England insists that Mark Wood is totally fit despite bowling only three overs on the fourth day.
One disadvantage of England’s aggressive batting strategy is that their bowlers have had a heavier workload than Australia’s throughout this series.
They have already bowled 841.3 overs in five Tests, 193.4 overs more than Australia, and more is on the way on Monday.
Australia has been chastised for its sluggish score with the bat, as shown by Usman Khawaja and Marnus Labuschagne’s heated altercation with a spectator who referred to them as “boring” as they headed back to the changing rooms on Saturday evening.
Throughout the series, though, they have attempted to wear down England’s seamers.
In the end, Australia’s assistant coach Michael di Venuto remarked, “Certainly, part of our plan is to get them to keep coming back and bowling more overs.”
Di Venuto acknowledged his amazement at England’s deployment of Wood. “I’m not sure of those tactics,” he said. “I’m unsure if he has an injury or can only bowl a certain number of overs.”
Because there was some spin, I wasn’t shocked to see the two offspinners wheeling away at one end.”
Moeen Ali, one of those offspinners, suffered a right groin strain while batting on the opening day of the Test.
He recorded figures of 0 for 19 in five overs but moved cautiously in the field, and Trescothick intimated that Moeen would be out for a few weeks.
“He’s OK,” Trescothick remarked. “You saw him bowl today, didn’t you?” He’s had the niggle that he has.
He’s certainly taken a break and put his feet up. It’s not perfect – of course, it isn’t. It won’t be for another two or three weeks, but we’ve gotten a little bit out of him and will try to do so again tomorrow.”
Trescothick also feels that the ball change that occurred immediately before the rain came in – after the opening delivery of the 37th over, when Wood’s bouncer hit Khawaja on the head – may have impacted the outcome.
“I think it was just a little bit harder,” he explained. “That was the distinction. “It immediately has more life in it. Balls have become incredibly soft and quick in this game – and series. In multiple instances, both leaders attempted to replace them. Who knows if it makes a difference? The rain is falling and being saved for tomorrow.”
After unbroken half-centuries from Khawaja and David Warner, Australia needed another 249 runs to win the Ashes and their first series win in England since 2001. “It was an outstanding start from our two openers,” di Venuto added.
“Today’s conditions have a lot to do with it. It’s an excellent batting wicket. “Several men have gone on Ashes series over here and haven’t won, and 20  years is an extended period. We’re in a beautiful position for some youngsters to earn that on their resume, and we’re all eager to get those 250 runs tomorrow.”