Durban (South Africa): Out-of-touch England opener Marcus Trescothick got the full backing of his captain Nasser Hussain on Tuesday on the eve of the team's vital World Cup clash against India. Trescothick's best knock in three World Cup innings so far was the 58 he made against minnows Namibia - a score many believed he should have turned into something more substantial that day. But Hussain said it was just a matter of time before Trescothick, nicknamed 'Banger' by his teammates because of a liking for sausages in his youth, restored his appetite for runs.
"Trescothick is a very fine player. His record against India is sensational and he's a good player of spin," said Hussain confident in the batsman's ability to cope with the Indian duo of Harbhajan Singh and Anil Kumble. "But you can't expect people to score runs all the time otherwise they'd be like Sachin (Tendulkar) and even he has periods when he doesn't score." Hussain himself has been suffering with a stiff neck while another member of England's top order, Michael Vaughan, has had calf trouble although a scan on Monday revealed no major damage. "We've both got niggles "I can't say anymore until we train this afternoon.
My neck is still a bit stiff," Hussain told reporters. But he added that he expected both himself and Vaughan to be fit to face India. And despite coming into the World Cup on the back of a physically and mentally draining Ashes tour, Hussain said his team was ready for the challenges ahead. "The World Cup is different. If you can't pick yourselves up for the games we've got ahead of us, you shouldn't be playing for your country."
And Hussain insisted the team was no longer affected by its boycott of a match in Harare even though it cost England four points and gave group rivals Zimbabwe a huge boost in the process. "The Zimbabwe issue is closed. The decision was made by the players and the Board. It was never about points, it was about my team, the people of Zimbabwe and a series of complex issues." Asked if his side had been brought close together by the crisis, Hussain replied, "That's an easy thing to say when we're playing Holland or Namibia but when Sachin's got 50 that will be a real test of our character." Copyright AFP 2001