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November 23, 2009
The way Jonathan Trott has begun his international career suggests he has always been destined to pull on an England shirt, but as his return to South Africa brings him back to his old doorstep in Cape Town he is determined not to get carried away by the early success.
Trott's 87 in the second one-day international at Centurion Park helped England to a comfortable seven-wicket win as he added 162 with Paul Collingwood. It means he has now made significant scores in all three formats, following his 119 on Test debut and the runs he made in the two Twenty20 internationals against South Africa.
He hasn't quite had to deal with the harsh reception that Kevin Pietersen endured in 2005 by supporters or opposition - South Africa coach Mickey Arthur told his team to stop being so 'matey' - but early evidence has been that Trott will be able to cope with anything that comes his way during the tour. However, the next time he walks out to bat Trott's biggest challenge could well come from the venue as he returns to his former home ground from the days he was a Western Province player.
"Whenever I was playing county cricket and trying to become the best player I can be and hope to crack on to international cricket, you want to play at Lord's and the SCG," he said. "Then for me, I always wanted to come and play back at Newlands and be part of a winning England side - and hope I can contribute to that victory."
"It adds a little edge to it for me. But I'm going to have to put the emotions of coming back here to one side to make sure they don't play any role in the decisions I make on the field."
Questions about Trott's background will follow him around for some time to come, but already he has become a key figure in England's planning both for the current one-day series and the Test matches that start next month. He has slotted into the opening role alongside Andrew Strauss - a position he has occupied with success for Warwickshire - and he is savouring the chance to gain reward for hard work without getting wrapped up in emotions.
"I'm really happy to be sitting here part of an England team, just won the first one-day game and looking forward to the second," he said. I worked really, really hard to be able to sit here today and come on this tour."
"It's just the same as when I walked out against Australia in that first Test match. I try not to get too wound up about it - thinking 'It's an England game, and I haven't played many. I just try to bring my Warwickshire processes into playing for England. Just like all the other guys in the team, I'm always trying to better myself."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.