England v West Indies, 3rd Test, Edgbaston

Trott dead-bats Pietersen issue

George Dobell

June 5, 2012

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Kevin Pietersen thrusts his hands in his pockets during England training, Edgbaston, June 5, 2012
Jonathan Trott: "Kev is his own guy and has to make his own decisions. Whatever he decides to do with his cricketing career is fine" © Getty Images
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Jonathan Trott did not earn his reputation as a cricketer through playing an array of dashing shots, so it should be of little surprise that he took a similarly cautious approach to a tricky off-pitch episode at Edgbaston on Tuesday.

Placed in a potentially awkward position - charged with talking to the media a few days after the retirement from limited-overs cricket of Kevin Pietersen and the enforced resting of James Anderson - Trott adopted a characteristically dead bat to all questions in a safety-first display which a generation of bowlers would recognise in an instant. Indeed, had Trott paused the press conference to mark his guard, it would have hardly have seemed incongruous.

"You can understand it in a way, but it's a huge disappointment as well," Trott said of Pietersen's decision, thereby ensuring he neither offended Pietersen nor the England team management. "It wasn't a huge surprise. Kev is his own guy and has to make his own decisions. The team fully support his decision. Whatever he decides to do with his cricketing career is fine."

Trott's diplomatic response - as admirable as it was sensible - did inadvertently highlight the uneasy truce that pervades within the England camp at present. It will take careful management over the coming months to ensure that the constructive working environment that helped England to No. 1 in the Test and T20I rankings is maintained.

A recurring theme of the next 18-months or so will be the schedule. Those members of the squad who play all three formats of the game can expect to spend less than two weeks in the UK between mid-October and April. Those involved in the World Twenty20 will be absent for several weeks before that. Irrespective of the actual amount of cricket the squad play or of the comparison with teams of the past, the fact of the matter is that men with young families - be they players or coaches - are uneasy with those demands.

Trott's situation is somewhat different from Pietersen's. Trott is not currently in the England T20 side and he did not even enter the draw for the 2012 IPL season. His T20 record is better than might be presumed, too: only five men (Marcus Trescothick, Darren Stevens, Darren Maddy, Murray Goodwin and Owais Shah) have scored more runs in English domestic T20 cricket and none of their averages comes anywhere near Trott's 39.20. Indeed, no England-qualified player with more than a dozen games behind them has a higher T20 average than Trott, while the 525 runs he scored in the 2009 T20 Cup was a then-record.

"Not being involved in T20, you get that little break," Trott said. "You have to speak to the guys who play all three about how they feel, but I'm really happy with the scheduling for me. It's really busy but that's part of being an England cricketer. We're the only country who play constantly from April through until September and there are always places to go in the winter. It has got a little bit busier, but it's part and parcel. You have to accept and get on with it.

"I didn't put my name forward for this IPL because I knew the workload. I'd been in international cricket for a year at the point when I did, but you now realise it is a lot of cricket. You make a decision and you've got to live with your own decision. Kevin's made his mind up about what he wants to do and that's fine. The guys support and understand the decision he's made. There's plenty of talent to come in and take his place. It's a bit of a blow, but you have to pick yourself up and get on with it.

"Kev was playing all three formats and he's been doing it since 2004, a lot longer than myself. He'll have his reasons. It is quite strenuous but you accept that when you get selected, you go there knowing what's ahead of you. From my side, I've no complaints about how the schedule has been."

Trott did admit, however, that he could see the logic in rotating players. "It's happened in the past, and probably will in the future with the schedule getting busier and busier," he said. "It's only right that these things happen.

"Jimmy Anderson would have liked to have played and quite rightly. He's the spearhead of our bowling attack, and you can understand that he will probably be a little bit disappointed. But with the bowlers and their heavy workload, it's going to happen from time to time. But it's not as if you're giving away international caps. We have guys who are vying to play and whoever takes his place should do a great job."

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by JG2704 on (June 9, 2012, 11:49 GMT)

@Meety - Yes I know it was just on T20s - but who would you play above Bres in T20s or ODIs?

Posted by Meety on (June 9, 2012, 1:56 GMT)

@JG2704 - just on the other thread re: Bresnan, a clarification, I was referring to Brenan as a T20 allrounder, NOT FC or Test.

Posted by RandyOZ on (June 7, 2012, 11:03 GMT)

Well done on the South African going in to bat for his fellow countryman

Posted by   on (June 7, 2012, 8:28 GMT)

U CAN C ALL TEAMS STAR PLAY OR I CAN SAY WORLD MOST AGRESSIVE BATSMEN HAVE AGRESSIVE APROACH IN THEIR SOCIAL AND OFF FIELD LIFE...AS WE SEEN RECENT EXAMPLES GAYLE..AFRIDI..NOW PITERSEN THEY LIKE TO DOWN TH GROUND AND HIT THE BALL OVER THE FENCE CANT WAIT TO PLAY DELICTATE LATE CUT..THROUGH THIRD MAN

Posted by JG2704 on (June 6, 2012, 20:18 GMT)

The more I think about it , the more I think that KPs decision has much to do with his dissappointment in being fined for awhat he said about Knight. Did I read on here that he was asked earlier in the year about playing ODIs etc and he indicated that he was happy with playing all forms. It just seems too much of a coincidence and it seems as though KP has not even had any talks with ECB to see if his workload on a new contract could be reduced.I'm very sad he won't play T20s and ODIs for us again and if anything I'd prefer him to just play T20s/ODIs - not because I think they are as important as tests but mainly because I think he will be harder to replace in the shorter forms of the game.

Posted by Rally_Windies on (June 6, 2012, 16:54 GMT)

I have more respect for KP than I have for Bret Lee now ......

choosing Tests and IPL, while retiring from ODI and T20i, is the best bet for any player who wants to maximise their careers

Tests and IPL is where the world's attention is at right now.... ODI's are now boring and pointless ....

IPL and IPL champions league is better than the 20/20 WC ....

Posted by YorkshirePudding on (June 6, 2012, 14:53 GMT)

@jmcilhinney, providing the weather holds for, personally I think we'll be lucky to see 3 days play.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (June 6, 2012, 14:29 GMT)

@ anonymous on (June 06 2012, 13:14 PM GMT), given that Alistair Cook is the current ODI captain and younger, I'd say not. Cook's already got the diplomacy side down.

Posted by   on (June 6, 2012, 13:14 GMT)

Jonathan Trott in line to become English captain ?

Posted by jmcilhinney on (June 6, 2012, 13:09 GMT)

Jonathan Trott seems like a very measured fellow so, while some might think that he's being diplomatic or toeing the company line, this seems like just the sort of opinion he would have. It's definitely possible to not have strong feelings either way and/or be able to see both sides of the story. I've made comments on the various stories myself but I do think people are making too much of the resting of James Anderson in particular and also the retirement of KP. This last WI Test is important but not as important as future Tests now that the series has been won so resting Anderson seems a sound idea. Even if you disagree, it's one game that England will likely win anyway. As for KP, it's a shame he won't be seen again in England limited-overs colours but both sides have their reasons. England have several exciting young batsmen who will now get more opportunity so, while it may hamper our T20 ambitions in the short term, it may aid our ODI status in the longer term.

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