Justin Langer invokes Muhammad Ali to inspire the rebound of ashes

Australia coach Justin Langer has tried to inspire his team with the boxer's story Muhammad Ali and his stolen bike to leave Headingley upside down and recover the stolen deadly spoils in Old Trafford.

Holders Australia came within one wicket of retaining the deadly spoils at Headingley but an unbeaten century by Ben stokes and a series of field mishaps gave England a nervous victory and leveled the series at 1-1.

Langer compared Headingley's desperation from Australia with the theft of Ali's bicycle in Louisville, Kentucky, which took the 12-year-old boxer to a local police gym.

All the champions have had moments of adversity, whether in business, sports or life, Langer told reporters in Manchester before the fourth test that begins on Wednesday.

The ones who come back from it ... think about Muhammad Ali getting his bike stolen.

That was the fire he needed to become the best fighter of all time.

"We felt a bit like we got the deadly spoils stolen the other day.

Now we have to decide what we are going to do and use that as fire.

Australia have only to win one of the last two Tests to retain the deadly spoils in England for the first time since 2001 and will welcome back master batsman Steve Smith in Old Trafford after he missed the third test due to a concussion.

While England players enjoyed a few days off with family and friends to cool off after Headingley, Australia played a game of the tour and Langer demanded that the squad members rest for the three-day game against Derbyshire.

In my opinion, the best practice is party practice, he said. We rest some of our first 11 players to give them a mental break and a physical break.

There were six or seven boys who had a good rest in Derby.

We get a lot out of that game ... we play cricket well.

Winning a three-day game in two days is a pretty good effort ... We are worried about our preparation, not that of England.