England in India 2012-13

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

Amol Karhadkar

November 6, 2012

Comments: 53 | Text size: A | A

Jonathan Trott plays towards the leg side, Mumbai A v England XI, tour match, Mumbai, 3rd day, November 5, 2012
Jonathan Trott has spent the last 12 months failing to turn solid positions into big scores © AFP

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

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by RandyOZ on (November 9, 2012, 13:22 GMT)

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

Posted by Meety on (November 9, 2012, 4:46 GMT)

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

Posted by A_Vacant_Slip 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.

Posted by phoenixsteve 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!!!

Posted by saravanan666 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.

Posted by gsingh7 on (November 7, 2012, 23:00 GMT)


Posted by Alexk400 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.

Posted by Alexk400 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. :)

Posted by A_Vacant_Slip 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.

Posted by JG2704 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.

Posted by Rajesh_india_1990 on (November 7, 2012, 14:09 GMT)

Everyone is talking about trott,kp,cook,bell but nobody is talking about Matt prior who is clearly an unsung hero of england team...so bad

Posted by Rajesh_india_1990 on (November 7, 2012, 14:06 GMT)

I think Trott will be troubled by Ojha and yuvi...

Posted by sachin_vvsfan on (November 7, 2012, 12:36 GMT)

Get Trott and KP out early. Prior will score a quick 50 -60 to retain his best keeper tag. Bells, Bairstows cannot last long. Common India.

Posted by atuljain1969 on (November 7, 2012, 11:18 GMT)

This is the best series, where Indian selectors could have given chance to waiting cricketers to stamp their authority against good opposition on domestic wickets while ignoring players who are out of form. In overseas series trying a new player generally does not prove fruitful and they fail to perform to the expected level.

These players could have been -- Manoj Tiwari, Badrinath, Vijay, Rahane in Batting and Dinda, Praveen (now injured), Bhuvnesh kr, Rishi Dhawan.

In pace deptt. after every one or two series our pacers are getting injured hence we need to be ready with a pool of 6-7 fast bowlers. For that we need to give them exposure against quality opposition so that we have the confidence to play them whenever reqd. and we need not fall on old war horse like ZAHEER.

Posted by   on (November 7, 2012, 10:32 GMT)

He has been poor in Indian conditions, I say him struggle in the previous ODI series. I am sure this mediocre player of spin is no threat to Team India!

Posted by stormy16 on (November 7, 2012, 10:02 GMT)

Trott has been a sensation which is why a slight dip in that sensational form is attracting questions of form slump. One of the biggest tests awaits hin in handling Indian conditions and playing spinners. I reckon he has the technique and temperament to succeed and if he does he will move in to that sensational category.

Posted by andrew27994 on (November 7, 2012, 8:46 GMT)

England should play Samit Patel in all the matches. Patel should be preferred over Bell, Morgan or Bairstow not simply because of his recent form and his batting against spinners but also because he offers the extra option as a spinner.

Posted by andrew27994 on (November 7, 2012, 8:42 GMT)

I don't think Trott has performed badly as they say in this article. He has just had an issue with converting those 50s into 100s. He hasn't got a century for a while but one thing to be considered is that he is still the most stubborn batsman in the England team. This series will be a test for him but I'm sure that he might be the highest run getter in the series for England.

I think the media are simply hyping it up. Trott is certainly not out of form because its not like he is getting out for a duck or single digit scores.

England's main worry in the batting department is Cook and Bell. They are the guys England should be worried about.

Posted by Truemans_Ghost on (November 7, 2012, 7:36 GMT)

@ Meety, I partly agree with you in that he is a very good palyer, but not a 60 test average player(who i?), but I don't think your contention about his test ave exceeding his FC is as relevant now as it would have been in the past. Up to the 90s test players, once established, would still play 1/2 the county season and plunder the lesser county bowling boosting their FC average. These days, once you are an England regular, especially if you play more than one format, once you are established you hardly play county cricket again, so your FC average is largely made up of your years as a callow youth. I realise that Trott played for England comparitively late, but I think my point still stands.

Posted by   on (November 7, 2012, 6:16 GMT)

Speakers blaring crowd roars?? LOL...

Posted by   on (November 7, 2012, 5:21 GMT)

LOL who Trott?? what a joke

Posted by ReverseSweepIndia on (November 7, 2012, 4:53 GMT)

why worry about Trott eng. fans? You guys know what attack you guys are going to face? Trott still average 35+, I bet you bring anyone who is unable to put bat to a ball, and he will go back with inflated average. Ponting before that series with India could not buy a single run for his life.

Posted by TATTUs on (November 7, 2012, 4:27 GMT)

Trott is a tough nut to crack even though he is out of form. Main thing is he values his wicket very high which makes it easier for him to bat even if he is out of form. It will not be easy for India. Infact England have 3 such batsmen in their line up who are grafters and difficult to get out.

Posted by anver777 on (November 7, 2012, 4:12 GMT)

I feel Trott will regain his old form & give Eng a winning start to the series,along with KP who is so familiar to Indian conditions, will score big runs for Eng..... hope to see a grueling contest from both teams !!!!!

Posted by   on (November 7, 2012, 4:05 GMT)

Ashwin carrom ball will trouble him. For reference watch 2nd India vs England NatWest odi

Posted by jb633 on (November 7, 2012, 3:31 GMT)

I would not really say that slump is the appropriate word. In plain and simple terms during the first 3 years of career he played in conditions and against bowlers that he felt comfortable with. I am not discrediting his performances but I personally believe that post 2007 it is more diffivult for an English bat to make runs in the sub continent than it is in OZ/SA. Trott has a superb tecnique against pace and his trigger movements get him into excellent positions. He is good player of spin with a bouncing track but I think he really struggled in the UAE in particular with the lack of bounce. Because his trigger movement is geared up for pace I feel against spin he often gets stuck on the crease. I consider him one of the better players of spin (when the ball bounces) but I think he becomes a huge LBW candidate on the low and slow decks. Will be interesting to see if he has made any technical changes ahead of this big series agaisnt India

Posted by jackiethepen on (November 7, 2012, 2:44 GMT)

Trott doesn't play all three formats. He isn't in the t20 squad. All cricketers have down periods, the point is to gradually come out of them and not be obsessed by a run of moderate achievement. I'm sure Trott will get back into form. We mustn't forget that the whole side was affected by the KP debacle and the tight knit harmony of the side was shattered. It is mending but it will take time.

Posted by Rogerunionjack on (November 7, 2012, 2:26 GMT)

The cricket world's worst kept secret - if any batsman in a slump wants to regain form - make him play India. Tried and tested. Trott doesn't need to worry the least.

Posted by   on (November 7, 2012, 1:43 GMT)

he will come back. jonathan trott england's most aggressive batsman.cook,trott,pietersen,bell the strong army of english side

Posted by   on (November 7, 2012, 1:40 GMT)

virat kohli will be the top scorer in this series

Posted by 2.14istherunrate on (November 7, 2012, 1:25 GMT)

Everyone has dips in form, for whatever reason. New series,new form. Runs in any case were hard to come by vs SA. @Nahush Modi-it's hard to believe you ever watch games. Totally misinformed.

Posted by Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on (November 7, 2012, 1:19 GMT)

As an Indian supporter I hope he has a quiet series. But as his admirer I would want him to score loads of runs. Welcome to my country Dear Trott. Cricket needs classical batsmen and gentlemen like you.

Posted by   on (November 7, 2012, 0:34 GMT)

trott becoming another KP for england........starting career with a blast....n then become a less-than-ordinary batsman in all forms :/

Posted by   on (November 7, 2012, 0:17 GMT)

Cook-Trott for England's opening; Don't Cook Root! See how Trott regains his form!

Posted by Chris_P on (November 7, 2012, 0:00 GMT)

@JG204. I wouldn't mind Trott saving his slump for next year's Ashes series. We'll need something like that. This guy really puts in, I wouldn't say he is the most classiest or best looking batsman around, but his attitude is second to none. He puts in the work, and those types always gets my admiration.

Posted by Meety on (November 6, 2012, 23:40 GMT)

Do not wish to diminish Trott's remarkable test career. To say he is in a slump though, IMO, is not quite accurate. His Test career has exceeded is FC stats, & I believe he was always going to have a lower success rate over time. His current ave is 50, his FC career is 44, if he ends up with a Test career over 45 he is an over achiever. Good luck to him, I think he is a really good (a great if he keeps his current ave), old fashioned #3, & now that Dravid is gone, probably/possibly the last of a dying breed of that quality!

Posted by mrmonty on (November 6, 2012, 23:14 GMT)

Slump? Or has he been found out, after first two seasons?

Posted by Front-Foot_lunge on (November 6, 2012, 23:11 GMT)

21 innings at 37.0 for the last 12 months, and being over 30...if there was anyone to replace him, then they should be lining up to take his place. As that is plainly not the case, we get to watch his demise, in typical trot slow-mo fashion, play out over the next 12 - 18 months, when he gets dropped after we fail to win back the ashes in the Australian 13/14 summer.

Posted by binojpeter on (November 6, 2012, 23:04 GMT)

I am predicting that Trott will be the top scorer in this series.

Posted by Beertjie on (November 6, 2012, 22:46 GMT)

Whoever opens with Cook won't last long, so Trott will be able to try to impose himself as he did before this year. My guess is that he won't, but he could score better than thus far in 2012.

Posted by   on (November 6, 2012, 21:52 GMT)

Trott will open the innings I guess

Posted by   on (November 6, 2012, 21:43 GMT)

bowlers have found him out to an extent; bowling tight lines outside off to restrict him and bowling at the stumps early. Still a very good bat though.

Posted by peeeeet on (November 6, 2012, 20:34 GMT)

The same happened when Hussey came into the Australian team. He averaged 80+ in god first few seasons, but now that has dropped down to be more around his career first class average. Trott is still a good player, but I would say he's a mid 40s type player not a 60+ player, and we're just seeing his career even out at the moment.

Posted by   on (November 6, 2012, 20:09 GMT)

trott is key batsman for England and he played very well in odi series against india in india so high exceptions from him in my opinion england should open with bell

Posted by cabinet96 on (November 6, 2012, 19:30 GMT)

He isn't struggling to get going (he hasn't gone two FC games for England without a 50 for over a year, but he seems to have lost the ability to convert for some reason :( He's scored 6 50's (I think) in FC games for England since his last ton.

Posted by subbass on (November 6, 2012, 19:13 GMT)

Fully agree. If Trott and Cook have good series England will have a great chance of that elusive series win in India. However for me the worry is that he has been found out a little. Ok we all knew his avg was not going to stay up near 60, but I'm worried he may drop down to been just another number 3 with a 40 avg. Lets wait and see though as you know one thing with Trott is he is very single minded and determined.

Posted by   on (November 6, 2012, 19:02 GMT)

All the best jonathan trott. And undoubtedly you can rectify your mistakes against india.

Posted by jackthelad on (November 6, 2012, 18:49 GMT)

Trott is a class batsman - perhaps his astonishing early successes raised expectations a bit higher than is comfortable for a batsman who is after all still not vastly experienced in Test cricket - but he won't be in the doldrums long; quality has a way of coming through adversity where mere talent wilts.

Posted by rahulcricindia on (November 6, 2012, 18:37 GMT)

He is in slump by any standred, an avg of 37 being a no. 3 in tests is quite ordinary but he is player he can turn it on, as an Indian supporter I wud hope he finds his form in the series after this one.

Posted by GHemrajani on (November 6, 2012, 18:25 GMT)

Trott may succeed in the first test but will soon be figured out by the spinners. He will unsure whether to attack or defend. His average is the series will be in the 30's similar to his recent average described in the articile.

Posted by bluefunk on (November 6, 2012, 18:13 GMT)

all the best to Trott, but he really needs to cut down on the time he takes to set himself up between deliveries. trott keeping the world waiting as he self-absorbedly hums a tune and taps that imaginary ridge on the pitch for the umpteenth time can be most annoying for everyone else concerned.

Posted by SaulB on (November 6, 2012, 18:11 GMT)

I'm confident that trott will perform better knowing that the middle order is solid with bell, morgan, bairstow and peiterson (not to mention prior) coming in after him he can play without fear.

Posted by InsideHedge on (November 6, 2012, 18:04 GMT)

There will be but 100 ppl at the Test venues, the preparations with the speakers will only be useful post-Xmas for the ODI and T20 leg.

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