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November 16, 2005
"Obviously it's disappointing but it's not going to knock us down," said Trescothick. "They bowled pretty well on a wicket that was turning and Danish Kaneria is a world-class spinner. But we probably lacked a little bit of application. If we'd occupied the crease and batted a session out, runs would have come pretty easy."
Trescothick was adamant, however, that England would not seek to change their attacking style of play. Though Andrew Flintoff and Kevin Pietersen were both culpable as England squandered their wickets in a blaze of strokeplay, he backed his batsmen to come good. "It's the reason they've become the players they are," he said. "Nine times out of ten it would have come off, and that's the reason we win games. If they see the ball they hit it hard.
"I thought we would knock them off pretty comfortably," he added. "Obviously there'd be a struggle here and there against a legspinner on a fifth-day wicket, but I still expected us to win. I think they bowled well but all we needed was one partnership and suddenly things would have changed."
England's middle order has been decidedly lacking in runs on this tour, but Trescothick didn't agree that more time at the crease in the two warm-up fixtures would have made much difference. "I still believe that it's not so much the build-up to a Test that matters, but how you get out to the middle. It's all about timings, and whether the ball is reverse-swinging or spinning. It's lots of hard work."
England remain optimistic that Michael Vaughan will be fit to return for the second Test - he was seen in the nets during the fourth-day lunch interval - but Trescothick did not envisage any major changes to his team. "Obviously we've lost the game and we're disappointed, but we'll still prepare in the same fashion that we did building up to this game. It's stood us in good stead in the past couple of years, and there's no reason to change anything at the moment."
"Character is what we can always fall back on," he added. "We might have bad sessions, we might have bad days, but if we stick together off the pitch, there's always something to fall back. We need to keep that team spirit and fight going in the team and prepare as a unit. That won't change for the rest of the trip."
What's wrong with their cricket? Well, what isn't?