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'I think we're in a very good position' - Denly confident of a comeback win
Ashes 2019

'I think we're in a very good position' - Denly confident of a comeback win

Joe Denly insisted England possess the ability to stage a miraculous comeback after an emphatic batting display on Saturday revived the hosts' chances of securing an unlikely series-leveling victory at Headingley.

England were humiliated by a blazing spell of bowling from paceman Josh Hazlewood allowing them to scramble to a woeful total of 67 on the second day of the ongoing encounter - their lowest Ashes total since 1948.

The embarrassing collapse signaled the end of England's hopes of regaining the Ashes urn but an immensely improved batting performance in the second innings means they are still in the hunt to become the fourth side in Test history to chase down a target in excess of 300 at Headingley.

England captain Joe Root's defiant stand with No.4 batsman Denly rescued the team from further humiliation after the loss of both openers with just 15 runs on the board.

"I still think we're in a very good position," said the half-centurion Denly following the end of third day's play.

"It's never ideal when you get bowled out for 67, it wasn't good enough and we had to show a bit of fight and a bit of character in the second innings," he added.

Denly claimed England's spirits had not deflated despite the first-innings horror show and they always felt they were in the game.

"It was never about a draw or losing, but all about winning -- that belief has to be there," he said.

"We understand there is a tricky period in the morning with the new ball coming up.

"But we have Rooty and Stokesy (Ben Stokes is two not following his unbeaten 115 in the drawn second Test at Lord's) -- two world-class batters in."

'Joe Root puts belief in the England side'

England skipper Root, who came in to bat on the third day with consecutive ducks in the previous two innings, timed the ball efficiently during his unbeaten stay at the crease.

Root's return to form was cited by Denly as one of the main factors bolstering the confidence of the England squad.

"Any time Joe Root is scoring runs it puts belief in the side," said Denly. "We feed off that."

Meanwhile, Australia's Marnus Labuchagne has announced his arrival onto the Test arena with three successive fifties in the Ashes series after he became cricket's first concussion substitute for Steve Smith in the match at Lord's.

Labuschagne could not score his maiden century in the longest format but added 80 crucial runs to Australia's second innings total in the morning session of the third day.

"As a batter you want to score hundreds but it was more about getting as big a lead as we could," said Labuschagne. "It's going to be pretty tough ever to fill Steve Smith's shoes.

"But from a personal perspective I'm just trying to focus on my own game."

Despite England's determined fightback, Labuschagne felt Australia's Ashes rivals were far from a comfortable position.