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Ashes: Graham Gooch wants more from the England top order after Chelmsford collapse

Bob Willis gives his verdict on day one of the LV challenge match between England and Essex.

Joe Root: Was among the batsmen who failed to build on a good start

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England's Test batting coach Graham Gooch says the specialist batsmen must perform better in the Ashes than they have so far managed in their warm-up match.

England are playing Essex at Chelmsford and reached 328-7 on day one, but only thanks to the efforts of bowlers Tim Bresnan (55 not out) and Graeme Swann (62 not out).

None of the upper order reached 50, although Kevin Pietersen was only one run short, and Gooch wants more when the Ashes start at Trent Bridge on 10 July.

"It's a fair total," said Gooch. "But we'd have liked some of our top order to spend more time at the crease, and capitalise on their starts.

"You want your main batsmen to get into a bit of rhythm and get their games in order, so that we're building up to peak next week.

"You've got to bat long. Once you get in, you've got to capitalise on that. Certainly, come this Test series, if we get starts, we've got to put big totals on the board.

"The job of the batters is to create an opportunity for your bowlers to win the match. That's their job and they know it is.

"It wasn't a disaster today but obviously some of the guys would have liked to spend more time out there."

No excuses

Many of the England players have recently been playing one-day international cricket in the Champions Trophy but Gooch did not think that had an impact.

"I certainly wouldn't make excuses," he said.

"We've played a lot of one-day cricket recently against the white ball. You have to make that adjustment pretty much straight away but I don't think any of our players would make that excuse.

"Some of the Essex bowlers did their job. I don't think they tore up any trees but they stuck at it.

"Our guys got in, and some of them got out. They won't be happy with that. Next time they've got a chance, they've got to do a better job."

Who should open the England batting in the Ashes alongside Alastair Cook?

  • Nick Compton
  • Joe Root
  • Ian Bell
  • Other

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