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Trescothick hoping to restore reputation
January 28, 2003 17:26 IST
A bad thing happened to Marcus Trescothick's reputation in Australia in the run-up to the World Cup. It got broken.
In cricketing terms, the left-handed opener got 'found out'.
Glenn McGrath, a man fond of cranking up the psychological pressure on his opponents, had declared before the Ashes that he intended targeting Michael Vaughan.
But it was his opening partner Trescothick who was to suffer. In defeat, Vaughan was named man of the five-match series with three centuries, 633 runs at an average of 63.3 while Trescothick managed just one half-century.
In truth, the Somerset player made a string of good starts but repeatedly fell victim to the Australians' unerring off-stump accuracy and varied angles of attack from both sides of the wicket after they had dissected his style of play.
Trescothick, normally such a good leaver of the ball, nibbled and nicked time and again and the salutary experience swiftly sent him back to the nets with coach Duncan Fletcher as he attempted to glue his reputation back together.
The 27-year-old, however, having failed in Australia, is keen not to give any more away.
"Technique is a very personal and if there's something I'm changing then I want to keep it to myself," he said. "It's nothing major, just a few technical things I can easily put right in time."
Trescothick's batting has always been as uncomplicated as his temperament.
'Banger', as he was once nicknamed -- more for a love of English sausages than for his hard hitting -- rocks forward and back, shifting his weight into the right position rather than taking big leg strides.
He sweeps well, knows how to nudge and glance in rotating the strike but is at his best when playing full-blooded drives and hoists to midwicket.
His recent travails must have hurt but he thinks they will make rather than break him.
He has known setbacks before. Aged 17, he made his county debut to great acclaim and managed just 14 in six innings. Since then, he has been known for a rock-solid temperament.
"I'm fighting to do well all the time but maybe I've worked too hard," he says, before conceding: "There is nothing better than scoring runs and if you don't do it for a while you do get a bit depressed."
Only time will tell if the Australians have really got under Trescothick's skin but he does not appear too tortured, as you would expect from a man averaging more than 40 in Tests and just over 37 one-dayers.
England, a batting rather than bowling side, rely heavily on his fast one-day starts at the top of the order and will need him at his best if they are to make any impact in South Africa.
Time may be on his side, with England starting their campaign against Zimbabwe, the Netherlands and Namibia. They then play Pakistan and India, against whom he has already scored one-day centuries.
Trescothick will not face the metronomic McGrath until their final group match, by which time England's fate may already have been decided.
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