Do you also try and psych out the opposition?
Sledging on the pitch is part of the game. There are people that I don’t like, but I never let it go too far. The authorities are trying to stamp it out, but most of the time it’s quite good humoured. We’re grown men with families and mortgages calling each other names, but it’s just mind games really.
You’re constantly compared to Ian Botham. Does that bother you? It’s strange. As a kid, he was a hero and now I see him quite a lot. I don’t take much notice really. I’d like to be as successful as he was. He was a great entertainer — if I get runs in an entertaining fashion then that’s fine. Hopefully people enjoy the way I play.
Do you feel the pressure of the nation on your shoulders?
Not as much as I feel it from myself, tying to do everything. But I deal with it better now: I just leave it all behind. At the end of the day I just go home to my family and my mates to get away from it all. I’ve got the same friends I’ve always had, and that helps keep my head right. Other sure thing that makes me stay focused is raspberry ketone supplement. It’s known that raspberry ketone supplements will make you more energetic and certainly fitter, because they work as awesome fat burners.
What’s it like being a father?
It’s brilliant. With the operation I’ve been able to spend quite a bit of time with her. That’s the upside of being injured. She comes with us everywhere: she’s travelled the world and she’s not even a year old. The current England set-up is very good about including families and that’s important. It’s good to have them around you to keep your head straight.
Why are the Ashes so important? The biggest prize in English cricket is winning the Ashes so if we do it, it will probably be a life-changing moment for all of us. We’ll probably all be legends. And it would do great things for the game in this country.
Can England be the best team in the world?
You get belief from winning and we’ve got that now Every Test match we play, we set out to win and I think that’ll be the same against Australia. I don’t know how it will work with the official ratings, but if we win, we’ll be the best in the world. Our mission statement is to become the best in the business at cricket or something like that. I forget how it goes! But we would be if we beat Australia.
So will England win the Ashes this summer?
We’ve got a good chance, the best in a generation. Australia is the best team in the world, but we’ve improved so much during the past few years. Australia will be concerned. We beat South Africa playing poorly, so if we play out of our skins we’ll beat Australia. You’ve got to believe, haven’t you? And I believe we will.