JONATHAN Trott has identified each of England’s remaining World Cup Group B matches as winnable – starting with unbeaten table-toppers South Africa.
England have beaten the Springboks in seven of their last eight completed one-day international matches.
But after Ireland inflicted a shock defeat on Andrew Strauss’ team in Bangalore, they could do with making it eight out of nine against Trott’s native country in Chennai tomorrow.
Trott (pictured below) said: “Obviously we would have liked to have won the Irish game, being in the position we were – and we were very disappointed. But we have three very winnable games ahead of us, and a huge chance to qualify for the quarters and to peak at the right time and towards the important time.
“Obviously the Test-playing nations you are expected to have good battles against, and win all the others.
“So to lose against a team like Ireland, who played really well towards the end of their batting innings, was very unexpected but a good wake-up call for the team.
“We now know what lies ahead of us and the job in hand and what we have to do to be able to progress.”
England’s return to training, after a travel day on Thursday, was extended to two hours rather than the one initially planned – and Trott thinks that was a good move.
“We had a good blow-out, and put to rest our disappointment with the way we fielded against Ireland.”
He has measured respect for South Africa, but little doubt that England can emerge on top if they play well.
“They are obviously a well-drilled side,” said the England number three.
“With Imran Tahir now in the team, they have a few more options in the spin department – and they seem to have a few powerful batters as well.
“They are a good all-round team but definitely on the day of the week we hit our straps we can compete – and they are very beatable.”
Strauss promised some straight talking for his team after their Bangalore debacle. But Trott reports the discussion was not so much full-on soul-searching, rather a constructive reminder of what it takes to win.
“We’ve just had a few things on – guys having a think about their own performances and their own roles in the team and having a think about what they need to do to be able to contribute to the team being successful and to be successful themselves,” he said.
“It is making sure you have nailed on your job and your role when it comes down to performing – guys standing up when they need to be counted and getting on with the job really.
“I think it would be foolish if we looked backwards. We want to go forwards in this competition – and it starts on Sunday with South Africa.”
Key to England’s prospects, he believes, is that they sustain their performance throughout – and do not succumb to any of the lapses of concentration which were apparent against Ireland.
“We have got to play 100 overs of good cricket. Especially in today’s climate and how quickly games can change, how quickly people can take the game away from you on these flat wickets,” added Trott.