Cricket: Trescothick to the fore

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England Under-19 381

India Under-19 266-7

THE fresh-faced boys of the England under-19 team tried manfully to save the three- match series against India here yesterday, without getting any help from the weather (26 overs lost), or much inspiration from their captain or slip fielders.

Having taken five wickets for 89 with 231 needed to save the follow-on, England let the game slip. By the close, India were 266 for seven. The series had been made safe for India by Pamkaj Dharmani, who was 110 not out, but he had been dropped at first slip on 14.

Vaughan is captain of the Under-19s; a promising opening bat from Yorkshire but he may care to forget this match - out for six and unimaginative in the use of his bowlers. He relied entirely on seam until India's 80th over before bowling the capable Yorkshire left- arm spinner, Gary Keedy.

Having gone one up in the series with a nine-wicket win at Taunton, India were content to ignore anything they did not have to play, and England's seamers made sure there was plenty of that. It was a recipe for torpid cricket, but there was plenty to talk about, because 18-year-old Marcus Trescothick had rescued the England innings - it was 27 for five on Friday morning - with a formidable 206.

Graham Saville, the under- 19 team manager, said that of all the young England batsmen he had watched, only John Crawley had as much raw talent - and Gower, Gooch, Gatting and Atherton all preceded both of them.

Trescothick has already beaten the record number of runs for England in an under- 19 series. His 432 beat Kevin Sharp's 407 in 1975. He weighs in at 15st 6lb, and is a left- hander who does not bother to use his feet much, but, because he is strong and left-handed, he does not necessarily have to.

Two of the under-19 team - Vaughan and Richard Johnson of Middlesex, who has already taken 10 wickets in an innings in first-class cricket, have impressed Ray Illingworth already and are in the A team squad to tour India. Trescothick was seriously considered for the squad, but the selectors decided he needed more experience. He is likely to be named captain of the England under-19 team to tour the West Indies this winter.

Trescothick's coach at Somerset, Bob Cottam, declares that under-19 Tests like this are a waste of Trescothick's time, and the young man did say that he would prefer to play for Somerset against Middlesex instead of a one-day game against India, but that was because he has never played at Lord's.