Tough playing catch-up in India, says Trott

England batting consultant says first-innings runs ‘very important’.

England batting consultant Jonathan Trott said on Wednesday that big first-innings totals were vital if touring sides wanted to succeed in India, adding that deep batting line-ups helped in this regard.

Lucky to have Stokes

“It is always a luxury if you can [have a long batting line-up],” Trott said. “But you have got to make sure you have the right options with the ball as well. You are trying to find that balance all the time. Someone like Ben Stokes adds that balance and we are very lucky to have him.

“It is key for all the lower-order batters to make sure they have a good gameplan and chip in and hold up an end. Working with those guys is always enjoyable for me as a batting coach. It is important to make sure they are ready to perform when called upon,” he added.

On the lessons learnt from England’s previous Test series in India in 2016, which the touring side lost 4-0, Trott said, “There were some flat wickets. So the first-innings runs are very important. You have to try and be a little bit ahead of the game at the start of the second innings.

“Playing catch-up against India, who are so good in their home conditions, is always tough. You have to make sure you start the game well, whether it is with bat or ball. And you have got to be clinical with all the chances you get on the field,” added the former England batsman.

Pope added to squad

Meanwhile, the 23-year-old Ollie Pope, who has recovered fully from a shoulder injury that kept him out of the Sri Lanka series, has been added to the England squad. Pope has been training with the English team for the last two days at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium. His fitness was also assessed then.

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