Assistant coach Paul Farbrace denied that England’s big names had let the side down as they were left facing a fight to save the second Test at Lord’s.
Asked if England had been let down by the likes of Alastair Cook, Ian Bell, and the struggling Matt Prior, Farbrace said: “Not at all. We look at it as a team, you lose as a team and you win as a team.
“Everybody on the team is always looking for better performances. The practice and the work-rate that we’ve got from everybody in the squad is fantastic and everybody’s always looking to improve their game. So it’s a team performance and we’ll look at the team rather than at individuals.”
Cook has come in for the most criticism, but Farbrace is not too concerned about the under-fire batsman.
“He’s fine,” he added. “He’s in there chatting to the two lads who are not out, talking about the day tomorrow and looking forward to the scrap tomorrow. He’s absolutely fine.”
While England’s first job is to avoid defeat, Farbrace believes they need “one big partnership” to pull off victory, and suggested Moeen Ali (15 not out) and Joe Root (14), the two men in at stumps, might be the men to provide it.
“It’s a huge day tomorrow,” he told broadcasters. “It’s been a fantastic cricket wicket for the bowlers and the people that have got stuck in and fought have got runs.
“If you miss your length you get on to the boundary pretty quickly so it really needs one big partnership and a couple of small ones tomorrow and we’ve got a chance of being up there.
“We’ve got to fight hard and get stuck in but we’ve got two guys who love a scrap. We saw it with Moeen at Headingley, only two Test matches ago – there will have been many people on that day thinking we couldn’t bat through the day but he batted all day for a hundred.”
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