He has been down but the way he has carried himself around the group has been brilliant. He has a huge amount of experience, he has just cracked on with helping out as much as possible whether it be as 12th man or offering advice to players in the game. I have seen him working on his bowling during games and between Tests. He is working as hard as I have ever seen. He is not whinging about anything, just getting his head down and carrying on. He loves proving people wrong so if he plays in Sydney I’m sure he will put in a performance.
As experienced players in this situation we have to make sure we are sending the right messages and trying to help the younger guys as much as we can. That is what I have tried to do on this trip. If I am bowling at someone in the nets, I will tell them where I think I can get them out. If they listen to that then they can be wary of that area in a Test match.
I have also tried to get across what it takes to play Test cricket. It is hard. Even if you’re not a bowler, you should come off the field absolutely knackered every day because it is intense for six or seven hours. I’ve just tried to press that home.
At 3-0 down with two to play you have to try and be tighter as a group. Try and look after each other a bit because it has been a tough tour for everyone, guys have lost their places and you have to rally around people to just keep spirits up. We are desperate to try and get something out of the series. We don’t want to go home losing 5-0 and we have to find a way of performing better as a group.
I have said loads of times what we can do as a team. We have some great players around this squad. We just need a little nudge in the right direction so something will click and we become more consistent instead of just showing glimpses. If we can jump that hurdle then we can actually progress and compete with the best in the world.
Players have a chance in the next two games to cement a place in the team and show everyone what they can do.
The mood is a bit flat but that is to be expected at 3-0 down. We had big hopes of competing with Australia and winning the Ashes so the mood is low but that is part of the mental side of Test cricket. You have to be able to deal with that, get your head down and work hard. Also try and have some fun while doing it. If you take it too seriously and get too intense about it you can’t play your best. You stiffen up and nobody plays well like that.
Where possible we have to keep relaxed. Everyone in the team has a role to play there. I know it is difficult and you don’t want to be seen having loads of fun when 3-0 down but you have to try and play with a relaxed mentality. Having a bit of fun while on the field helps to do that.