England's leading run-scorer in the ongoing series against India, Jonathan Trott said that his team was not ready to throw in the towel to the hosts despite going into Sunday's fourth one-day international here at Wankhede Stadium trailing by three losses.
England's Jonathan Trott throws a towel during the third ODI
against India at Mohali on October 20. PIC/AFP
"I think it's a case of realising that we haven't played good enough in the first three games. There are two opportunities to put (it) right as a team, and individuals. If we can win these two games, we can get back on the flight back home with a spring in our step," he said on Saturday.
Alastair Cook's men go into today's game knowing they have beaten India in India only once in the last 16 ODIs (since 2006). Asked about the difference in their performance back home, when they beat India 3-0 last month, and in the ongoing tour, Trott said: "I can't pinpoint the exact reason. I think we lost key periods, or India played better in those key periods. I thought we played well the other night (at Mohali when England scored 298).
Graham Gooch during his ton in the 1987 WC game at Mumbai
"The total we put up there was our best total on Indian soil. We are definitely playing better with each passing game. The average score here (at Wankhede) is 280, so hopefully we can come away victorious," he said.
Asked if his team had conceded to swallowing a 5-0 series whitewash, and there was a mixture of humour and arrogance in his tone. "No," he said, with a long pause.
Lucky ODI venue
Trott must take heart from the fact that the English cricket team has a celebrated history with the Wankhede Stadium - from Graham Gooch's match-winning hundred in the 1987 World Cup semi-final, to Andrew Flintoff's shirt-twirling celebrations after England squared the one-day series in 2002 and the same Flintoff leading the team to a famous Test win in 2006.
Flintoff goes berserk after beating India in 2002. Pics/Getty
England manager James Avery said that this inexperienced touring party was aware of this profound connection with the city of seven islands: "The boys are fully aware of all these things. We have a very strong culture in the England team - all the players are well versed with the history of English cricket teams playing in India.
However, we have this policy where we avoid dwelling too much into the past and only look ahead to the task at hand. But, yes it's always nice to inspire them with some act of heroics from the past." When asked if batting coach Graham Gooch had shared secrets of his infamous knock in 1987 when he literally swept England into the World Cup final, Avery said: "Unfortunately, Graham is not here with us on this tour. But, I am sure he'd have said some things to them about the joys of playing in India prior to their departure."