Sussex v Warwickshire, County Championship, Hove, 2nd day April 20, 2006

Trott gallops towards the big time

Warwickshire 308 for 5 (Trott 109, Knight 73, Loudon 51) lead Sussex 302 by 6 runs

Jonathan Trott: staking his claims to be the new Kevin Pietersen © Getty Images
The last County Championship meeting between Sussex and Warwickshire was notable for two things: a Jonathan Trott double-hundred and the reporting of James Kirtley's action after Warwickshire had filmed his bowling from several angles.

The repercussions are still being felt. Having remodelled his action, Kirtley is rehabilitating and requested not to be selected for this match. Meanwhile Trott's love affair with the Sussex bowling continued. His ninth first-class hundred was his third against Sussex. His first came on his Warwickshire debut in 2003.

Trott, who turns 25 on Saturday, is endeavouring to follow the Kevin Pietersen route to fame and fortune. Born in Cape Town, he is the owner of a British passport and, although he has played for South Africa Under-19, qualifies for England at the end of this season. He has played for Boland in South Africa and last winter won the State Medal in New Zealand after a stellar season for Otago.

He celebrated his hundred by kissing the badge on his helmet, just the sort of under-stated gesture so beloved of Pietersen. But seriously, Trott has been a league above any other batsman in this match so international recognition looks like a perfectly legitimate ambition. He looks polished, confident and has a tasty cover-drive. He is believed to be a distant relative of Albert Trott, the only man to hit a ball over the Lord's pavilion.

He seems to have his public relations sorted too: his girlfriend is Abi Dollery, granddaughter of Warwickshire legend Tom Dollery and the Bears' press officer.

Trott was dropped on 56 by Mike Yardy at slip off Mushtaq Ahmed, who also had Alex Loudon missed on four in similar circumstances. The unbroken fourth-wicket stand of 127 between Trott and Loudon put Warwickshire in the ascendancy. Their fourth-wicket partnership of 134 in 45 overs took Warwickshire to within seven runs of Sussex's first-innings total before Loudon gloved an attempted hook off Luke Wright after completed a hard-earned fifty off 114 balls. Trott followed soon after for 109 to balance the books somewhat.

Loudon's innings started scratchily and he should have been run out on nought. But he stuck at it and the manner of his dismissal was out of keeping with a dogged innings. After a hundred for MCC in the season opener against Nottinghamshire, Loudon continues to show that he is a multi-faceted cricketer of some substance.

While Ashley Giles continues to ail, England fret over the balance of the side. Loudon is not an immediate solution but middle-order runs will count highly on Duncan Fletcher's scorecard.

Sussex's seam attack looks a bit light without Kirtley and it is a bit much to expect Mushy to bowl sides out in April. Wright bowled a sharp spell at the end of the day and started to reverse-swing the old ball. Duncan Spencer, though, bowled only four overs all day for 27. It was a disappointing sequel to the previous evening when he took a wicket in his third over after a 12-year absence from first-class cricket. Clearly Hans Christian Andersen had saved all his fairytales for Freddie Klokker.

John Stern is editor of The Wisden Cricketer