Trescothick confident of team

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> England stand-in captain Marcus Trescothick says his team is strong enough to overcome poor batting form and the loss of Michael Vaughan.

Updated: February 25, 2007 10:53 IST
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England stand-in captain Marcus Trescothick says his team is strong enough to overcome poor batting form and the loss of Michael Vaughan for Saturday's first test against Pakistan. "Boys are in good shape and are sort of switched on in the last couple of days," Trescothick said Friday. Trescothick was handed the captaincy after Vaughan was ruled out of the first test with an injury to his right ankle sustained Monday during a warmup game. "He (Vaughan) is not too bad. It's never great to see from sidelines those guys practicing everyday when you want to be running around and leading the side," Trescothick said. "It's up to him to remain positive as much as he can and make sure he can get fit as quick as possible. Hopefully he still takes a big part in this series," he added. England's batsmen have struggled for runs on the Pakistan wickets since arriving late last month. Trescothick's unbeaten century in the tour's opening three-day game against a Patron's XI at Rawalpindi helped England win the game by 52 runs. But the rest of the English lineup struggled as the tourists posted totals of only 256 for nine and 112 in the two innings. At Lahore, Pakistan 'A' recorded an emphatic six-wicket victory of a near full-strength England side that included Ashes heroes Steve Harmison and Andrew Flintoff. "It wasn't an ideal preparation to lose a game coming into the test match. Obviously not a situation that you want to be in," Trescothick said. England lost its warmup game against South Africa last year before clinching the series 2-1. "It (defeat) does give you a bit of wake up call to make sure you do remain switched on and you work hard." Trescothick said. "You have to be mentally more demanding (in test matches) and it will be more than a challenge." Trescothick also hinted that he might use two spin bowlers - Ashley Giles and Shaun Udal - in the first test after seeing the dry wicket at Multan Cricket Stadium. "I think it's a pretty good chance (playing with two spinners). It's a sort of a trend in this part of the world that you play with more than one spinner," he said. Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq said he was excited to lead the team in his hometown and denied that England starts as favorite in Vaughan's absence. "We have a little bit of advantage after Vaughan's injury, but England is a tough team and we have to work hard," he said. Pakistan has lost five out of the last eight home test series in seven years and is currently placed at No. 7 in the International Cricket Council's test rankings. However, Inzamam said the team was now shaping up well to compete in the tests. "All the team members will try to give more than 100 percent and win," he said. Pakistan has included two spinners in its 16-man squad - Mushtaq Ahmed and Danish Kaneria. But Inzamam singled out Kaneria as the key player for Pakistan in the series. "In the last two or three years he bowled well for us and won matches for us," he said. Both teams will announce their final XI before the start of the match Saturday. Teams: Pakistan: Inzamam-ul-Haq (captain), Younis Khan, Salman Butt, Shoaib Malik, Mohammad Yousuf, Asim Kamal, Shahid Afridi, Hasan Raza, Kamran Akmal, Shoaib Akhtar, Rana Naved-ul-Hasan, Mohammad Sami, Shabbir Ahmed, Mushtaq Ahmed, Arshad Khan and Danish Kaneria. England: Marcus Trescothick (captain), Andrew Strauss, Ian Bell, Andrew Flintoff, Kevin Pietersen, Paul Collingwood, Geraint Jones, Ashley Giles, Shaun Udal, Steve Harmison, Matthew Hoggard, James Anderson, Matthew Prior, Liam Plunkett and Alex Loudon. (AP)

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