England bowling coach David Saker remains confident the hosts can still win the fifth Ashes Test. Alastair Cook's men have struggled with the ball in the first two days at The Oval, with a maiden Test century from Steven Smith and a monstrous 176 from Shane Watson leading Australia to 429/9d in their first innings.
In reply, England closed the second day at 32/0, with Cook (17) and Joe Root (13) at the crease.
England made the surprising decision to include two bowling debutants - Chris Woakes and Simon Kerrigan were both called up, for what is effectively a dead rubber for the hosts. Nevertheless, against the backdrop of Stuart Broad's comments about England being a "ruthless" and "win at all costs" team, the move was unexpected.
Predictably, with only three front-line bowlers - James Anderson, Graeme Swanna and Broad - the Aussies were largely untroubled and England must bat exceptionally well to save this match.
"We still believe we can win the match. We are going to try to go out there and put on a big score. They are in a strong position. They have batted really well for two days but we know, with the Oval wicket, it can sometimes dry out and become something of a turner," Saker told the BBC.
"We picked a team to win the match and I think, two days in, it's harsh to say we haven't got it right. At the end of the fifth day you can probably write what you want but if Simon Kerrigan bowls us to victory on day five that would be a bit of a feel-good story for a lot of people," he added.
Meanwhile, Smith says he is delighted with his century. The right-handed all-rounder is playing in his 12th Test and his previous highest was 92 against India in the subcontinent. The 24-year-old remained unbeaten on 138 and reached the milestone with a six over Jonathan Trott's head.
"It feels really good. It was nice to start off the day on 66 and put in a partnership with Watto (Shane Watson) yesterday, he played very well as well," Smith explained afterwards.
"I was very happy to get a score today. I said to 'Hadds' (Brad Haddin) before the start of that over 'what do you reckon about just trying to hit him over his head? It ended up in the right spot and I got a hold of it in the end so I was happy with that," the centurion said.