Trescothick looking to learn in Australia test

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Marcus Trescothick is expecting a thorough examination from Australia when England meet their oldest rivals in today's warm-up match for the International Cricket Council Knockout Trophy in Nairobi.

Marcus Trescothick is expecting a thorough examination from Australia when England meet their oldest rivals in today's warm-up match for the International Cricket Council Knockout Trophy in Nairobi.

The 14-a-side practice match is being touted as a low-key encounter by the tournament organisers keen that as little attention as possible will be diverted from the hosts Kenya's qualifying tie against India.

But, while a bumper crowd is anticipated at the Gymkhana Club for the first game of the competition, the England opener Trescothick knows there will be also no quarter given between the Ashes rivals at the nearby Simba Union ground.

With one eye already cast as far ahead as next summer's series against the Australians in England, Trescothick is anxious to learn from the experience of facing the likes of Glenn McGrath. He could yet get a second look at the might of Australia if both teams progress to a scheduled semi-final next week.

However, for now the Somerset left-hander sees the behind-closed-doors friendly as a perfect opportunity for England to continue their preparation for their own qualifying tie against Bangladesh on Thursday. Trescothick said: "This is a big chance for us not only to build up for Thursday but to have a look at their guys for next year. It will be a great chance to play against their world-class players and get some experience of what will be needed in the future." The easy-paced Simba pitch is expected to slow down the likes of McGrath and Australia's latest pace bowling find, Brett Lee.

Australia will also be without the extra dimension of Shane Warne, after the master leg-spinner pulled out of the ICC competition with an injury. But two spinners have been summoned to replace Warne and Colin Miller in the shape of the unknown quantities Mark Higgs and Brad Young - and Trescothick is predicting there will be a lot of help for the slow bowlers throughout the tournament.

He has already detected extra turn at the Simba ground where England have practised for the past two days and he added: "All these wickets will spin - and I think they will do so more as the tournament goes on. Just from people running on the wicket it has started to spin more. That is the way it is bound to be. The wickets on this side of the world will be a little bit dead compared to the ones we have at home. There will obviously be less bounce - but it will definitely turn."

Trescothick's words, uttered immediately after an England team meeting, are a broad hint that the likes of the left-arm orthodox Ashley Giles - and his fellow finger-spinner Graeme Hick - are likely to be pressed into action. But the occasional seamer Trescothick has also been busy bowling in the nets himself, mixing up his modest pace - and it is clear England are covering all the one-day bowling options that the captain Nasser Hussain believes he has at his disposal.

Duncan Fletcher, the coach, is happy that the 14-a-side format today means he can give his whole squad some match practice and he has so far given nothing away about the players he expects to make the line-up against Bangladesh.

For those who do play, meanwhile, Trescothick had a timely word of advice - apart from spin they will need to be ready for plenty of sideways movement through the air. "Yes, it will spin. Otherwise, the ball is coming through evenly - although a little low. But it will be swinging."

That should help the paceman Darren Gough, a noted exponent of both conventional and reverse swing, and the good news for England so far is that the whole squad remain fit and well and ready to make their mark in Nairobi.

* Health advisories warning of the very high incidence of AIDS in Kenya are being issued to the ICC Trophy teams. "All teams should advise members of the risk of HIV infection," the advisory says. "Should anyone be beguiled by the charms of the local ladies, they should definitely use a condom." Kenya has among the highest rates of HIV/AIDS infection in the world with an estimated 20 per cent of the population affected.