Thursday 24 July 2014 

Third Test 'Vital' For England - Robert Croft

Joe Root exits after being dismissed
If a few more players can follow the example of Joe Root, England will be able to bounce back, says Robert Croft
© REUTERS / Action Images
 

Former Glamorgan and England spinner Robert Croft says it is vital that England learn from the first two Tests against India ahead of the third match at the Ageas Bowl, which starts later this week.

Croft, who played 21 Tests and 50 One-Day Internationals for England, says that the selectors have sent a clear message by making just one enforced change following a 95-run defeat at Lord's.

"Following the defeat by India at Lords, England’s selectors have chosen to keep the same team for this weekend, save for one new face; Jos Butler replacing Matt Prior who is taking time out to recover fitness.

"With this in mind, it is absolutely vital for the squad to learn quickly from the past two performances," he said.

While England's performance at Lord's was disappointing, SWALEC ambassador Croft says that the form of Joe Root has at least been one positive for the home side.

"Joe Root has been playing really well. His score of 154 in the first test at Trent Bridge showed his class as a player, but one or two of the senior players still need to find their form again.

"Providing that happens, England should be able to bounce back.

"Obviously, we all hope that Alistair Cook will start scoring runs in this test, and fight off the criticism he’s been receiving in the media lately.

"He needs to start scoring runs soon."

This summer, Croft has been busy in his role as spin-bowling coach at Glamorgan, where he played between 1989 and 2012 during a distinguished career.

Robert Croft

Played 21 Tests, 50 ODIs between 1996 and 2001

Played for Glamorgan between 1989 and 2012 and captain between 2003 and 2006

Now a SWALEC Ambassador and Glamorgan spin coach

Ahead of a crucial NatWest T20 Blast match for the Glamorgan against Gloucestershire, he says he believes his side have what it takes to make the quarter-finals for the first time since 2008.

"We lost six wickets to Derbyshire last week, but in general, our T20 campaign has been more consistent," he said.

"If we beat Gloucestershire on Friday, it’s the quarter finals, and that will be the first time we’ve come through in eight years.

"I am really enjoying my role on the coaching staff at the moment, it’s exciting.

"This is a big game for us - a very big game with a lot riding on it, but I know we have the ability."

© Cricket World 2014

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Fixtures & Results

9th-13th July: 1st Test, Trent Bridge, Nottingham
India 457 & 391-9 dec. (Binny 78) drew with
England 496 (Root 154no, Anderson 81)
17th-21st July: 2nd Test, Lord's, London
India 295 & 342 (Vijay 95, Jadeja 68) beat
England 319 & 223 (Sharma 7-74) by 95 runs
27th-31st July: 3rd Test, The Ageas Bowl, Southampton
England 569-7 dec. & 205-4 dec. beat
India 330 & 178 (Ali 6-67) by 266 runs
7th-11th August: 4th Test, Emirates Old Trafford, Manchester
England 367 (Root 77, Buttler 70) beat
India 152 & 166 by an innings & 54 runs
15th-19th August: 5th Test, The Kia Oval, London
England 486 (Root 149no, Cook 79) beat
India 148 & 94 by an innings & 244 runs
25th August: 1st ODI, Bristol
Match abandoned without a ball being bowled due to rain
27th August: 2nd ODI, SWALEC Stadium, Cardiff
India 304-6 (Raina 100, Woakes 4-52) beat
England 161 (Jadeja 4-28) by 133 runs (D/L)
30th August: 3rd ODI, Trent Bridge, Nottingham
India 228-4 (Rayudu 64no) beat
England 227 (Cook 44) by six wickets
2nd September: 4th ODI, Edgbaston, Birmingham
India 212-1 (Rahane 106, Dhawan 97no) beat
England 206 (Moeen Ali 67) by nine wickets
5th September: 5th ODI, Headingley, Leeds
England 294-7 (Root 113, Buttler 49) beat
India 253 (Jadeja 87) by 41 runs
7th September: T20I, Edgbaston, Birmingham
England 180-7 (Morgan 71, Hales 40)
India 177-5 (Kohli 66) by three runs