Justin Langer felt physically sick after Australia's dramatic defeat at Headingley but has revelled in one of the toughest weeks of his coaching career as Steve Waugh returned to the visitors' camp for the remaining Ashes Tests.

Ben Stokes was England's hero in Leeds, clubbing his way to 135 not out to lead the hosts to a thrilling one-wicket victory that levelled the series.

Australia, however, will retain the Ashes should they win the fourth Test, which starts at Old Trafford on Wednesday.

Though Langer labelled the days following Headingley as the hardest he has endured as a coach, the former Australia opener has enjoyed rallying his squad for the upcoming matches.

"As challenging as this week's been, it's been awesome," Langer said.

"I've loved this last week of coaching, because you can either sit back and feel sorry for yourself and put it under the carpet, or you can work out ways to make sure we're up for the first ball and then the next Test match.

"That's the toughest part of it, we were that close [to victory], I actually felt physically sick after it, then I went back to my room and I wasn't sure whether to cry my eyes out or smash my hotel room.

"For most people it's just a game of cricket, but when so much goes into it, it means a lot. You do take it personally because I know how much work's going into it.

"You never like to let opportunities slip in your life. But that's okay, we'll make sure we learn from it."

Langer received a further boost ahead of the Old Trafford Test, with Waugh returning to the backroom team after missing the third match.

Like Ricky Ponting during the World Cup, Waugh mentored Australia's squad throughout the opening two Tests and Langer is delighted to welcome a key figure of his staff back to the fold.

"Guys like Ponting and Waugh, not only do they have a great presence in the group, but they are great psychologists," Langer said.

"They've been in the cauldron before, they've seen it all, so to have that those type of guys, we are talking about developing leadership in Australian cricket, to have our guys to learn from people of that calibre is very important.

"He's been like a kid at Christmas, to come back after such a long time away from the game, his passion and enthusiasm has been brilliant.

"We asked him to stay for the third Test but he had to go back for a function, he was actually going to fly there, do the function and fly back the next day. That's how much he is enjoying it and we see great value."

Another emphatic India victory over West Indies continues to look inevitable in Kingston after the overmatched hosts ended day three on 45-2 in their second innings, having been set 468 for victory.

Jasprit Bumrah's six-wicket burst on the previous evening put India - winners of the series-opener by 318 runs - in total command of the second Test and ensured the Windies began Sunday's play trailing by 329 on 87-7.

They were dismissed for 117 before lunch, despite contrasting shows of modest resistance from Jahmar Hamilton and Kemar Roach, before India opted against enforcing the follow-on and declared on 168-4 to leave a mammoth target.

Roach removed touring skipper Virat Kohli for a golden duck and came agonisingly close to emulating Bumrah's hat-trick from the previous day, only missing out on a third wicket in as many balls when Ajinkya Rahane inside-edged a delivery past his stumps for four.

Kohli's exit left India 36-3, but Rahane (64 not out) and first-innings centurion Hanuma Vihari (53 not out) raised the tempo in a fifth-wicket stand of 111 that set up an evening declaration.

The Windies then lost both of their opening batsmen in the 13 overs before stumps and appear to be facing a hopeless task with two days still remaining.

Although India are in command, Roach could be proud of his efforts on Sunday.

He struck a trio of boundaries in an innings of 17 that, in tandem with Hamilton's 59-ball five, at least prolonged the Windies' miserable first innings.

Roach then starred with the ball when India batted again, trapping Mayank Agarwal lbw for four before striking twice in the 21st over.

KL Rahul's painful innings of six, which spanned 63 balls, ended when he was caught behind and Kohli immediately followed suit having been forced to play at a teasing delivery.

Roach then found Rahane's inside edge with his next delivery, but the ball narrowly missed the stumps and instead ran to the fence.

West Indies' only subsequent success came courtesy of skipper Jason Holder, who ousted Cheteshwar Pujara for 27 before Rahane and Vihari found fluency in the evening session.

Kohli called a halt to the innings after both batsmen passed 50 and soon had reason to celebrate as Kraigg Brathwaite edged Ishant Sharma through to Rishabh Pant in the third over of the Windies' second dig.

John Campbell was guilty of an inexcusably loose shot as he drove airily at Mohammed Shami to be caught by Kohli at third slip.

Darren Bravo made it through to stumps in the company of Shamarh Brooks, but the former suffered a nasty blow to the helmet from Bumrah in the final over of the day.

Jasprit Bumrah said Virat Kohli deserves some of the credit for his hat-trick against West Indies after India's captain successfully reviewed an lbw shout against Roston Chase.

Playing in just his 12th Test, Bumrah – who now has 61 wickets and a quintet of five-fors to his name – became just the third India bowler to claim a hat-trick in the longest form of the game.

The 25-year-old's onslaught did serious damage to the Windies, who were reduced to a dismal 87-7 by the close of play on day two, still 329 runs behind.

However, Bumrah insisted he could not take full credit for his hat-trick, which came when Kohli decided to review after Chase was given not out on the field.

"Actually I wasn't really sure of the appeal [for the hat-trick], I thought it was bat," Bumrah said in an interview with Kohli published on India's website.

"But, it was a good review, in the end, so I think I owe the hat-trick to the captain!"

Kohli pressed Bumrah (6-16) on his mentality heading into the innings, with India having amassed an impressive tally of 416 thanks to Hanuma Vihari's maiden Test century and a knock of 57 from Ishant Sharma.

"Sometimes when there's so much help from the wicket, a lot of bounce and late movement, you can get greedy, go for wickets and be over-aggressive," Bumrah said.

"At that time, you have to just keep things simple. Try to bowl good balls and create pressure. That's what was going on in my head."

Bumrah also praised the efforts of his fellow bowlers Ishant, Mohammed Shami and Ravindra Jadeja.

"There's a lot of communication that happens on the field as well," Bumrah said.

"When I'm getting wickets, it's somebody else's job to create pressure, and when they're getting wickets, it's my job to create the pressure.

"So a lot of communication goes on, a lot of ideas, and we try to help each other, if things are not going well we try to push each other on. It's a good relationship."

Ben Stokes has been likened to Andrew Flintoff by Simon Jones after the England all-rounder produced a match-winning Ashes contribution while wearing Jack Leach's box.

Australia's hopes of retaining the urn with victory in the third Test at Headingley were dashed by Stokes, who made an unbeaten 135 and shared an unbroken last-wicket stand of 76 with Leach to guide England to an incredible one-wicket triumph.

Leach has since revealed superstitious Stokes was wearing his protective box, having borrowed it from him Lord's - where he also made a century - when he could not find his own.

Former England seamer Jones, who played in 18 Tests between 2002 and 2005, admitted to Omnisport that Leach's revelation reminded him of his old colleague Flintoff, another all-rounder who relished being his nation's talisman.

"'Fred' was very similar, his corner [in the changing room] was a mess," said Jones, who was speaking on behalf of Specsavers, the official Test partner of the England cricket team.

"He'd borrow people's caps, so him and Ben Stokes must be very similar in temperament. You've got to love people like that.

"You get batters who are just sat there, pads on, ready to go. You can imagine those who just do it last minute, and that's how they function. They will just turn up when they need to do, get it done and play, and they play with that carefree attitude.

"I think that's a great thing for a player of Ben Stokes' class to have, it's the fact you can just go out there, relax and enjoy himself."

There were numerous eye-catching shots in Stokes' innings at Headingley. He cleared the ropes with a switch-hit off Nathan Lyon and produced a pre-mediated ramp off Pat Cummins in a knock that featured 11 boundaries and eight maximums.

He was not always in attack mode, though, having made just two off 50 deliveries the previous day when the situation was not as desperate.

"The biggest thing for me in that last Test was just the way he adapted to the situation," added Jones, a hero of England's 2005 Ashes triumph.

"He is really developing as a person and as a player. He stood up, he was counted, just played one of the best innings of all time."

Jasprit Bumrah claimed a hat-trick in a quite sensational display that set India on course for another big victory in the second Test against West Indies, who ended day two in disarray on 87-7.

The tourists, who won the first match by a whopping 318 runs, initially progressed from 264-5 to 416 all out on day two in Kingston, thanks largely to Hanuma Vihari's maiden Test hundred and 57 from Ishant Sharma.

If that ensured India maintained control of proceedings, what followed certainly left the Windies staring at defeat as Bumrah ran through their top order almost single-handedly.

He returned outstanding figures of 6-16 from 9.1 overs - including just the third Test hat-trick by an India bowler - in a phenomenal perfromance.

The Windies were 22-5 at one stage and grateful to Shimron Hetmyer (34) for a recovery of sorts as they at least batted out the evening session, ending the day 329 runs behind with only three first-innings wickets in hand.

Bumrah is playing just his 12th Test but already has 61 wickets and a quintet of five-wicket hauls after this remarkable spell.

The 25-year-old had put a dent in the Windies' response even before his hat-trick, tempting an edge from John Campbell (2) for the early breakthrough.

That came in Bumrah's third over - after which he had figures of 1-3 - and his fourth was staggering.

Darren Bravo was taken low at second slip by KL Rahul off the second ball, before Sharmarh Brooks fell lbw immediately, his review proving unsuccessful.

The finger did not go up for the next ball to Roston Chase, but Virat Kohli was confident the new batsman had also been trapped leg before and the review backed him up, confiming Bumrah's hat-trick.

Although Hetmyer belatedly stopped the Windies' rot, Bumrah was not done and Kraigg Brathwaite was caught behind in the 13th over, having had the audacity to hit the bowler for four from the previous delivery.

Bumrah briefly let someone else in on the act, with Hetmyer's brave resistance ended by Mohammed Shami, but the chief destroyer was back at it as home captain Jason Holder swiped to mid-off.

The show-stealing turn of Bumrah perhaps unfortunately pushed Vihari (111) and Ishant out of the headlines after the pair performed admirably with the bat.

Vihari built a series of partnerships - including an eighth-wicket stand of 112 with Sharma - before three wickets in as many overs finally brought India's first innings to an end.

Holder's dismissal of Vihari gave the all-rounder his fifth wicket of the innings and his 100th in Test cricket, also leaving number 11 Bumrah unbeaten on a day when he could do no wrong.

Australia are still considering their options at the top of the order ahead of the fourth Ashes Test against England, says chairman of selectors Trevor Hohns.

The tourists were pegged back in the third match at Headingley as Ben Stokes' history-making innings levelled the series at 1-1 heading into the fourth Test at Old Trafford.

Australia had already been forced into changes in their batting line-up due to Steve Smith's absence with concussion, while opener Cameron Bancroft was dropped in Leeds following a tough start to the series.

Smith will come back in for the next match but it appears unlikely he will be the only returning face, although Marnus Labuschagne will likely be retained after impressing in the former captain's absence.

A tour match victory over Derbyshire - secured on Saturday by an innings and 54 runs - increased Australia's options as Mitchell Marsh, batting at number three, made 74.

Hohns said: "This game has given us a lot more options. We'll get to Manchester, hopefully have a look at the pitch, and go through what options we do have - and they are plenty.

"There are a couple of headaches there, but nice headaches, of course, and the important thing is that we come up with a balanced team now to win this next Test match.

"The area up the top is not so much concerning but it's been difficult for both teams at the top of the order. That's an area we'll certainly be looking at.

"Mitchell Marsh has given us a good option today. All players are in contention."

Matthew Wade would appear to be at risk, having failed to build on his 110 in the Ashes opener at Edgbaston with three single-figure dismissals since.

"He played very well that innings he made a hundred," Hohns said. "Unfortunately things have not quite gone his way since then. That will certainly be an area we are having a look at."

Labuschagne is also a "prime contender", Hohns acknowledged, having impressed since becoming Smith's concussion substitute and making history in the process.

The selector would not rule out bowling changes either, even if Nathan Lyon is "no doubt at all" after giving Australia a scare by twisting his ankle in a training game of touch rugby.

Mitchell Starc – who took 3-46 and 4-39 against Derbyshire - is an obvious candidate to come into the side having sat out the first three Tests, with Hohns adding: "He's certainly given us a good option there.

"We'll have a look at the pitch, of course, and we have heard that it is renowned for being possibly the quickest in the country. That will all be taken into account.

"Right from the start of the tour it was made very clear what was expected of our bowlers and where we wanted them to bowl.

"Mitchell has taken all that on board and he was worked very, very hard to improve his game in that area.

"We all know he is an aggressor, so we can't expect him to change the way he bowls too much. But he is doing everything he possibly can to bowl in the right areas and the right channels."

Derbyshire started Saturday's play on 53-3 and were skittled for 112, with Marsh (2-5) and Peter Siddle (2-21) joining Starc in the wickets.

Shakib Al Hasan has claimed he is "not mentally prepared" nor "interested" in being the Test and T20I captain of Bangladesh, despite continuing to hold the roles.

The 32-year-old was superb as vice-captain of the one-day team at the Cricket World Cup earlier this year, surpassing Sachin Tendulkar's record for most runs in the group stage.

Shakib also became the first player to score 500 runs and take 10 wickets in a World Cup tournament.

But reverting to the role of captain in other forms of the game is not a prospect that fills Shakib with delight as he waits for the country's younger players to take on more responsibility.

"I am not even mentally prepared to lead in Tests and T20s," the all-rounder said to newspaper Prothom Alo. 

"I am not really interested in leading in any format. I can focus on myself if I am not captaining, which would help the team.

"But the team is not in a good shape, so I understand that I have to lead to get it back on track."

Shakib explained: "I want to see the younger lot to take responsibility. We [Shakib and Mushfiqur Rahim] got captaincy at a very young age, but they have now turned 26, 27. 

"Unless you give them responsibility, you won't know what they can do. The World Test Championship and T20 World Cup are up ahead, so we should plan for the next four years."

Shakib believes the struggles of ODI captain Mashrafe Mortaza at the World Cup proves his point about the extra responsibilities hindering individual performances.

"I had the belief that we could go further in this World Cup and it may have been possible if we had contributions from everyone," he said, with Mortaza only claiming one wicket from eight games.

"When a player doesn't perform, he thinks more about himself than the team, which creates the problem. I think it happened in Mashrafe bhai's case.

"It was a big issue, for himself and the team, that the captain wasn't performing. The captain has to perform, but we were behind in that aspect."

Bangladesh face Afghanistan in a Test match starting at Chattogram on September 5.

India recovered from a shaky start in Jamaica to establish control against West Indies - thanks in no small part to captain Virat Kohli.

Coming in at 46-2, Kohli helped to stabilise the India innings as he and opener Mayank Agarwal put on a crucial 69-run partnership for the third wicket.

Kohli went on to make 76 and Agarwal contributed 55 as India patiently amassed 264-5 by stumps.

The India skipper became the third of West Indies counterpart Jason Holder's three wickets when he finally departed, edging behind to debutant wicketkeeper Jahmar Hamilton, leaving the tourists on 202-5.

At that stage, the day could have still swung West Indies' way.

However, Hanuma Vihari (42 not out) and Rishabh Pant (27no) saw India safely to the close of play without any further damage.

West Indies debutant off-spinner Rahkeem Cornwall made a promising start to his international career, taking the early wicket of Cheteshwar Pujara and claiming two catches off Holder's bowling.

He bowled 27 overs at a cost of 69 runs on a day when West Indies leant heavily on spin having elected to bowl first.

Kemar Roach picked up the other wicket to fall on Friday – the paceman had Ajinkya Rahane (24) caught behind by Hamilton, who stepped into the home XI to replace the injured Shai Hope behind the stumps.

India lead the two-match series 1-0 after a 318-run victory in the first Test at North Sound, Antigua.

James Anderson's Ashes career looks to have been ended by a recurrence of a calf injury after England's greatest bowler was ruled out of the Old Trafford and Oval Tests.

The 575-wicket paceman was on duty for Lancashire second XI for the second week in a row, looking to prove his fitness for the climax of the series against Australia.

With England and Australia tied at 1-1, the prospect of Anderson coming into Joe Root's team could have provided a major spur for the hosts.

However, a right calf problem has seen the plans shelved, and at the age of 37 it seems certain Anderson has played his final Ashes match. He will be 39 by the time the next series against Australia comes around Down Under in 2021-22.

Anderson limped out of the ongoing series on day one of the Edgbaston opener and has not been involved since.

The 37-year-old seamer clung to the hope of returning, but calf trouble resurfaced in the Lancashire second-string game against Durham at Chester Boughton Hall Cricket Club.

"That's a big blow for us," said England spinner Jack Leach.

"Obviously he's a great bowler, probably England's greatest bowler, so whenever that happens it's going to be a big blow.

"I'm gutted for him. He's worked really hard to try to get fit for Lord's and for this game [at Old Trafford] so it's a shame for Jimmy and a shame for England.

"We have to move on without him for this game and for the rest of the series. But I'm sure he’ll come back strong, and it's a shame for him."

Anderson has taken 104 wickets in 32 Tests against Australia, at an average of 34.56.

He had looked certain to return to the England squad at Old Trafford, where a stand is named in his honour, providing he came through his low-profile county outings.

England have instead had to look elsewhere to find competition in the bowling department, with Somerset's Craig Overton called up.

Leach, who played the gutsy support role at Headingley when Ben Stokes produced his match-winning century, said England would be fully focused for the rest of the series after enjoying a short break from camp.

Players have been free to return home and spend time with friends and family, and Leach told BBC Radio 5 Live: "You want to be excited and refreshed going to Old Trafford – that's the most important thing for the guys.

"I’m sure Rooty [captain Root] and Trev [coach Trevor Bayliss] will be sending that message to us on Sunday evening, when we're meeting up, and on Monday at training we’ve got to be right on the money.

"The celebrations after Headingley, not from us but from the rest of the country, it feels like it’s the end and we've won the Ashes. But that’s not the case. It's 1-1 and there's two games to go.

"Australia are a good side and they're well up for this and we know they're going to come back hard and we’ve got to be ready for that."

James Anderson has been ruled out of the rest of the Ashes series due to pain in his right calf, the England and Wales Cricket Board has announced.

England’s record Test wicket-taker limped out of the action on day one of the opening match in the series at Edgbaston, and has not been involved since.

However, the 37-year-old seamer clung to the hope he would be able to prove his fitness in time for the matches at Old Trafford and The Oval.

His prospects looked to be improving as he took part in two second XI matches for his county Lancashire, but Anderson suffered a setback on Thursday, and medical checks dealt him bad news.

The ECB said on its website: "England and Lancashire seamer James Anderson has been ruled out for the rest of the Specsavers Ashes series.

"Whilst bowling in the ninth over on Thursday in Lancashire’s second XI four-day friendly against Durham at Chester Boughton Hall Cricket Club, Anderson became aware of right calf pain following on from 20 overs he had bowled on Tuesday

"He immediately sought a medical assessment from Lancashire and was withdrawn from the remainder of the game. Further review with the ECB medical team has confirmed that he will be unavailable for the remaining two Specsavers Ashes Tests."

Given his track record, Anderson looked sure to return to the England squad at Old Trafford, where a stand is named in his honour, providing he came through his low-profile county outings.

England have instead been prompted to look elsewhere to find competition in the bowling department, with Somerset’s Craig Overton called up for the first time since March 2018.

The fast-medium bowler has played in three Tests, including defeats to Australia in Adelaide and Perth in the 2017 Ashes.

He has 32 wickets at 21.34 apiece in the County Championship this season, and together with Sam Curran could rival Chris Woakes for a place in the team for Old Trafford, with the fourth Test due to start on September 4.


England squad for fourth Test: Joe Root (captain), Jofra Archer, Jonny Bairstow (wicketkeeper), Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler, Sam Curran, Joe Denly, Jack Leach, Craig Overton, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes.
 

 

Ben Stokes produced a box-office innings in the third Ashes Test and Jack Leach has revealed the England hero did so while wearing his team-mate's crotch protection.

England pulled off one of the most remarkable Test victories of all time at Headingley on Sunday as Stokes made an unbeaten 135 in a one-wicket win against Australia that kept the series alive.

He produced his most incredible shots alongside last man Leach, with their unbroken 76-run partnership denying Australia, who would have retained the urn had they found a way to get either player out.

Leach, who only made one not out from 17 balls as Stokes brilliantly farmed the strike, has now confirmed that England's superstitious hero has made Ashes centuries in successive Tests wearing a box he borrowed from the tailender.

"He uses my box now," Leach explained to BBC Somerset.

"In the Lord's game, he had to get ready quite quickly. There were a couple of wickets and he lost his box so he was panicking.

"He was like, 'Leachy, can I borrow your box?'

"He was not out at the end of the day and he was like, 'This is going to sound weird, but I need to keep using your box'.

"So obviously I was like, 'Yeah, that's fine'. 

"After that innings he was like, 'Mate, I'm going to have to keep that box now, it's a bit of a superstitious thing', and if Ben Stokes is happy, then I'm happy.

"It obviously worked again in this case."

Stokes made 115 not out in the second Test at Lord's, which ended as a draw, and appeared to be caught right in the area Leach's box was protecting from a Josh Hazlewood delivery during that innings.

Jofra Archer feared he had cost England the Ashes when his efforts to match Ben Stokes' big hitting in the third Test came up short.

With just Stuart Broad and Jack Leach to come in the order, Archer appeared to represent England's last realistic hope as they chased a target of 359 to beat Australia and level the series at Headingley.

Archer, the star of the drawn second match at Lord's when on debut, hit three fours and made 15 but was then caught on the boundary by Travis Head to reduce the home side to 286-8.

Leaving Stokes to do the heavy lifting all by himself, Archer thought he had blown England's last chance for glory in Leeds.

"I wanted to make it less hard work for Ben, but I got out," he told reporters. "I thought I had messed the series up - not just the game but the series.

"So I am very relieved that we are still alive and fighting. Your coach always tells you, 'Don't leave it for anyone else'. I tried to do as much of it as I could.

"We have all seen enough cricket to know 80 to win with just one wicket left against the Australian bowling attack...

"We were very grateful to be on the winning side, that is all I can say."

Leach proved to be the unlikely hero to assist Stokes, however, as England pulled off a sensational recovery with their last-wicket pair at the crease.

The hosts won in similarly dramatic fashion in the Cricket World Cup final against New Zealand and Archer believes these narrow victories provide a confidence boost to the players.

"I still watch the World Cup highlights," he said. "But all I can say is that Headingley game was special. When [Nathan] Lyon fumbled the run out, you could hear a heartbeat in the dressing room.

"It just shows our fight. No one rolled over and played dead, everyone wanted to win, even the number 11 was very keen to get stuck in. He (Leach) will be called upon again at some point in the series.

"We got a taste of what it is like to win from nowhere, so I guess we can take that on with us."

England paceman Jofra Archer hit back at Australia batsman Steve Smith as the pair traded jibes ahead of the fourth Ashes Test.

Smith is set to return from a concussion at Old Trafford when the fourth Test begins on Wednesday, in a huge boost for the tourists with the series locked at 1-1.

The star batsman was ruled out of the third Test, which England incredibly won by one wicket, after being hit by an Archer bouncer at Lord's.

Smith reminded fans Archer was yet to get him out during the Ashes and the England paceman offered a response.

"Well, I can't get him out if he wasn't there," he told UK newspapers, via The Guardian.

"But there'll be more than ample time to get him out. I'm not saying I won't get him out but if we don't get him out there's 10 other people we can get out and if he's stranded on 40 that's not helping his team too much.

"He can't do it all himself. We want to win the game. I'm not here to get caught up in a contest with one man. I want to win the Ashes."

Led by Ben Stokes (135 not out), England incredibly chased down a target of 359 to draw level in the series at Headingley.

Archer believes that win is set to give the hosts a psychological advantage for the remainder of the series.

"That's the thing, never get complacent. To be fair, 359 runs is a lot of runs. The crowd started to get on their backs as well, I think they panicked a bit," he said.

"They probably thought they were going to roll us if they got a few quick early wickets but they didn't and I'm glad we showed some resistance because the series isn't over and in the upcoming games I don't think they'll declare now.

"If they do have a chance I don't think they'll be too attacking. If they draw the series they still get to retain the Ashes."

Usman Khawaja insisted England's miraculous triumph in the third Test at Headingley has only fuelled Australia's desire to retain the Ashes.

Ben Stokes' inspired display kept the five-Test series alive as hosts England amassed their highest ever fourth-innings run chase in Leeds, where the hosts prevailed by one wicket last week.

Australia, however, will be able to welcome talisman Steve Smith back to the fold for the Old Trafford Test after the star batsman missed the Headingley clash due to a concussion sustained at Lord's.

Smith will play a three-day tour match against Derbyshire, with Khawaja captaining an Australia side which also includes Marcus Harris, Cameron Bancroft and Marnus Labuschagne.

Khawaja acknowledged Australia's defeat was a tough blow to take, but he has no doubt the tourists will bounce back before the end of the series, with one win from the two remaining Tests enough to retain the urn.

"Disappointing for us but hopefully it'll make the next game or the game after even more sweet when we do win," Khawaja said. "It was an excellent innings [from Stokes]. The way it ended, the drama, you couldn't write a script like that. It was heartbreaking for us as a team.

"It was a good game if you look at it from the eyes of a fan, what an amazing game.  I hope it's not too much of an epic [series]. The last game was clearly epic for England fans, and there have been great Ashes rivalries and games. 

"We played beautifully in the last game, we were so close to winning the Ashes, and if a few things go our way at the end then we would have done.

"We've played some really good cricket and we're confident we'll get that win."

With the fourth Test not starting until September 4, there is a 10-day gap between the matches, though Khawaja does not believe it will have been easier for Australia if the break was a shorter one. 

"It doesn't make much difference. We already had two Tests back-to-back so it was pretty tough," Khawaja said.

"It's nice to get a bit of a break, refresh and go for the next two. Test cricket's always hard work, always tough competition. There's a lot of depth with Australia's squad, and they all deserve to play which is a good thing."

Chris Woakes has conceded he doubted even Ben Stokes could turn the tide in the third Ashes Test between England and Australia at Headingley.

Stokes amassed an incredible 135 not out and led a 76-run stand for the last wicket alongside number 11 Jack Leach as the hosts, who were all out for 67 in their first innings, chased down an unlikely target of 359 to level the series at 1-1 on Sunday.

Woakes witnessed a similarly superb performance from Stokes in a dramatic Cricket World Cup final victory over New Zealand in July, though he thought England's chances of keeping the Ashes alive in Leeds were all but over.

"I've seen Ben do some incredible things on the cricket field but I thought this one was just out of reach for him to be honest," Woakes told the BBC's Stumped programme.

"I thought he was done, it was done, and when the score starts creeping down to about 50 to win you start thinking, 'What if I'd been able to build a little bit of a partnership and get a bit closer?'

"We were kind of resigned to the fact that it was pretty much done.

"It was a very nervous and tense dressing room, and the closer Stokesy and Jack got the more tense it got, because we started thinking it was possible, which is a dangerous place to be."

England made their way back onto the field several hours after the game, and Woakes believes it was important to revel in the achievement.

"We went onto the outfield as a team to share the moment," he said.

"Although we realise it's mid-series, it was important to realise how special that game actually was, for Stokesy to do something unbelievable and incredible and you probably won't see that again."

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