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Batting coach Marcus Trescothick has called for England to show the “hard work and discipline” needed to fight their corner in the second Test against New Zealand.
After asking the Black Caps to bat first at Trent Bridge, England spent the first five sessions chasing leather as the tourists made a formidable first-innings score of 553.
Not only was that the most any Kiwi side has ever scored on these shores, it was also the third highest score England have conceded after sending their opponents in.
The hosts lost opener Zak Crawley in just the second over of the reply, but the worst fears of a top order collapse were not realised as Alex Lees and Ollie Pope were both dropped as England reached 90 for one at the close.
Daryl Mitchell, whose superb 190 had provided the spine of the New Zealand innings, shelled both batters at first slip and allowed England to build some foundations.
Lees will resume on a career-best 33, with Pope looking to build on a vibrant 51 not out.
Trescothick was impressed by their initial efforts but warned they have only scratched the surface of the task in front of them.
“It was a nice finish to the evening, but it’s just the start of some hard work. I’m fairly happy with where we are but there’s a bit to do,” he said.
“We’ve see both of these guys play well in county games and have some success here and there in international cricket, but this is a great of opportunity for them to get a big score. What we know is it takes a lot of hard work and discipline.
“There are still good balls being bowled out there, as we saw with Zak’s dismissal, so we’ve got to be patient and do the right things.”
Pope has flattered to deceive for the majority of his 25 games in the side, frequently failing to replicate his dominant displays for Surrey after taking the step up.
Had Mitchell, or wicketkeeper Tom Blundell, held him on 37 it would have gone down as another inconsequential attempt.
But his selection of searing cover drives offered a reminder of his quality.
“That’s what we see a lot from him in county games and, if we can draw that out and let him grow in this position, we know the player that’s in there,” said Trescothick.
“That’s why he is in the team and why we’ve pushed him up to three. We all appreciate he has the talent, so it’s about nurturing it and bringing it through to be the player he can be.”
Mitchell’s brilliant innings, his second ton in a row after another fine effort at Lord’s, had the sheen taken off slightly by his missed chances but he remained in optimistic mood.
“Anyone who has played the game of cricket has dropped a chance in their life, you just concentrate and try to take the next one,” he said.
“For me, it doesn’t matter how my day has been, it’s about the team, and 550 on the board looks pretty good. The boys created some good chances and if they keep asking questions outside off stump, that’s our chance to take 10 wickets.”