Geraint Jones urges Eng to revive 'Johnny Cash-inspired' spirit ahead of Mumbai Test
Former England wicket keeper Geraint Jones has urged the team to revive the memorable team spirit from six years ago under Andrew Flintoff, which helped them win their first Test match in India after many years.
Six years ago, under Flintoff's captaincy, injury-hit England levelled the series with a memorable 212-run win against India in Mumbai after being fired up by a lunchtime hoedown around the dressing room ghetto blaster.
Set 312 to win, India were 75-3 at lunch on the final day, with those two tail-enders Rahul Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar digging in, when Flintoff turned to Johnny Cash's back catalogue for a musical break, and the trick worked as India was astonishingly bowled out for 100.
Jones, whose five catches in the first innings pressed home the recalled the day when England's bowlers sealed a famous win.
"People talk about team unity, and that has been under the microscope a lot over the last few months given England's recent results, but a tour of India is like a goldfish bowl," the Daily Mirror quoted Jones, as saying.
"Freddie made it a relaxed environment, and when we had that hoe-down to Johnny Cash, it was one of those spontaneous moments where you look back and realise how much it galvanised us," he added.
"Instead of going back out after lunch feeling weighed down by the scrutiny and the seriousness of a Test match in the balance, we were laughing, we had a spring in our step and we were lifted," he said.
Jones added: "We played like a team who believed we were going to win, and we blew India away after lunch. It is still England's only Test win in India for 27 years, and it still seems a bit surreal."
"To win in adversity, as we did in Mumbai - where Alastair Cook was taken ill on the morning of the game - restored the people's faith in English cricket. I hope the boys out in India now manage to generate something similar," he concluded.