The Telegraph
Thursday , November 22 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999
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We’ve got some hard work ahead of us, says Jonathan

- ‘Travelling to Calcutta with a 1-1 scoreline will be great’
Jonathan Trott

Mumbai: England batsman Jonathan Trott believes that doing the basics right is the key to find success against the spinners while playing in the subcontinent.

At a media conference, on Wednesday, he also said that they are aware of the challenge of playing India in India and are trying to draw inspiration from Alastair Cook and Matt Prior’s performances in the first Test to stage a comeback in the four-match series.

The following are excerpts

Mood in the camp after the Ahmedabad loss

It’s always a fantastic opportunity to come and play cricket in India... Obviously, we got caught out in the first innings in Ahmedabad and didn’t play very well. We played better in the second innings and showed that we can post big totals. We could have done so in the first innings as well, but it wasn’t so. But a great challenge lies ahead… It was never going to be easy… We have got some hard work ahead of us.

If they will try to emulate Cook and Prior’s fighting spirit

Absolutely... We have everything that we want in the dressing room. We just have to produce the stuff on the field… That is sport. We are looking forward to Friday and playing in Mumbai, the heart of Indian cricket and it’s a fantastic opportunity to get to 1-1. For a player, scoring 176 in his first Test as captain is a great effort. Cook leads from the front and sets the standard for others. Every player, whether he bats at No. 1 or No. 9, wants to be able to do that.

On England’s frailties against spin

Everyone’s been improving... After a defeat, weaknesses get highlighted a lot. We knew we would face a lot of spin here. The emphasis has to be on trusting your own game and sticking to that... We saw Cook and how he set up his game to play spinners… It’s effective. You ought to do the basics right… Once you do well and succeed, nobody really worries how you do it.

On why the English batsmen have problems adjusting to spin

The conditions are very foreign to players, especially when you’ve grown up in England. You hone your technique in the country that you grow up… So to change it quickly and to adapt is the challenge. We saw Cook do that. He doesn’t play like the Indian batsmen, but his method works for him and in the dressing room, we have got players who can do just that. There are no reasons why we can’t. We need to put a good game together with both the bat and the ball. We saw in UAE that we were able to bowl Pakistan out cheaply, but we just could not score those runs… We’ve got to put five good days together… Not being able to play spin isn’t the only problem.

There are no guarantees in life and in cricket… You may train very hard in the nets, but the opposition, too, are allowed to play well. We didn’t play well in the first Test. We had good individual performances, but not as a team. We had opportunities to put India under pressure, but it just didn’t happen.

Whether having back-to-back matches help after a loss

Yes… You don’t want a gap of 8-10 days mulling over the game. You want to get on the field and get back in the middle... Travelling to Calcutta with a 1-1 scoreline will be great, but it’ll be a great challenge. We’ve overcome these challenges over the last couple of years and so I feel this is a good opportunity to add to that collection.

On the criticism they are facing from former England players

You have got to take it... Obviously, they are very passionate and want England to do well, but you have to realise that no one is perfect… Sometimes, the former players think that the game is not as good as it was. At the end of the day, it’s still a game of cricket. We are not hiding from the fact that we didn’t get runs in the first innings and maybe we let India get too many in their first innings.

If his form is on a downslide after having two great years

Yeah, the first two years were great for me and the team. We achieved a lot and we achieved it quicker than what we, and a lot of others, were expecting. It’s good to readjust and reset your goals and work towards them. We knew India would be a huge challenge. When you become the No. 1 team, a lot of attention is directed towards you. The pressure is on you to keep producing the results. If we turn things around and win a couple of Tests, hopefully everything will be forgotten.

If he has seen the Wankhede pitch

I didn’t look at it closely, but it appears similar to the practice wickets and they were turning a bit. I think when you come here, you get the red soil which makes the ball spin more.

On what can be the possible playing XI in the second Test

I’m not a selector... Both Jonny Bairstow and Eoin Morgan are in the fray. Both looked in good form in the warm-up matches and, whoever plays, he will be expected to come and perform. Whenever you play for England, there is pressure.