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Important for England to score big in 1st innings: Trott

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Chennai, Feb 3 (IANS) A big score in the first innings will be crucial for England if they are to do well in the Test series in India, says England batting consultant Jonathan Trott. The first Test begins at the MA Chidambaram Stadium on Friday.

“Fundamentals of playing in India remains the same — big runs early on like anywhere else, but in India it is really, really important. Playing spin and having a method and being able to execute under pressure is the most important thing,” said Trott while speaking to the media on Wednesday.

“We saw their (India) pace attack do really well in Australia and they are very talented all-round with the ball. As you go around the world nowadays, everybody has got a good pace attack nowadays. It is crucial to prepare for both. Skill level has to be very high for batsmen. Playing out here in the heat and humidity of Chennai, you will have to be very fit and switched on,” he added.

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Some of the players in the current England squad also participated in the 2016-17 five-match series which England lost 4-0. Trott said that there have been discussions on it and the players have decided not to carry any of that from the last series.

“I think there were some flat wickets (in 2016-17) especially in Chennai, which was high-scoring. Perhaps you have to score more. First innings will be key so that in second innings you are ahead. Trying to play catch-up in second innings is tough against India who are so good in their own conditions. We have to start well,” he said.

Trott though added that England’s all-round game has to be really good against Virat Kohli’s men.

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“You have to be clinical in fielding, make sure you take all those catches and run-out opportunities. All-round game has to be good. You don’t learn from your lessons but you don’t carry them with you. You have to be ready — in batting and bowling,” Trott added.

The 39-year-old said that to get a good first innings score, contribution will be needed from all the players with the bat. He also said that England are lucky to have Ben Stokes, who provides the right balance.

“It is important (to bat deep). It is important to have options with the ball as well. That is paramount when it comes to winning Test matches. You try to find balance all the time. Ben Stokes adds that balance. We are very lucky to have him. It is nice but key for everybody is to make they have a game-plan as batter and chip in even at the lower-order,” Trott, who retired from Test cricket in May 2015.

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Trott, who hit 143 in the Nagpur during the 2012-13 series, said that the second innings will also be important for the team.

“The first innings runs are key but we saw in Sri Lanka that you need to play cricket for all four-five days the Test match lasts. But it is not not just about the first innings but you have to back it up as batsmen and bowlers in the second innings as well. That is when games are won or lost,” said Trott.

India need to beat England in the Test series by one of the following margins: 2-0, 2-1, 3-0, 3-1 or 4-0 to enter the final of the inaugural World Test Championship (WTC), slated to be played in June at the Lord’s, London.

For England, any of the following margins will guarantee them a place in the final against New Zealand: 3-0, 3-1, 4-0.

–IANS

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