Warwickshire v Somerset, Edgbaston, 3rd day August 7, 2009

Trott puts England omission behind him

George Dobell at Edgbaston

Warwickshire 156 for 3 (Frost 71*, Trott 40*) trail Somerset 323 for 8 dec (Trescothick 106, Hildreth 86*, Langer 69, Woakes 4-89) by 167 runs
Scorecard

He may have been surplus to demand in Leeds, but Jonathan Trott's worth to Warwickshire remains immense. Striding to the crease with his side in some trouble, Trott immediately steadied the ship and then steered it to the brink of safety.

It was a performance that spoke volumes for Trott's temperament. Despite starting the day in sight of a Test debut, he coped with his disappointment and a long journey back down the M1, and simply got on with the job.

He looked in imperious form. From the moment he got off the mark, easing a boundary through cover off Alfonso Thomas, Trott timed the ball beautifully. His shots down the ground, in particular, bore the hallmark of real class and he finished the day having taken his championship batting average for the season above 100. That's form the England selectors won't be able to resist.

Warwickshire had been in some trouble before Trott's intervention. At 61 for three and conditions offering substantial assistance to the seamers, the follow-on target of 174 looked distant.

Ian Westwood, who has now been dismissed for a single-figure score seven times in his last 12 championship innings, fell in the first over after his footlessness left him stuck in the crease. Jim Troughton, who has not passed 18 in his last nine innings, was lured into flashing at one that left him, before Neil Carter's slashed an edge to slip.

In partnership with Tony Frost's unbeaten 71, however, Trott added 95 for the fourth-wicket in just 18 overs. Frost, who has endured a wretched season, also impressed. This was comfortably his highest score of the campaign, but was studded with the elegant cover drives that were such a feature of his batting when he topped the national averages last year. He is tempted to drift back on to the ground staff at the end of the season but, in such form, he clearly still has much to offer as a batsman.

Somerset's seamers will reflect that they squandered a good opportunity, however. Play did not start until 2.30pm due to overnight rain and the drying conditions resulted in copious swing and seam movement.

Though Charl Willoughby was dangerous, his colleagues were unable to maintain a tight enough line or length and Trott and Frost's boundary tally - they have scored 88 in fours - tells its own tale.

Trott's return was bad news for Nathan Newport, however. The 20-year-old debutant, who had spent the entire Somerset innings in the field, was the man substituted to make way for Trott. It's just possible Newport won't play another first-class game.

Earlier in the day, James Hildreth held Somerset together. Belying his reputation as a flat track bully, Hildreth batted beautifully in making 64 of the 97 runs Somerset added. Cutting and pulling with rare power, Hildreth (88 balls, 13 fours) dealt comfortably with the moving ball and recorded his highest innings away from Taunton this season.

He will need to continue that improvement, however. Before this innings, Hildreth averaged 119 on the flat tracks of Taunton this year, but only 19 away from home. International recognition is unlikely to come while that discrepancy remains.

Chris Woakes and Boyd Rankin combined to good effect to deny Somerset more than three batting bonus points. Marcus Trescothick failed to add to his overnight score, beaten by one that nipped back in the day's first over, before Zander de Bruyn was beaten by a beauty that bounced and left him. Kieswetter, Trego and Phillips all fished at out swingers from the excellent Woakes, before Thomas' dismissal, edging another that left him, hastened Langer's declaration.

While Somerset might be prepared to gamble on the final day, Warwickshire's safety-first method is all about the accumulation of bonus points. A draw beckons.