Marcus Trescothick is itching to take England to the Ashes next week
England headed into the second Test in Pakistan this morning with coach Marcus Trescothick’s appetite already whetted for the Ashes to the extent he wishes they started immediately.
The stunning first-Test win in Rawalpindi means the tourists, enjoying a revolutionary change in tack and success under Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum, took the field in Multan today riding the crest of a wave.
Head coach McCullum and captain Stokes have revitalised the team since taking over last summer, with seven wins in eight Test matches.
They reached new heights by securing a remarkable fifth-day first-Test victory in fading light having earlier piled on the runs at a remarkable rate in a bid to force a positive result.
Batting coach Trescothick, who was a free-scoring all-format international opener between 2000 and 2006, believes if England continue in the same manner, next summer’s home Ashes against Australia could be fun.
‘I wish we were going into the Ashes next week,’ Trescothick said. ‘If it continues on in this form then it bodes well for a great series.
‘As we say we do not look too far ahead in what is going on, but it is exciting no doubt about it because India series and Ashes series are the pinnacle of what we do in Test cricket.’
Trescothick was a key part of England’s famous 2005 Ashes success, but he retired from international cricket three years later for mental health reasons.
His stroke-making would have made him an ideal player for the approach favoured by Stokes and McCullum, and Trescothick admits he would have relished playing with the freedom enjoyed by the current England team.
‘I would have loved to,’ Trescothick said. ‘Any batter would have loved this – apart from probably Paul Collingwood! We would have loved this environment because it is so free. It is enjoyable, the methods and way we are talking about it in the changing room is exciting.
‘You want to come out here every day, walk out with them and have the opportunity to bat.
‘It is still great watching from the balcony and seeing what they do.’
Brilliant ben ‘mustn’t give up Pope of getting gloves back’
Fit-again paceman Mark Wood was recalled to the England team for today’s second Test against Pakistan, while Ollie Pope was set to retain the gloves ahead of specialist wicketkeeper Ben Foakes.
Batter Pope filled in for the first Test when a sickness bug ruled out his Surrey team-mate. Foakes is now fit but Pope will again be behind the stumps in Multan, where Wood is in for the injured Liam Livingstone.
But captain Ben Stokes insists Foakes is still the No.1 wicketkeeper in the squad: ‘The communication to Ben was that the real positive for him to take out of this selection is that it’s just for this Test match.
‘Foakesy still is the No.1 gloveman in England, the best in the world. It must sound a bit silly to not be picking him, but we had to take the decision on what we thought was the best way of creating 20 chances on this pitch.’
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