Ashes 2023: England are massively up for the series final despite Manchester washout, says Zak Crawley

Written by Sumit Seth

Even though England can no longer reclaim the Ashes, England opener Zak Crawley insists the hosts will have no trouble motivating themselves for this week’s fifth Test against Australia. What had looked like a thrilling series decider at The Oval has lost some of its sting after rain thwarted England’s bid to draw level in the fourth Test at Old Trafford, with only 30 overs possible over the final two days.

Australia retained the Ashes urn after no play was possible on day five of the drawn fourth Test due to rain, leaving England trailing the series 2-1 heading into the final Test at The Oval on Thursday. The draw was heartbreaking for England, who appeared to be on track to level the series after posting a first-innings total of 592, with Crawley scoring a sensational 189.

“We’re massively up for it. Any game, you want to win,” Crawley told reporters.

“As Ben Stokes says, we’re building as a team, this isn’t the end just because it’s the end of the Ashes. Hopefully, it’s very much the start.”

“I think 2-2 would be fair. They had the better of us at Lord’s, Edgbaston could have gone either way, we probably deserved this one, and Headingley could have gone either way. So I think 2-2 would be right.

“It felt like we were getting on top of them for sure, and if we’d won this game it would have been very interesting to see. They’ve got some very good players and would have bounced back but the momentum would have been with us for sure.”

Crawley has long been a target of social media abuse, despite having disconnected from all networks.

“When I first went off social media I was doing alright,” he said. “It was more getting away from it, even the good stuff, you can get carried away.

“I won’t be reading it now I’ve got runs. I’ll be keeping myself to myself, listen to close friends and family whose opinions of me as a cricketer and a person — they’re the only opinions I care about.”

About the author

Sumit Seth