By Vijay Vedala
Mumbai: Oct 22, 2011
With the series already out of their grasp, England are keen to end the five-match rubber against India on a high by at least winning the last two ODIs, visiting middle-order batsman Jonathan Trott said here on Saturday.
"I just think we haven't played as well as we did in England. I think India played well. They will admit they played a lot better than what they did in the summer.
"But there are two games to go and a good performance in those games would give us a spring while going back," said the South Africa-born batsman, who made a splendid unbeaten 98 in the third ODI at Mohali which his team lost by five wickets to concede a 0-3 lead to the hosts.
Trott, however, begs to differ with the view that England's keenness to win the remaining games of the dead rubber was a case of damage control.
He was of the view that India played better cricket than the tourists in the series so far.
"It's definitely not a case of damage limitation. It's a case of realising that you haven't played well in the first three games. We haven't played up to our expectations," Trott said om the eve of inconsequential fourth ODI at the Wankhede stadium here on Sunday.
"India have played better cricket. It's an opportunity in for us the last two games to put some good performances for the team as well as individuals."
Asked about the differences in their performance back home and in the ongoing India tour, Trott said England failed to play well in key moments in the series.
"I can't pinpoint the exact reason. I think we lost key periods of the games or India played well in the key periods of the games. I think we played well the other night (at Mohali when England mustered 298).
"Got a good total but just could not get across the line. Our basics haven't been up to the scratch. Things like big partnerships, fielding. We haven't done well. Good opportunity there up tomorrow and the next game," Trott said.
"We take every game as they come. We are playing India in Mumbai and Kolkata. I'm looking forward to those games," the right-hander added.
Trott said after climbing to the numero uno position in Test rankings, England's target was to repeat the feat in the 50-over format.
"We wanted to be the number one Test team and we have achieved that. Now we have similar target for one-dayers. We have lost a few games in a row. But we have to put that right and as I said deliver performances," he said.
He also downplayed the on-field heated exchanges between the Indian and English players during the first three matches, saying such things happen in the heat of the moment.
"Whichever XI takes the field, are highly motivated to win. I think guys get across very well. It comes across differently on TV which is not the case. We get the best out of each other," Trott claimed.
"Sometimes you go out of way to do it and things happen in the heat of the moment. The guys take a lot of pride in their performance and want to win. That's what they want to do.
"The match officials hadn't given any official warning. The officials have spoken to the two captains about that sort of stuff and that's all I've heard about the stuff going on," he said about match referee Roshan Mahanama's decision to talk to the two teams after the Mohali tie.
Trott conceded he and Ravi Bopara should have scored faster in the batting powerplay at Mohali and it was one area that needs improvement.
"I think Ravi and I could have pushed it a little bit. I think Ravi got out in the third power play. So when we lose wickets it put brakes on."
He praised India opener Ajinkya Rahane for his career-best 91 at Mohali after failing in the first two games of the series.
"Rahane is good player. I played against him in the 2007 Duleep Trophy game (between England Lions and West Zone) and he got some runs against us. I always felt he's a good player. He's got a couple of fifties against us. He played well the other night," Trott said.
Trott claimed England batsmen have started to negotiate Indian spin duo of Ravindra Jadeja and R Ashwin better as the series had progressed.
"They (Jadeja and Ashwin) are very good spinners. If you are a spin bowler playing for India, you have to be very good. They have been playing well and I've been very keen on how to bat against them for three games in a row. Like everything else, you realise every challenge. I think we are getting better and better against them," he declared.
Trott was non-committal when asked about the wicket's nature for tomorrow's game.
"I've never played here so don't now what to expect. The nets look pretty similar. It looks like a pretty good batting wicket. Average score here is 270-280. So, hopefully we can have another great game tomorrow." (PTI)