Trott gives England allround options
Jonathan Trott was delighted to become an allrounder for a day. He scored his second one-day hundred and followed that with a crucial spell of 2 for 31, which also happened to be his maiden ODI wickets, to help England to a 21-run victory that kept the series alive.
Trott's 126-ball innings set the platform from which England reached their highest total against Australia in the country, beating the 294 at Melbourne earlier this series, and took his ODI average to a heady 54.38 to go alongside his Test figure of 61.53. However, with the visitors picking just three main bowlers, his seven overs of medium pace which claimed Cameron White and David Hussey - Australia's middle-order enforcers - ensured England never lost control of the game.
"Obviously I'm in the team to get 100s," he said. "I was very happy to do that and set up a very good total, one we felt we could defend. When called upon to bowl it is always nice to contribute as well. I know how cricket can be, it can be a nice game and it can be a horrible game sometimes."
Trott hit an unbeaten 84 in the previous game at the SCG as England limped to 214 and there was some criticism that he didn't try to force the pace towards the end of the innings. This time he rode in the slipstream of Matt Prior's 68 early on, then ensured the innings didn't fall apart when three wickets fell for 22.
"When we lost the three wickets it was important that we didn't have what happened in Sydney with a progression of wickets," he said. "It was important that I hung around. I was a little bit disappointed to get out in the manner I did towards the end with the Powerplay looming. That's something to work on for future games with batting and setting totals or chasing them."
Trott also aims to work on his bowling to fill a valuable role in one-day and Test cricket. Paul Collingwood's retirement from the five-day game means England will need a new part-time bowler come their next Test series and Trott wants to develop. "I've had a chat with David Saker and we're going to work hard at that," he said. "If I could bowl like Colly has in this tour then definitely I can help the side."
Michael Clarke, who would like to be able to play a similar anchor role with the bat for Australia but can't break his form slump, praised Trott's innings and the way his team-mates allowed him to control the innings. "I think the earlier he gets in probably the better for him and the more it suits his game and allows him to play freely," he said. "He's in pretty good nick and he batted really well today. I thought he held the innings together really well, the other guys had the opportunity to play around him."
Although Australia closed the innings a mere 21 runs adrift, they were struggling from the moment Shane Watson was caught behind off Ajmal Shahzad. The visitors knew that was the key wicket because of the way Watson played in Melbourne with his unbeaten 161 when Australia chased 295, but Clarke doesn't believe the opener is carrying too much of a burden.
"Obviously all the batters want to perform and do well. Watto is in a bit of a purple patch and batting really well and leading from the front," Clarke said. "But we've had other guys; Brad Haddin batted really well the other night, Shaun Marsh a hundred a couple of games ago, David Hussey as well. I just think at the moment he's batting really well, unfortunately he didn't go on and get a big one which would have been nice tonight."
Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo