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Trott admits England let a good position slip
JONATHAN TROTT last night admitted England had got themselves into a “bad position” by throwing their wickets away on the opening day of the fourth Ashes Test at Emirates Durham ICG.
The hosts closed on 238-9, a disappointing total given they were 149-2 midway through the afternoon session before a late flurry of wickets gave Australia the upper hand.
A glance at the first-innings scores from this season's first-class matches involving Durham suggests a par score at Chester-le-Street is around 250, and with Tim Bresnan and Jimmy Anderson clinging on at the death, England could get close to that this morning.
However, the pitch does not appear to be doing a great deal, and there was a sense of disappointment at the sloppy manner in which a number of England's batsmen conceded their wickets.
“I wouldn't say it's a serious concern, but I'd say we were disappointed that we got ourselves into a good position then got ourselves into a bad one,” said Trott, who was England's second-highest scorer as he fell one run short of his half-century.
“We're not too sure what a good score would be in the first innings on that wicket, but I think batting first was the correct decision. We got ourselves to about 150-2, so in hindsight it was right. As a group, we're just pretty disappointed that we've ended the day probably behind.”
Trott's departure pretty much summed up England's day, with the number three displaying commendable diligence before tamely clipping spinner Nathan Lyon to Usman Khawaja at short leg.
Lyon picked up four wickets without extracting any extravagant spin, and too many of England's batsmen became bogged down as they struggled to keep the scoreboard moving.
Runs were extremely hard to come by, and as Australia's bowlers maintained their stranglehold, their opponents succumbed to a series of less-than-impressive shots.
“Generally in cricket, you get yourself out,” said Trott. “It's good pressure from the opposition and you play a shot to a ball you shouldn't have. It's not too often you get unplayable deliveries, generally the fault is with the batsman.
“I think we could all probably say that. It's a little but uncharacteristic of us as a side because we put a lot of emphasis and value on our wicket. I certainly try to do that as much as I can, and whenever you don't do that, you're disappointed.
“There are a few disappointed guys, but we need to scrape a few more (today) and a get a few early wickets. I think 250 is an average score around here at Durham, but it would be an easy route to go to say that. Clearly, we didn't really have the best of days towards the end.”
It will be interesting to see how the likes of Anderson, Broad and Graeme Swann perform on a fairly typical Chester-le-Street wicket that was largely dead and unresponsive, but which looked as though it could deteriorate in the latter stages of the game.
There was limited movement for Australia's pace bowlers early on, but it was clearly difficult to score runs, with the large boundaries and slow outfield making it even tougher to reach the rope.
“It's obviously a little bit on the slow side, but that's what we expected from when we started training,” said Trott. “We knew how it was going to play. It's pretty slow compared to Manchester, which had a bit more carry.
“I thought Australia bowled well and set good fields for the way they were bowling. They made it difficult to score, and hopefully we can do the same.”
Nevertheless, after having dominated the majority of the game at Old Trafford, Australia once again find themselves in the driving seat.
The weather forecast is reasonably good for the remaining four days, but Trott is unconcerned at the way the momentum has swung in Australia's favour since they were roundly beaten in the second Test at Lord's.
“Over a long series, you'll probably see it sway quite a bit,” he said. “It ebbs and flows and we have a chance to wrestle it back from Australia, like we have done in the past. I'm sure we will be able to.
“It's a case of not looking too far ahead and trying to draw conclusions and predict how the game is going to go. Let's see how (today) goes – we're confident we can do really well.”
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