Mike Holmans August 30, 2010

Cool to Trott

Our esteemed editor Sambit Bal has already said everything I would want to say about the betting scandal, so I'm going to write about cricket, if that's all right with you.
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Our esteemed editor Sambit Bal has already said everything I would want to say about the betting scandal, so I'm going to write about cricket, if that's all right with you.

It has not been all that easy to make any judgements about the progress of the England Test side this summer, since the first series was against the relatively unchallenging Bangladesh and the second against a Pakistan side which contained several unknowns and whose performances ranged from sublime through substandard to, unfortunately, sub judice. Saying anything about how well England players have done therefore has to be hedged round with caveats.

One long-standing issue, though, has probably been settled: Jonathan Trott looks to have nailed down the No. 3 spot which has been a problem for most of the last thirty years, if not longer. There has been something of a campaign this summer to promote Kevin Pietersen to three, spearheaded by some of the lamer brains in the Sky commentary box using the argument that it is a well-known principle that your best batsman should bat in that position. It's such a well-known principle that Brian Lara, Sachin Tendulkar and Viv Richards enjoyed their peak periods batting at four, so the best batsmen in their sides on the beefy argument must have been Ramnaresh Sarwan, Rahul Dravid and Larry Gomes.

Even though I've taken fewer Test wickets than Botham (his standard challenge to anyone who disagrees with him, including wine waiters, is to ask how many wickets they took), I think I can see the flaws in his proposition.

What you actually need at No. 3 is a batsman with sound defensive technique who can cope with coming in at 15-1 and seeing off the new ball but who has the flexibility to be able to keep up the momentum generated by 153-1, if necessary just by rotating the strike until he gets going himself, and has the strokeplay in his armoury to dominate an attack if he's still there at 245-3.

The best No. 3 I have seen, or at least the one who has best fulfilled that job description, was Greg Chappell, who could block or blockbuster to order. England haven't really had anyone like that in thirty years, although Mike Gatting came close in the mid-1980s. The only other reasonably successful three was Mark Butcher, who fell somewhat short on the domination bit – even when he was scoring freely, he never looked in command. David Gower's average in the position was good, but he failed too often at the primary task of collapse-prevention: the first duty of a No. 3 is to make sure that 15-1 does not swiftly become 19-2, and Gower wafted early to third slip too often in those situations.

Trott is probably not going to do all that well on the domination front either but that is the least essential quality of a first drop batsman, as demonstrated by current masters Dravid and Hashim Amla, to whose school of batsmanship Trott obviously belongs.

He was badly unsettled by the sledging he underwent in South Africa, but the first Test of that series was only his second and he was being made acutely aware that he had been born in Cape Town and grown up playing age-group cricket with most of his opponents, so special circumstances applied. The Australians will naturally give him heaps, to use their vernacular: if Trott weathers the verbal assault, it will completely settle his place.

I cannot say, though, that the prospect fills me with gladness. Anyone who supports a team has favourites within it; when one of them scores a hundred or takes a five-for, there's an added glow of satisfaction because your boy was the hero. But if you like some more than others, it follows that there are also those you like less. Fortunately for me, most of the England players I've disapproved of haven't been much good and so I've only had to endure them for a brief span, but just occasionally someone appears whose results mean that he is completely undroppable but whose style of play or personality is teeth-grindingly annoying, and Trott looks very likely to take over the spot as the England player I can't stand vacated some years ago by Alec Stewart.

Stewart combined irritating mannerisms at the crease with yelling appeals for things which were obviously not out and an interview style reminiscent of an obtuse police sergeant explaining that you have to park your car somewhere else because the space has to be kept clear for the Duke of Edinburgh's visit in three days' time. Grateful though I was when he did the business on the field, part of me always wished it wasn't him.

Unless Trott is an ICC plant designed to raise revenue by making sure that any team which has to bowl at him can be fined for a slow over-rate, I can see no excuse for his interminable preparation rituals. I hope some Australian close fielder has the wit this winter to smuggle a ferret on to the field, feed it up Trott's trouser-leg and claim that Trott unearthed it with his archaeological digging. That would at least bring a bit of life to someone who looks like a corpse peeved at being revived.

But his Test performances this summer have been solid and dependable, and while his shotmaking rarely transcends the functional, the selection is good and the execution clinically efficient. In other words, he looks the goods. I just wish it were someone else.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • syed on September 21, 2010, 16:54 GMT

    Big Q? Y do we say match is fixed when Pakistan loses but when other team lose then Its not fixed? Y! Have you ever thought about it? People who are saying Pakistan should be banned from cricket,should think about these English rule> Its a divide and rule. Get a grip boys. No1 is guilty then its proven.

  • waterbuffalo on September 21, 2010, 11:36 GMT

    Trott is the most irritating batsman around, he always makes the bowler wait for him. If I was bowling at him, I would bowl beamers at his head, and I hope the Aussies do in the Ashes. A pathetic batsman.

  • Len_Hutton's_Ghost on September 10, 2010, 1:46 GMT

    Perhaps some of you lot can get a sense of perspective, once more. To say Trott is an "irritating and self-important human being" does involve more than a little hyperbole. In any interviews he comes across as a reasonably modest, if focussed, individual.

    Len says, once more, let's keep a brake on the personal abuse. Unless of course it's justified, eh Guy.

  • peter on September 9, 2010, 9:53 GMT

    Old chinese proverb,it dont matter what colour the cat is as long as it catches mice.ie scores runs.

  • syed mubarak on September 6, 2010, 4:40 GMT

    pakistanis were good at start,but at atime the ball becomes slow so they cannt hit a big hits,there is a chance for pakistanis to prove that, they are bigbis in t20 cricket,i think 2nd t20 is not of england,but it is of PAKISTAN.

  • Peeter on September 3, 2010, 15:00 GMT

    Trott is a briliant batsman and all his mannerisms do is get him into the bubble and annoythe opposing bowler as he has to wait the half a second longer while trott takes his stance again, also if you think he hasn't got the ability to score quick runs then i hasten to remind you of the 140-some that recently figured in England's highest ever ODI total

  • dhruv on September 2, 2010, 6:52 GMT

    Well, i really do not feel the urge to argue a well established fact in the cricketing order, keeping layman passion aside!!! RAHUL DRAVID for a significant part of his test career has been india s and the world s best batsman in test cricket!!! the need to put him with sarwan and gomes is a true reflection of the writers inability to follow cricket on a global scale, keepin himself centred around aus ,wi, and england..The sad part is that a ccouple of average years seem to have changed people s perceptions about dravid but 4 pathetic years from 2003- 2006 could not dent tendulkars reputation.. keep in mind!! Tendulkar debuted in 1989,dravid n ponting n kallis in 1995-96!they still hv similarish test stats except for the 100s column..anyways,the point being that dravid is as important a batsman to india as tendulkar if not more...full stop..and the viv richards thing, its baseless...i agree that the teams best batsman should bat at no. 3!!

  • TEG on September 1, 2010, 12:17 GMT

    I make no comment on Trott's ability to withstand sledging from his fellow players, but having sat in the crowd at fine leg on Day 4 of the Oval Test recently, I can vouch for the fact that he did himself no favours among his OWN supporters with two foul mouthed comments back to the crowd in response to what was nothing more than friendly banter. Sure, England were in the process of losing the game but nothing excuses that level of unprofessionalism. I thoroughly enjoyed witnessing his marvellous partnership with Broad at Lord's, and I hope he continues to prosper at number 3 (and am definitely against any suggestion that he should open the innings) but I fear for him in Australia if sent to the boundary to field!

  • dogged dave on September 1, 2010, 10:03 GMT

    Best no. 3s: what about Dexter?

    Trott: his procedures prior to the next delivery are part of his means of concentration. Certain Australians apart, give me another name in Test cricket that personifies the art of concentration, and its results, better than Trott.

  • hbkade on September 1, 2010, 9:39 GMT

    when has tendulkar ever batted at 3? he said here that he spent considerable amount of his career batting there

  • syed on September 21, 2010, 16:54 GMT

    Big Q? Y do we say match is fixed when Pakistan loses but when other team lose then Its not fixed? Y! Have you ever thought about it? People who are saying Pakistan should be banned from cricket,should think about these English rule> Its a divide and rule. Get a grip boys. No1 is guilty then its proven.

  • waterbuffalo on September 21, 2010, 11:36 GMT

    Trott is the most irritating batsman around, he always makes the bowler wait for him. If I was bowling at him, I would bowl beamers at his head, and I hope the Aussies do in the Ashes. A pathetic batsman.

  • Len_Hutton's_Ghost on September 10, 2010, 1:46 GMT

    Perhaps some of you lot can get a sense of perspective, once more. To say Trott is an "irritating and self-important human being" does involve more than a little hyperbole. In any interviews he comes across as a reasonably modest, if focussed, individual.

    Len says, once more, let's keep a brake on the personal abuse. Unless of course it's justified, eh Guy.

  • peter on September 9, 2010, 9:53 GMT

    Old chinese proverb,it dont matter what colour the cat is as long as it catches mice.ie scores runs.

  • syed mubarak on September 6, 2010, 4:40 GMT

    pakistanis were good at start,but at atime the ball becomes slow so they cannt hit a big hits,there is a chance for pakistanis to prove that, they are bigbis in t20 cricket,i think 2nd t20 is not of england,but it is of PAKISTAN.

  • Peeter on September 3, 2010, 15:00 GMT

    Trott is a briliant batsman and all his mannerisms do is get him into the bubble and annoythe opposing bowler as he has to wait the half a second longer while trott takes his stance again, also if you think he hasn't got the ability to score quick runs then i hasten to remind you of the 140-some that recently figured in England's highest ever ODI total

  • dhruv on September 2, 2010, 6:52 GMT

    Well, i really do not feel the urge to argue a well established fact in the cricketing order, keeping layman passion aside!!! RAHUL DRAVID for a significant part of his test career has been india s and the world s best batsman in test cricket!!! the need to put him with sarwan and gomes is a true reflection of the writers inability to follow cricket on a global scale, keepin himself centred around aus ,wi, and england..The sad part is that a ccouple of average years seem to have changed people s perceptions about dravid but 4 pathetic years from 2003- 2006 could not dent tendulkars reputation.. keep in mind!! Tendulkar debuted in 1989,dravid n ponting n kallis in 1995-96!they still hv similarish test stats except for the 100s column..anyways,the point being that dravid is as important a batsman to india as tendulkar if not more...full stop..and the viv richards thing, its baseless...i agree that the teams best batsman should bat at no. 3!!

  • TEG on September 1, 2010, 12:17 GMT

    I make no comment on Trott's ability to withstand sledging from his fellow players, but having sat in the crowd at fine leg on Day 4 of the Oval Test recently, I can vouch for the fact that he did himself no favours among his OWN supporters with two foul mouthed comments back to the crowd in response to what was nothing more than friendly banter. Sure, England were in the process of losing the game but nothing excuses that level of unprofessionalism. I thoroughly enjoyed witnessing his marvellous partnership with Broad at Lord's, and I hope he continues to prosper at number 3 (and am definitely against any suggestion that he should open the innings) but I fear for him in Australia if sent to the boundary to field!

  • dogged dave on September 1, 2010, 10:03 GMT

    Best no. 3s: what about Dexter?

    Trott: his procedures prior to the next delivery are part of his means of concentration. Certain Australians apart, give me another name in Test cricket that personifies the art of concentration, and its results, better than Trott.

  • hbkade on September 1, 2010, 9:39 GMT

    when has tendulkar ever batted at 3? he said here that he spent considerable amount of his career batting there

  • Hot To Trott on September 1, 2010, 1:25 GMT

    Trott's List A and ODI stats suggest he's more than capable of attacking when necessary and scoring runs at a fair old lick!

  • Sam on September 1, 2010, 0:49 GMT

    I love Trott's mannerisms at the wicket, it doesn't slow the game down horribly so and it means he's in his bubble for every ball. Akmal's mouth hasn't and won't fluster anything except his team-mates when he's called into the interrogation room.

    [Mike: I'm glad someone likes his mannerisms. I hope it was clear that I was merely expressing my own personal taste; whom we like and dislike as cricketers is not something one can legislate for.]

  • Jackie L on August 31, 2010, 17:17 GMT

    Trott always plays the same innings at the same pace. Fine in the first innings unless you want to set a cracking pace. You won't get that from Trott. But a serious problem maybe if you are chasing a target in the second. Trott finds it very difficult to up the rate of his game. This can cause pressure to his partners who are more conscious of what the team may require. He will score runs if he is allowed to just plod along and grind it out.

  • M.Harvie on August 31, 2010, 17:09 GMT

    Jonathan Trott looks very much like he is going to establish himself at the No. 3 batting position. Who cares if he even picks his nose before facing every ball? His job is to play for the team, and score runs. Thus far, he is doing that extremely well. As for Botham's comments, he should remember that you do not have to be a chicken to know how eggs get laid. One does not need to have played Test Cricket to have intelligent views on the game. Perhaps Botham should rid himself of his supposed infallibility. If for no other reason than that nobody else accepts it.

  • JustJ on August 31, 2010, 14:25 GMT

    Look,at a certain club in cape town we had the pleasure of having Trotty playing for us...all I'll say is..he is as hard as nails. If anything, I think he was giving Akmal a few things to ponder...not the other way around.He is a class batsman and I have no doubt he is the right person for nr.3 in that english side.Aus will be a test,just like for everyone else...but if you think sledging (no matter what they say) is gonna unsettle him then you are in for a surprise.In my opinion his name (along with pietersen's and morgan's) will be drotted down first on the selection sheet for a number of years to come.He is gonna pump the runs in Aus!They wont know where to bowl to him.They'll need a quality spinner and quite frankly "springroll" Steven Smith and Hauritz are not gonna bother him..they'll need someone with the class of warne or murali to get him out...so for now the Aussies should expect plenty of runs from him...oh...and they can stock up on bully for the popping crease..........

  • maximum6 on August 31, 2010, 11:03 GMT

    Re No. 3, if in doubt pick another opener. Butch was good for sure and Vaughan should have made more there. Bell is hopeless at 3, and KP would be stupid there-4 is perfect for the strokemaker that he is.Trott seems to fit and I reckon his ritual is his 'mantra' almost for focussing.It stops him playing any silly shots. If the side were 150-1 when he went in he would probably shorten the ritual a lot. Re Stewart, his batting style should have silenced most critics-by far the quickest of the top order players. Elocution lessons might have improved him in interview.

    [Mike: Liking or disliking a player is not quite a rational thing and, as I was trying to show, it's not necessarily associated with whether you think the player is any good.]

  • Samuel on August 31, 2010, 10:27 GMT

    David - I was at the 2nd day of the Lord's test. Akmal was sledging Trott all day and it didn't affect him at all - he went about his merry way. The Aussies must've given him plenty in that final Ashes test as well, and he produced the goods. Also, I will say from watching him live, that his 'ritual' isn't that bad. I was expecting many delays, but all the overs were gotten in before the close. Too much is made of it if you ask me.

  • sreenu on August 31, 2010, 9:45 GMT

    dravid is perfect for no3.postion and one of world gr8 no3 positon in test and one day and after dat ponting and kallis.those are good for number 3

  • Chandrasekar T R on August 31, 2010, 9:35 GMT

    Larry Gomes batted at No. 3 position for 19 test matches out of his 60. His No. 3 tests spanned across his entire career.

    1976 - 1 test 1978 - 5 tests 1979 - 3 tests (Nothing from 1980 till 1982). 1982 - 1 test 1984 - 6 tests 1985 - 1 test 1987 - 2 tests

    Sir Viv Richards:

    1976 - 9 tests 1977 - 5 tests 1978 - 2 tests 1979 - 2 tests 1980 - 10 tests 1981 - 5 tests 1982 - 2 tests 1983 - 9 tests 1986 - 1 test (under his own captaincy in search of quick runs).

    Sir Viv stopped playing at No.3 only from 1984, by when Clive Lloyd was playing his last year. I think the peak period for West Indies had Viv Richards playing at No. 3 most of the times.

  • Chandrasekar T R on August 31, 2010, 9:16 GMT

    Mr. Mike Holmans, the below is an extract from Cricinfo statsguru on Viv Richards:

    2nd position 1976-1976 2 4 0 279 101 69.75 1 2 0 3rd position 1976-1986 45 59 2 3508 291 61.54 12 14 2 4th position 1974-1990 33 41 3 1566 182* 41.21 4 9 2 5th position 1974-1991 47 63 6 2720 208 47.71 6 18 6 6th position 1975-1991 9 10 0 390 105 39.00 1 2 0 7th position 1975-1986 2 2 0 35 23 17.50 0 0 0 8th position 1985-1991 3 3 1 42 33 21.00 0 0 0

    According to the above, Viv Richards averages 61.54 when he played at No. 3. I did get my facts right, Mr. Holman. And allow yourself to make mistakes once in a while - you don't have to be correct all the time.

    Also, there are no comments from you on Ricky Ponting?

  • KDM on August 31, 2010, 8:27 GMT

    The over-rates are so poor in Test Match Cricket these days anyway, with both England and Pakistan often below 13 per hour in this series, and the situation being similar in Test matches all over the world, so do Trott's mannerisms really make that much difference? I think not. As already mentioned, most of his routine is carried out while the ball is being passed back. As for his temperament, if his rituals help his concentration, then as an ENgland supporter, let him carry on! To say that he lost his cool under sledging from Umar Akmal is also a joke- how many more runs did he get after that little episode started? Just another 130 or so?

  • Bob Dubery on August 31, 2010, 8:20 GMT

    Mike, there are two things I like about your column. One is that you rely on analysis and observation, not just what eny fule kno. The second is that it's HUMAN. Your observations about cricketers who you dislike but are still worthy gave this particular piece a humanity beyond cold analysis.

  • Epee on August 31, 2010, 7:22 GMT

    For the first half of his career, Botham may have been one of the most sublime cricketers we've ever seen (even if the second half made many people forget that) but he is a horrible commentator and pundit. Bumble may have once said "If Nasser Hussein was playing cricket in our road, I'd shut the curtains", but Nass is a superb commentator.

  • Chandrasekar T R on August 31, 2010, 6:24 GMT

    Two flaws in the argument. 1. Viv Richards was prolific when he played at No. 3. He moved down the order to No. 4, only after Richie Richardson made the No. 3 his own spot. 2. Ricky Ponting, who is being compared at present with Sachin Tendulkar and Brian Lara (not that I agree that Ponting is as great as Lara or Tendulkar - but Ponting is a great batsman, nevertheless), has been the most prolific bastman of the 1st decade of 21st century. With the above two points, the author's argument has as many flaws as Botham's.

    [Mike: In what position did Larry Gomes bat, then? Please check your facts.]

  • Me on August 31, 2010, 6:13 GMT

    This is a great and bad thing against Pakistani Cricket team. I m against it. they want to blame Pakistan. They are afraid of Muhammad Aamir And Muhammad Asif. they are trying to detained them by bad tactics. LOL. bad people of the world

  • guy on August 31, 2010, 6:03 GMT

    fantastic cricketer. irritating and self-important human being. i don't care if you're friggin sachin bradman, the game does not wait for you because you have draw silly lines in the ground and double-, triple-, quadruple-check they are where the umpire said they would be. it is the sort of selfish thing you would expect from an eight-year-old playing against his mate in the backyard.

    someone needs to set the fellow straight. it is ridiculous. i would charge in when i'm ready and if i have to abort because trott aborts, i would do it again, until it becomes clear that he is being a self-important dickhead.

    cricket is not about jonathan trott. someone important should tweet that.

  • steelo_esq on August 31, 2010, 4:52 GMT

    Good article Mike. I agree that trott's fastidious preparations before each ball are an annoyance. One thing is for sure, if not the aussie cricketers than the aussie crowds will be sledging him something cronic this summer.

  • Ahmad Saleem on August 31, 2010, 0:54 GMT

    He seems to have best batting technique to cope fast bowling in current England side but sometimes he flirts with the balls going away from his off stump early in his innings. That might work against him in Australia

  • Trickster on August 31, 2010, 0:49 GMT

    The whole Trott wasting time at the crease thing, I feel,has been drawn all out of proportion by the Sky presenters,constantly focusing in on it,especially when he was playing against Bangladesh.If you ever closely watch Trott apart from the start of the over when he retakes his guard,he is nearly always ready for the bowler.He goes through his little routine when the ball is being passed back to the bowlers end and when the field is being moved around by the Captain. Trott seems the kind of batsman that is capable of big scores and is only happy when at the crease batting.His powers of concentration are brilliant and he's the kind of player once he's in he's very hard to get out.I think he'll go great down in Australia on their pitches against their bowlers,.Some ones mentioned that Trott look bothered by the sledging of Umar Akmal,please the only person that looked flustered by the talk was Akmal.Trott was just laughing at him and he looked like he nearly made him cry.

  • Anonymous on August 31, 2010, 0:33 GMT

    Living as I do in Japan I don't get to actually watch any live cricket, so haven't seen Trott in "action". Still, I've found it difficult to warm to him but performances speak for themselves. Right now he'd be the first batsman down on my team sheet.

    Re. Alec Stewart - you hit the nail right on the head! Teeth-grindingly annoying, and every time they dropped Jack Russell for him I couldn't help but hope he dropped a few catches.

  • Vish on August 31, 2010, 0:04 GMT

    yup...i feel the same way trott annoys me...and i was a huge skeptic after his debut i thought he would be a one hit wonder but...ehhh...he changed my mind slightly...i guess he should do fine in Australia...

  • Anonymous on August 30, 2010, 23:05 GMT

    Dravid is a great player and comparing him with the much lesser no. 3s is disgraceful.

  • David on August 30, 2010, 23:02 GMT

    I can't stand Trott, i really wish a good fast bowler would just begin their delivery even if he isn't ready. An umpire needs to warn him about his time wasting. He didn't look too cool at the crease when Umar Akmal gave him some sledging either so he doesn't exactly have the perfect temperament.

  • Avi Singh on August 30, 2010, 22:17 GMT

    Agree with you about Trott, he is annoying but he is a good player who has delivered in crunch situations.

    I feel obliged to point out that there is a debate in India about whether Dravid was actually a better Test batsman than Sachin, including Dravid being named India's No 1 Test player by holdingwilley.com in an exhaustive report. Not saying that this is necessariyly the case, but it is not as clear cut as you make it seem- Dravid played a significant role in overseas Test wins where Tendulkar was less visible.

  • Anonymous on August 30, 2010, 21:43 GMT

    Ha ha! Re: Alec Stewart, you articulated my feelings very well!

    @nadeem kazmi I wish YOU would be banned to another post. This one has nothing to do with what you are talking about.

  • rajkumar on August 30, 2010, 19:33 GMT

    i think for ashes england need to go with five specialist bowlers in their side to beat australia in australia..as broad n swann contributing with bat consistently so they should be stepforward in picking five bowlers..allowing trott to open the innings with strauss followed by IAN BELL who is a good at defence as well as in attcking moreover he is strong in technique in facing seamers in swinging conditions. Then the line up to be followed vth KP,collingwood,broad,prior,bresnan,swann,finn n anderson. i suggested broad to be played at 6th position coz he had a tallented of becoming an allrounder n can fill the spot left by FLINTOFF more over he is a lefthand batsmen so that makes an option of right left combination in middle order...JUST dare for an ideal combination 2 beat aussies drop COOK from the team..right combination is to be preferred than individual tallent..

  • nadeem kazmi on August 30, 2010, 18:54 GMT

    I think Pakistan cricket team should be banned and all the players involved should be given severe punishment does not matter how good or old they are.

  • Vasu on August 30, 2010, 17:30 GMT

    As an Indian, who habitually looks down on over hyped English sportsmen, I quite like Trott, and think he is an undervalued gem. He is right in the Dravid / Kallis mode at number 3, and though its early days, he looks set for a solid career at number 3 for England. I can remember watching him bat all summer and keep comparing him to Dravid / Kallis. Ponting is more aggressive at number 3, but that's also a function of always playing in a strong batting unit. I would love to see how Trott plays quality spin, but the ONLY half decent spin bowler in the world right now is Swann, so he perhaps may not be tested much. Ian Bell is hardly number 6 in most good teams, Pietersen is your best number 4 in spite of present form, Collingwood is number 5 at best: Trust the English media and EXPERTS to confuse and over analyze when absolutley un necessary - Just let Trott be at number 3!

  • Jaffer on August 30, 2010, 17:20 GMT

    When thief steal and caught he said I didn't steal, same with this Pakistani team, every one in the team is a thief, and because of the solid proof, there is nothing to hide, these peoples responsible for match fixing should be sack or force to resign.

  • djf on August 30, 2010, 17:09 GMT

    Surely Sir Viv had his most productive period of test match cricket as a no 3 not a no 4.

    [Mike: Possibly personally, but the team's peak under Clive Lloyd had IVAR at 4 and Gomes at 3.]

  • asisrout on August 30, 2010, 17:06 GMT

    Trott is a class player with an impeccable temperament.But England's Ashes campaign needs players like Pietersen,Cook,Strauss to fire.Bell will be a very good addition to the team.Mike Iam surprised you had nothing to say about Pakistan team this time after showering such unabashed love and praise for them since the commencement of the tour.

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  • asisrout on August 30, 2010, 17:06 GMT

    Trott is a class player with an impeccable temperament.But England's Ashes campaign needs players like Pietersen,Cook,Strauss to fire.Bell will be a very good addition to the team.Mike Iam surprised you had nothing to say about Pakistan team this time after showering such unabashed love and praise for them since the commencement of the tour.

  • djf on August 30, 2010, 17:09 GMT

    Surely Sir Viv had his most productive period of test match cricket as a no 3 not a no 4.

    [Mike: Possibly personally, but the team's peak under Clive Lloyd had IVAR at 4 and Gomes at 3.]

  • Jaffer on August 30, 2010, 17:20 GMT

    When thief steal and caught he said I didn't steal, same with this Pakistani team, every one in the team is a thief, and because of the solid proof, there is nothing to hide, these peoples responsible for match fixing should be sack or force to resign.

  • Vasu on August 30, 2010, 17:30 GMT

    As an Indian, who habitually looks down on over hyped English sportsmen, I quite like Trott, and think he is an undervalued gem. He is right in the Dravid / Kallis mode at number 3, and though its early days, he looks set for a solid career at number 3 for England. I can remember watching him bat all summer and keep comparing him to Dravid / Kallis. Ponting is more aggressive at number 3, but that's also a function of always playing in a strong batting unit. I would love to see how Trott plays quality spin, but the ONLY half decent spin bowler in the world right now is Swann, so he perhaps may not be tested much. Ian Bell is hardly number 6 in most good teams, Pietersen is your best number 4 in spite of present form, Collingwood is number 5 at best: Trust the English media and EXPERTS to confuse and over analyze when absolutley un necessary - Just let Trott be at number 3!

  • nadeem kazmi on August 30, 2010, 18:54 GMT

    I think Pakistan cricket team should be banned and all the players involved should be given severe punishment does not matter how good or old they are.

  • rajkumar on August 30, 2010, 19:33 GMT

    i think for ashes england need to go with five specialist bowlers in their side to beat australia in australia..as broad n swann contributing with bat consistently so they should be stepforward in picking five bowlers..allowing trott to open the innings with strauss followed by IAN BELL who is a good at defence as well as in attcking moreover he is strong in technique in facing seamers in swinging conditions. Then the line up to be followed vth KP,collingwood,broad,prior,bresnan,swann,finn n anderson. i suggested broad to be played at 6th position coz he had a tallented of becoming an allrounder n can fill the spot left by FLINTOFF more over he is a lefthand batsmen so that makes an option of right left combination in middle order...JUST dare for an ideal combination 2 beat aussies drop COOK from the team..right combination is to be preferred than individual tallent..

  • Anonymous on August 30, 2010, 21:43 GMT

    Ha ha! Re: Alec Stewart, you articulated my feelings very well!

    @nadeem kazmi I wish YOU would be banned to another post. This one has nothing to do with what you are talking about.

  • Avi Singh on August 30, 2010, 22:17 GMT

    Agree with you about Trott, he is annoying but he is a good player who has delivered in crunch situations.

    I feel obliged to point out that there is a debate in India about whether Dravid was actually a better Test batsman than Sachin, including Dravid being named India's No 1 Test player by holdingwilley.com in an exhaustive report. Not saying that this is necessariyly the case, but it is not as clear cut as you make it seem- Dravid played a significant role in overseas Test wins where Tendulkar was less visible.

  • David on August 30, 2010, 23:02 GMT

    I can't stand Trott, i really wish a good fast bowler would just begin their delivery even if he isn't ready. An umpire needs to warn him about his time wasting. He didn't look too cool at the crease when Umar Akmal gave him some sledging either so he doesn't exactly have the perfect temperament.

  • Anonymous on August 30, 2010, 23:05 GMT

    Dravid is a great player and comparing him with the much lesser no. 3s is disgraceful.