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We must play spin better - Pick

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Andy Pick spoke to ECBtv - click on the above player to watch the full interview

England Under-19s coach Andy Pick has challenged his players to use the one-day series defeat by Bangladesh as an incentive to take their game to the next level.

England won the opening game at Grace Road, but two washouts were followed by victories for Bangladesh in the final two matches of the series at Hove.

Although the hosts bounced back to win the only Twenty20 international possible due to rain - to go with the Test series triumph which preceded the limited-overs contests - Pick claims the measure of the team’s development will be how they learn from their humbling in the 50-over arena.

“For me, if you’re 1-0 up and you lose 2-1, there are very few positives you can take out of it,” Pick told ECBtv.

“The one thing I did ask the boys to do, and stressed that they need to do, is if they are going to play at the top level, they are going to play 50% of their cricket on the sub-continent.

“That was very much sub-continent cricket (at Hove). It was a turning wicket; we played against a team that bowled 45 and 46 overs of spin respectively in one-day games. Our lads have never seen anything like that before.

“I asked them to lock away that experience because somewhere down the line they could well benefit from this experience.

England U19

England Under-19s enjoy victory in the opening game of the one-day series - before they slipped to a 2-1 defeat

“Your first tour abroad with England could well be Bangladesh or it could be India, and you could find yourself in a one-day game when they are going to bowl 40 overs of spin.

“This experience here, you might just be able to draw something out of that which will help you in the future.”

The Under-19s were weakened by the absence of several players who were on first-class duty for their counties, and Pick is keen to stress that “the development of the players is more important than the result”.

He admits it can be tricky to judge the progress of his charges when they depart the Elite Player Development scene to return to county and Academy duty.

“It’s difficult to say,” he added. “Hopefully with the 18s we will see the benefits of them playing together; we will see evidence of them learning from things.

“It’s about what they do from here. If they go back having learnt from that experience and are more determined to practise their technique against spin, then they learn from it that way.”

According to Pick, England’s shortcomings against the slower bowlers have cost them any chance of glory at the Under-19 World Cup in recent years, but he is hoping their increased exposure to spin will pay dividends in the 2010 event in New Zealand.

Indeed, Pick is optimistic about the future, having built his side around players who will still be eligible for that tournament.

“Certainly on the spinning pitches, we do well in the initial stages. When we come up against India or Pakistan or Sri Lanka, who play four or five spinners, that’s our downfall pretty much every time.

“Other than Adam Wheater, we’ve pretty much got an under-18 squad here for these two games,” he said. “Not by luck - that’s been planned as we look ahead to the World Cup in the winter.

“It’s good to get a group together, to play together, to experience winning together. Learning to win is part of their development.”

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