England in India 2012-13 November 6, 2012

Trott in a slump, by his standards

So impressive were his returns from the first two years of Test cricket that Jonathan Trott's current run of form seems like a bad patch

Twelve months ago, Jonathan Trott was England's "go to" man. Whenever the team needed someone to rise to the challenge - be it during the Ashes, against Pakistan's spectacular swing or during the World Cup - not just the supporters but even the team management looked up to him.

Trott had never disappointed anyone for well over two years ever since marking his arrival on the international stage with a century against Australia in August 2009 - helping to regain the Ashes is no bad way to introduce yourself to world cricket.

Back then, having emerged as the first sole England recipient of the ICC Player of the Year in 2011 (Andrew Flintoff shared it with Jacques Kallis in 2005), Trott was not just the torch-bearer of English cricket but a rapidly declining school of players who could excel in all three formats of the game, especially in the longest.

Cut to November 2012 and the winds seem to have started blowing in the other direction. As he addressed a group of journalists in Ahmedabad ahead of the first of a four-Test series and spoke of his potential plans to take on the Indian bowlers (read spinners), Trott was put on the backfoot about his performance in the side.

This year has been undoubtedly been a mediocre year for Trott, and England as result. In 21 innings, Trott has managed to score just one century and averaged 37.42, well below par any specialist batsman in Test cricket these days, let alone a No. 3. His poor form has resulted in his average that was soaring towards the 60s at the start of the year having almost dropped below 50.

But instead of being bogged down by all sorts of scrutiny, Trott faced all the queries with a straight face, just like his blade during the best of times at the crease. First and foremost, he dismissed the possibility of him having to open the innings during the four-Test series, with two debutants vying for the slot vacated by Andrew Strauss. "I have never really had any discussion like that," Trott said. "Maybe it has been coming more from the media."

In his three preparatory outings at the crease ahead of what would be his first Test series in India, Trott got his eye in but didn't manage the big innings he was accustomed to playing during his purple patch. He didn't hesitate to admit he was a touch frustrated but going into the Test series, he preferred to consider the glass half full rather than half empty.

"I am slightly disappointed with the mistakes I have made so far," Trott said. "Maybe in hindsight I would think I am gladder to have made these mistakes now that in Test matches. I am looking forward to spending more time at the crease in the four-day game so I will be ready."

With England seeking their first Test series win in India for 27 years, the England management seems to be leaving no stone unturned to get the players ready - especially those like Trott who have never played Tests in India. One such measure was to let the batsmen bat in the nets with speakers blaring crowd roars during their training camp in Dubai before arriving in India.

"Our management are very keen on when we get ready for the game time, we are not overawed or surprised by anything," Trott said. "I have played one-dayers in India before and you get a feel over there. It feels good. Probably feels similar to walking out at Melbourne with 90,000 Australians wanting you to do badly."

If Trott does what he did at the MCG almost two years ago - scoring an unbeaten 168 helping England retain the Ashes - at Wankhede or Eden Gardens, not only would he silence the doubters but would also help his team achieve a major goal of winning a series in India. After all, the last three years suggest whenever Trott does well, England do too.

Amol Karhadkar is a correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Randolph on November 9, 2012, 13:22 GMT

    Bad luck for the South African. I am sure he can carry England as he always does.

  • Andrew on November 9, 2012, 4:46 GMT

    @Truemans_Ghost on (November 07 2012, 07:36 AM GMT) - fair enuff, alwys enjoy your comms.

  • Sharon on November 8, 2012, 21:03 GMT

    @saravanan666 on (November 08 2012, 13:00 PM GMT) You state "His recent records clearly shows he is not fit for a one down batsmen". Rubbish. Jonathan Trott is one of the best number 3 batsmen in the world at the current time. The fact that you comment on it show how concerned you are.

  • Steve on November 8, 2012, 16:53 GMT

    Trott is going through a quiet time but this can change. The consensus of opinion seems to agree that the English quick bowling is superior. Many argue that Swann, Monty and Patel are equal to Indian spinners. As for the batting, apart from Kohli it would be hard to imagine any Indian batter getting into an Anglo-Indian XI? Would anybody of sound mind and cricketing savvy suggest that Dhoni plays ahead of Prior? I think not. Add to this Dhoni's tactical dumbness and he could only be considered for his rich assortment of lame excuses! Kholi is a class act though....... COME ON ENGLAND!!!

  • Saravanan on November 8, 2012, 13:00 GMT

    His recent records clearly shows he is not fit for a one down batsmen. I think England have to rethink their strategy to send KP instead of Trott at that position. At times i wonder why KP is not comming in one drop who is a very much better player than Trott can ever be. For any team to win a test match their top 3 batsmen should be in prime form. I think this is what England is lacking in the past one year.

  • gurinder on November 7, 2012, 23:00 GMT


  • Alex on November 7, 2012, 21:57 GMT

    England can prove once for all it is not England pitches that did the trick for england , it is planning and tall disicipline bowling that did the trick. They can do the same thing in india to india. That said there is something people miss. In first two test india have chance to beat england but england recovered well with tail batting. I am not sure india choke in india mainly because HOME Crowd energy is massive factor in deciding outcome of TEST. ENgland planning and tall bowler theory works but HOME crowd energy is number 1 factor for engalnd sweep India in england. For engalnd to beat india , KP or TROTT play mike gatting and sweep the hell out of indian spinners. One of them score double century will do it for england. Dhoni is python in india. So if sehwag clicks india win , sehwag do not click india can draw the series. if England batsman click , england can win. England bowlers will do same thing they can take one wicket at a time like they did in england.

  • Alex on November 7, 2012, 21:51 GMT

    Trott can milk indian spinners to no end. England anchor is trott , if trott fails england ship will be overturned and submerge. :)

  • Sharon on November 7, 2012, 21:13 GMT

    Trott will be excellent. I have no doubt. Plenty of people busy dismissing England. But England bowler better than New Zealand bowler and England batsman better than New Zealand batsman. A lot of people are busy saying what India are going to do to England - do these same people imagine that England are not going to be threat to India??? Many Indian say same thing before India tour of England last year there was plenty of big talk.... but when the test came it was obvious which was dominant side.... And now this current India team is much weaker than that India team which went to England last year. As they say in USA - go figure.

  • John on November 7, 2012, 19:49 GMT

    @ Chris_P on (November 07 2012, 00:00 AM GMT) Agree with your comms. Nick Compton is fairly similar in that he's not particularly pleasing on the eye (as a player - can't comment as a person as I'm not that way inclined) but he values his wicket so much and works so hard at his game. To go from being a journeyman cricketer just a couple of years ago , to topping our domestic stats by a distance this year says it all.

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