes, England's bowlers were once again impressive, but dropped catches and no balls blighted their effort to dismiss the tourists cheaply as they closed at 6-171 - a lead of 283.

Thorpe admitted there was no excuse for his side's feeble attempts to negotiate some top class bowling from Josh Hazlewood (5-30), Pat Cummins (3-23) and James Pattinson (2-9) on a chastening day for the Joe Root's men.

"We're disappointed with the way in which we batted, It's tough to take in the dressing room when it happens," Thorpe said.

"At the end of the day they're 283 ahead so what I would say is the game is not over from this position.

"If we can knock them over in the morning, I've seen Test cricket have some strange endings."

Headingley has seen big fourth-innings run chases in recent times; In 2001 England hunted down 315 on the final day to shock Australia and two years ago the West Indies scored 322 to seal a memorable win.

However, with such a low total on the board and the presence of Josh Hazlewood, Pat Cummins and James Pattinson playing in the same side it will take something out of the ordinary for the hosts to win.

But Thorpe insists England do boast the talent to make amends and warned Australia not to believe the match is over.

"Sportspeople always have to be very optimistic when you have an opportunity still to do something," he said.

"That's what we hope can present itself to us tomorrow.

"First of all we've got to try to get those four wickets and if we can keep them to 320-330, a few of our lads can put their hand up and do something special.

"I always believe that is capable. But we have to try to find generally a bit more consistency with our play going forward in Test cricket.

"These guys want to perform but they have to be able to do better. It's as simple as that.

"There's no point us getting out of bed in the morning if we don't think we can do something special.

"I've seen fourth-innings run-chases happen, that's our belief. But we know we've missed an opportunity in our first innings quite badly."