'Pick yourselves up after the putdowns'

England have the spirit to bounce back, says Graveney in rallying call

"Be assured this is a team of character," he said. "They have shown it in the past two years, they can bounce back. The biggest worry for us would have been if we had created no chances in the First Test at all.

"That would have been a serious problem, but it wasn't the case. They've got to clear their heads, realise why they were selected and trust their ability. Forget what people are writing and saying about you."

He spoke similarly of the captain, Michael Vaughan. "It's a huge job, being captain of England. He's batting like a bloke with a lot of things in his head. He needs somehow to clear it. Everybody has got to do that. Playing against this lot is another level up. People think they're arrogant but they're just very confident people."

Graveney's words seemed to indicate that the selectors were not for turning from the team who were eventually swept aside by 239 runs at Lord's, and were obviously designed to allay fears that the campaign was not forlorn. At least not yet. He intends to visit Edgbaston, where the Second npower Test begins on Thursday, "to put an arm round the players' shoulders".

"I will tell them why they were selected in the first place and remind them of the spirit which has taken them this far. That is our greatest strength, and if we can play to our ability in Birmingham, the crowd will really get behind us."

Graveney's panel has been under enormous pressure from pundits, many of them former players, to make changes. Paul Collingwood, the Durham batsman, who completed his fourth hundred of the summer on Friday, has suddenly been pushed to the forefront of the fringe candidates.

The panel will certainly have looked at Collingwood's claims closely, but should have decided that his inclusion would be a defensive move that showed they got it wrong in the first place.

Graveney will try to ensure that the players regain the self-belief which drained from them as the match at Lord's progressed and was patently absent in their public pronouncements last week.

"We've all got to be positive and back our belief as selectors, but most importantly as players," he said. "There are proper reasons for England being able to challenge because of the way we have played. We have earned the right to have that expectation. If we play to our ability we can win. There are certain areas where they can accelerate away from us, but we came back after defeat in Cape Town in the winter. It's not a dream, it's something we can do and have done."

England cannot now think beyond Edgbaston, where the least they can afford is a draw. But the Third Test at Old Trafford starts two days later.

The Manchester pitch is taking spin hugely this summer, and Shane Warne's fingers and England's nerves could already be twitching.

News
election 2015The 10 best quotes of the campaign
News
A caravan being used as a polling station in Ford near Salisbury, during the 2010 election
election 2015The Independent's guide to get you through polling day
News
people
Voices
David Blunkett joins the Labour candidate for Redcar Anna Turley on a campaigning visit last month
voicesWhat I learnt from my years in government, by the former Home Secretary David Blunkett
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

How ordinary Britons celebrated VE Day

Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age

Typefaces still matter in the digital age

A new typeface once took years to create, now thousands are available at the click of a drop-down menu. So why do most of us still rely on the old classics, asks Meg Carter?
Discovery of 'missing link' between the two main life-forms on Earth could explain evolution of animals, say scientists

'Missing link' between Earth's two life-forms found

New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
The Pan Am Experience is a 'flight' back to the 1970s that never takes off - at least, not literally

Pan Am Experience: A 'flight' back to the 70s

Tim Walker checks in and checks out a four-hour journey with a difference
Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics - it's everywhere in the animal world

Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics

Voting, mutual back-scratching, coups and charismatic leaders - it's everywhere in the animal world
Crisp sales are in decline - but this tasty trivia might tempt back the turncoats

Crisp sales are in decline

As a nation we're filling up on popcorn and pitta chips and forsaking their potato-based predecessors
Ronald McDonald the muse? Why Banksy, Ron English and Keith Coventry are lovin' Maccy D's

Ronald McDonald the muse

A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
13 best picnic blankets

13 best picnic blankets

Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
Barcelona 3 Bayern Munich 0 player ratings: Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?

Barcelona vs Bayern Munich player ratings

Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?
Martin Guptill: Explosive New Zealand batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Explosive batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Martin Guptill has smashed early runs for Derbyshire and tells Richard Edwards to expect more from the 'freakish' Brendon McCullum and his buoyant team during their tour of England
General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'