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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 18 December 2018

Woakes expects England to 'put Australia under pressure' during Ashes Test in Adelaide

Hosts were reduced to 53-4 at stumps on Day 3 but with a lead of 268 runs over the visitors.

England bowler Chris Woakes successfully appeals for lbw to dismiss Australia captain Steve Smith on Day 3 in Adelaide. Cameron Spencer / Getty Images
England bowler Chris Woakes successfully appeals for lbw to dismiss Australia captain Steve Smith on Day 3 in Adelaide. Cameron Spencer / Getty Images

England still believe they have a winning chance in the Ashes day-night Test despite Australia's strong position with two days to play, fast bowler Chris Woakes said on Monday.

Australia led by 268 runs with six wickets intact as Ashes holders England hit back under the Adelaide Oval lights on a day of fluctuating fortunes.

The tourists, trailing by 215 runs after the first innings, had the home side hanging on at 53-4 in the night session against a moving pink ball, having removed their two leading batsmen, captain Steve Smith and opener David Warner.

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Woakes, who dismissed both Smith and Warner, said England showed plenty of character after a poor first innings total of 227 which handed Australia their big lead.

Victory in Adelaide will give the Australians a potentially decisive 2-0 lead in the five-Test series after winning the opening Brisbane Test by 10 wickets.

"We've fought back well tonight, which is good to see, and we can take some positives from that," Woakes told reporters.

"Obviously, we're behind in the game but we fought back and showed some good character to get back in the game and put some pressure on Australia.

"Anything's chaseable really. We have to make use of those sessions in normal daylight. It's always going to be tricky batting under the lights."

Woakes said England believe they can pull off a remarkable come-from-behind victory.

"The positive thing for us is to believe we can go forward and put Australia under pressure," the Warwickshire all-rounder said. "It's important we continue to do that tomorrow as well.

"We need to make sure we fight back and make sure this lead doesn't get to anything too big."

Woakes said the England bowling group had adjusted their bowling lengths after a poor collective effort in Australia's first innings of 442 for eight declared.

"We knew we had to bowl a slightly fuller length in the second innings," he said. "We were a little short the first innings. We got the rewards, got our nicks.

"We had to stay patient and consistently put the ball in the right areas. That was it, really. We're here to stick together as a team. We know we didn't play as well as we would have liked."

England's limited-overs side have been handed a boost ahead of the one-day international and Twenty20 series against Australia, with batsman Alex Hales available for selection after being cleared of any criminal charges over an incident in Bristol in September.

Hales, 28, was with all-rounder Ben Stokes, who was arrested on suspicion of causing actual bodily harm during an altercation outside a nightclub. The pair were suspended by the ECB from international cricket until further notice.

"The ECB Board has convened via conference call to make the decision after being informed that Hales is deemed a witness and will face no charges," the ECB said in a statement.

"The independent Cricket Discipline Commission has stayed the internal disciplinary process for both Alex Hales and Ben Stokes until the conclusion of any potential criminal proceedings relating to the incident."

Hales is a key member of England's ODI and T20 teams and is now available for the limited-overs part of the Ashes tour which starts in January.