England in Sri Lanka 2011-12 April 1, 2012

England batting 'a sin' says Trott


Jonathan Trott has described England's batting during the first innings in the Galle Test as "a sin" but has struggled to pin down a reason why a batting line-up that was so prolific only a few months ago is now consistently faltering.

England, who must now win in Colombo to draw the series, were bowled out for 192 in 46.4 overs to concede a crucial first-innings advantage of 125 to Sri Lanka as their batting failed for the fourth time in a row.

Criticised for being too defensive at times during the series against Pakistan in the UAE, this time the strokes of some England batsmen in Galle bordered on the reckless as they continued to struggle to find a suitable tempo for batting in Asia.

It has been a rapid fall from grace for a batting line-up that had become accustomed to making 500-plus regularly while the individual batsmen were gaining a reputation for the 'daddy' hundreds that Graham Gooch used to have cause to talk about. From the start of the 2010-11 Ashes to end of the home series against India last summer they had scored six double hundreds and another four scores in excess of 150.

By comparison in 2012, Trott's 112 in the second innings in Galle was England's first hundred of the year. "We've lost a lot of wickets in clusters," Trott said. "In the past if we've lost two early wickets then guys have been able to steady the ship and we've been able to get through sessions pretty unscathed.

"But we've had bad sessions with the bat and getting bowled out in 40-odd overs was a bit of a sin. The wicket was pretty good and we should have capitalised. It's no lack of effort on any par, it just hasn't worked out for us."

Defeat meant that Trott was not able to savour his hundred - one of the finest of his career - despite him showing England that run-scoring was possible with patience and shrewd shot selection.

"To get a hundred is satisfying, but to get one and win always makes it sweeter," he said. "I was pleased by how I felt, I wasn't all that tired at the end of the innings, I just wish I could have batted a bit more. If I'd have got 140, 150 who knows what might have happened."

And, according to Trott, there was no magic formula to his success. "I just played normally. I didn't try going in with any pre-conceived conceptions. I had a bit of luck early on and rode it. You certainly need a bit of luck in these conditions with a lot of catchers round the bat... you need the ball to bounce in the right areas."

Trott also took a swipe at the media for, as he saw it, fuelling an unnecessary debate about Andrew Strauss' position in the team. Strauss has averaged 25.50 since the start of the previous home season and has just two hundreds since July 2009.

"When someone is not scoring as may runs as they would like or expect of themselves it is highlighted by you guys [the media]. I'm sure it will have a similar impact as it did when Alastair Cook came through his little slump. I'm surprised you guys haven't learned from that."

Steven Finn, Strauss' Middlesex teammate, hoping for a place in England's attack in the second Test, was equally supportive on BBC Radio 5 Live's Sportsweek programme.

"I don't think there's any question that he won't be in charge throughout the summer and beyond," he said. "He's a great captain, everyone here's backing him and this is something that just hasn't come up within the team because no one in the team believes it's valid. Straussy will score runs and that's that."

"Straussy leads from the front. He's an exceptional leader, he's a levelling person. When we have our highs we don't ride them too high and when we have our lows we don't ride them too low. And that's what a great captain does, I think."

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Phil on April 3, 2012, 9:41 GMT

    @yorkshirematt: If you don't think the rankings are good enough to determine who's good and who's not, how would you decide the top four to play in the mini league? I know these scenarios are unlikely at the moment, but what If the top four teams were England, SA, Oz & NZ or Pak, Ind, SL & Bang. Then the games would all be played in "similar conditions" and the "other fans" would cry out.

  • Phil on April 3, 2012, 9:32 GMT

    @indianzen (April 02 2012, 05:12 AM GMT): Then Pak & SL beating England is no victory as England are out of form.

  • John on April 3, 2012, 8:04 GMT

    @NaniIndCri on (April 02 2012, 13:29 PM GMT) re "Indians gracefully agree that we were outplayed in Aus and Eng" - That is totally untrue re England. Even now on this thread alone please check out comms by indianzen on (April 02 2012, 05:12 AM GMT) and the multitude of grudgeful comms on this thread and the multitude of regular posters who basically use our threads for England hate therapy. PS no disrespect meant to Satish , David Gravitas , Candid Indian and others who are just cricket lovers who post honest views

  • John on April 3, 2012, 8:03 GMT

    @Harmony111 - I'm not going to argue with you any more.I mention India's form in a vain attempt to quieten you down and it's obviously having an adverse affect.I actually could not care less if India win or lose or what happens although I did actually go on one of the Aus/Ind threads to empathise with Indian fans for their selectors turning a blind eye to certain probs - just like our selectors do now.At the end of the day all the stats you quote are history just as I hate to admit is our test form as it stands.BTW you say"Even here you seem to give far too much imp to India's failure to reach the finals but seem to give little or no imp to England loss to the team that did not win the CB series AND lost 3-0 in Asia Cup" (Pot,kettle,black as it's you coming on our boards to slate our team) - Actually if you've read our threads you will see that I have probably been our biggest critic.Also are ODI's important? If so we beat Pak 4-0 in UAE.If not then your 5-0 thrashing means little

  • John on April 2, 2012, 22:37 GMT

    @G.Sri on (April 02 2012, 13:31 PM GMT) PS Probably pretty impossible for Eng or Aus to beat Ind 5-0 as there were only 4 teats in the series

  • Mark on April 2, 2012, 22:11 GMT

    Good luck Herath get another 10 wickets in Colombo and deservedly win the series 2-0. We would like to see Sri Lankan cricket too well again and build for the future. Good Luck Sri Lanka. All the best!

  • John on April 2, 2012, 18:53 GMT

    @Meety on (April 02 2012, 11:56 AM GMT) Well maybe I'm not on those threads when these folk post. I've seen some of our regulars on there but not posting rubbish. Yes that name rings a bell and I have tried to pull him a few times (on our threads) to be more respectful - as I do any English fan who I feel is trying to provoke situations , but I honestly have not seen the rubbish on other countries' threads from Eng fans when I've been on. Maybe I ought to read through other countries threads more often to see for myself.

  • John on April 2, 2012, 18:52 GMT

    @G.Sri on (April 02 2012, 13:31 PM GMT) That was last decade - how long ago exactly? What has that got to do with now?

  • John on April 2, 2012, 18:52 GMT

    @Harmony111 re Ind batsmen setting records vs Eng bowlers - Is that the same batsmen who have been winning you tests in Australia and helping you qualify for finals in 3 or 4 team OD tournaments?re "And the team that you so proudly boast of beating 4-0 in the ODIs" . Actually NO , I said at the time that it was a step in the right direction but not boasting - that's not me. And I didn't boast about the ODI series win in UAE either 1- because Pak had won the more important series and 2 - Because their fans were by and large a model of respect. Oh and you say "I wonder if England are good enough to defeat Ireland or Afghanistan the way they are playing currently" and this is from a fan of a side who can't even make a final in 3/4 team tournaments and who aren't even making test opposition bat twice half the time.

  • j on April 2, 2012, 18:50 GMT

    Every team goes through bad slumps, it's ever so funny to see Australian fans get all excited: Remember the ASHES?!!

  • No featured comments at the moment.