JAMES Tredwell is prepared for plenty of hard work before England start their one-day series against India on Friday.
After securing a memorable Test series win before Christmas, the tourists’ preparations for the five-match ODI series have been some way short of expectations.
They have lost both their warm-up matches, going down by 53 runs against India A on Sunday and following up with a six-wicket humbling at the hands of Delhi today.
Aside from the form of Ian Bell, who has scores of 91 and 108 to his name, there has been little to cheer England.
The middle order collapsed in the first fixture before an improved showing saw them post 294 for five against Delhi, but the bowlers were picked apart with ease by their unheralded hosts, and there are major concerns over the form of every seamer on tour bar Jade Dernbach.
Tredwell, deputising for the rested Graeme Swann, has performed admirably as lead spinner, but acknowledges England need to improve before they meet India in Rajkot.
“It’s obviously not been ideal. We like to go in and win these games, but we’ve not hit our skills in the way we’d have liked,” he said.
“We need to make some improvements in the next couple of days.
“We didn’t hit our lengths consistently enough to build pressure over periods of time. That’s what it boils down to.
“To be able to turn it around in the next couple of days going into the first ODI is crucial.
“We all have massive pride in our performances, so when things don’t go to plan it’s disappointing. We can build on that disappointment and put it right going into the first game.”
England have been whitewashed in their last two one-day series in India and back-to-back defeats in the tour matches have done little to raise hopes of an improvement.
Tredwell has cautioned against placing too much emphasis on the warm-up fixtures though.
“The result is irrelevant, it doesn’t mean a great deal in the scheme of things, but we’d like to have come out with some better performances,” he said.
“We like to win these games and that hasn’t been the case, but it’s what we do now that’s important.”
England fly to Rajkot tomorrow morning, glad to leave behind the bracing cold of Delhi.
Temperatures for the first ODI are expected to be around 20 degrees higher than they have experienced this week, but Tredwell is not looking for excuses.
“It’s been pretty chilly at times and it’ll be nice to be in warmer climes,” he added. “The dew hasn’t made a great deal of difference, we can’t use that as an excuse unfortunately.
“It’s the skills that have let us down in these games and we have to turn that around.”
Meanwhile, West Indies all-rounder Marlon Samuels, awaiting punishment for his involvement in a bat and ball throwing incident with spinner Shane Warne, will miss the remainder of Australia’s domestic Twenty20 competition through injury.
The Melbourne Renegades player has a suspected fracture of the eye socket suffered on Sunday when he top-edged a bouncer from Melbourne Stars’ Lasith Malinga into his face. He will be replaced by Englishman Alex Hales.
The Renegades beat Warne’s Melbourne Stars to guarantee a home semi-final, but the match will be remembered for the heated argument between the former Australian spinner and Samuels.
Warne was banned for one game and fined A$4,500 ($4,700)after being found guilty of three offences, including showing dissent to the umpire, engaging in physical contact with other players and using offensive language. Samuels, who threw his bat in the direction of Warne after the Stars’ captain hit him with the ball when throwing it to the wicketkeeper, was charged with two offences with his case yet to be heard because of his injury.
Nottinghamshire batsman Hales has been a regular member of the England T20 international squad over the past 18 months and averages 34.83 at a strike rate of 127.43 in 14 internationals.
Hales will join the Renegades squad in Sydney for their final group match against the Sydney Sixers tonight.