Australia v England, 1st Test, Brisbane, 3rd day November 23, 2013

Trott at crossroads with short-ball troubles

Characteristically so cool and clear of mind, Jonathan Trott is now clouded with doubt and thought as he tries to deal with an issue that could define his career
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During England's brief first innings at the Gabba, Jonathan Trott tucked a ball from Mitchell Johnson off his legs and, rather than settling for the comfortable single on offer, made a point of pushing for a sharp second run to ensure he stayed on strike.

It was a moment that revealed much about Trott. It was a moment that told the world he was not afraid and that he was not going to avoid the challenge that may well define his career.

But perhaps he protested a little too much. Perhaps that fortitude to ensure he did not duck that challenge went to the heart of Trott's problem: he is so determined to show he is not afraid of the short ball, that he is getting himself into impossible positions from which to play it.

Consider his approach to facing Johnson. Determined not to be seen to back away or in any way appear tentative, Trott is walking across his stumps and towards the bowler. It is leaving him unbalanced and rendering it more difficult for him to leave the ball or play straight.

Indeed, Trott may well be more nervous of appearing scared than he is by the ball. Like all top batsmen, he would gladly trade some thumping blows to the body rather than losing his wicket.

Certainly the suggestion from David Warner that Trott is "backing away" from the ball will hurt him greatly. "Pretty weak" was Warner's description of Trott's second-innings dismissal. "It looks like England have got scared eyes," he said.

Such words will sting Trott. They will sting far longer and far harsher than any bruise or cut from the ball. For such an allegation goes to the heart of how Trott sees himself. It raises questions not just about his technique, but about his character, his courage and even, in the world of alpha male sportsmen, his masculinity.

It is a misunderstanding, too. Trott's issue is more technical than it is a fear of the short ball. His technique - his down to up pull stroke, his movement at the moment the ball is released leaving him unbalanced at the crease and his trigger movement that takes him forward - is rendering it hard for him to leave the ball or keep it down.

That is not to say there is not a mental side to this. Trott knows he has an issue and he knows the world is aware of it. In his anxiety, he is becoming ever more frenetic at the crease and failing to follow his own golden rule not to overthink the game. He head, so clear when he batted England to victory on debut at The Oval in 2009 against Johnson et al. or against a brilliant Pakistan attack at Lord's in 2010 or in Melbourne later the same year, is now clouded by doubt and thought. Trott's apparent imperturbability has always masked some mental torment. Now it is spilling over.

It is a serious problem. He is struggling to deal with Johnson's short ball and, unless he can resolve the issue soon, he could be dropped from the Test side for the first time in his career. In both innings of this Test he has fallen to such deliveries, with the dismissal on day three - pulling straight to the man positioned for the stroke at deep-backward square leg - underlining his confusion and unease.

It is a simplification to state that Trott is simply unsettled by the short ball. From the moment he entered Test cricket with that century against Australia, bowlers have tested him that way. The pitches have rarely been this quick but he has prospered on them before and against bowlers of pace. He showed the folly of those who dismissed him after one poor Test in Johannesburg in January 2010.

But Johnson represents a perfect storm of issues for him. Not only is he fast - though no faster than the likes of Tino Best - but he is unpredictable, slingy and left-arm. Trott, unable to anticipate even a rough area in which the ball is directed, is struggling to judge the length or how high the ball will bounce and is unsure whether to defend or attack. At present he is doing a bit of both and a lot of neither.

He could do worse than look how Michael Clarke has risen to the challenge. Clarke, who has also struggled to deal with the short ball from Stuart Broad, responded to his first innings failure with a textbook innings on day three. While he may well have looked to use the pull short earlier in his innings than he might have done on other occasions, he generally went back to basics: he watched the ball carefully, he remained calm and he played straight. Trott, his mind scrambled, is maybe trying to watch the ball, but he is not playing straight and he does not look calm.

He will not suffer for a lack of hard work. After suffering similar problems in the limited-overs series against Australia that ended the English summer (he was only dismissed by Johnson once, with a perfect bouncer, but it stuck in the mind of both men), Trott prepared for this challenge thoroughly. After a brief holiday, he went into the nets and faced a bowling machine cranked up to its maximum setting and aimed at his head and neck for hour after hour. Clearly it was not quite enough to prepare him for the almost unique problems presented by Johnson.

He now stands at a crossroads. How he copes with this challenge will define the rest of his career. But a man good enough to average in excess of 50, as Trott has done in both ODI and Test cricket for much of his career, and a man good enough to win the 2011 ICC Player of the Year award - arguably the highest award in cricket - should not be written off prematurely.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • zenboomerang on November 25, 2013, 8:48 GMT

    Really sad to learn the news of Trott having to leave the tour - a good bloke - & maybe the foreign owned news media in Oz have to take a fair shame of the blame for this...

    Anyway, all the best to a top cricketer & all the best in the future :)

  • Sir_Ivor on November 24, 2013, 11:58 GMT

    Nutcutlet Trott's predicament is similar to what Mohender Amarnath was in in 1979.After he had played for India for almost 10 years and having done fairly well Jimmy suddenly started falling to short-pitched bowling. In fact in the Bombay test of 1979, Rod Hogg hit him on his sola toupee --before helmets --which fell on the stumps and he was bowled. The selectors saw that he had a problem and he was dropped for 3 years. before 1979 he had even played Roberts Holding and Thomson and had done quite well.Then suddenly it happened in 1979.He made a comeback in 82 on the back of heavy domestic scores He was solid in Pakistan against Imran and co and then in West Indies against Marshall and co.He had switched over to an open stance and seemed infallible till he got out for 0 or so for 6 consecutive Test innings.He would nick to slips almost helplessly.So an open stance can succeed only if Trott gets square behind the line of the ball like Amla does and NOT play side on beside the line of it.

  • Liquefierrrr on November 24, 2013, 8:30 GMT

    Trott sat with a therapist for 4 hours when he was correctly given out LBW in the last Ashes, how long is he going to have to sit with them for after being absolutely embarrassed twice in this Test?

    Adelaide starts up in early December, he may still be in therapy by that stage!

    He got absolutely hammered here, completely out at sea.

    Very, very weak cricketer. His last 2160 runs have been at an average of 36. He's been on the decline for literally the last half of his career.

  • Mr.PotatoesTomatoes on November 24, 2013, 6:58 GMT

    @foozball- Even getting rid of his trigger movement might not be an easy thing to do in the short term.He will have a whole array of weight transfer issues into all shots he plays.He might have more time to counter the short-pitched stuff aimed at him,but will end up sacrificing scoring opportunities.I think he is much better off fighting this out mentally,rather than look for technical answers especially on tour.He needs to play risk-free cricket and make the Aussies bowl where he wants it.Take a leaf out of Sachin's 241 against the Aussies where he didn't play the cover drive throughout his stay at the crease.

  • Greatest_Game on November 24, 2013, 5:10 GMT

    @ Pistol Smith thinks that "Johnson and steyn r probably the 2 best bowlers right now - the batsmen never know whats coming."

    Hmm - in Johnson's case the team, the management, and Johnson never know what's coming. When you say "the 2 best bowlers right now" you mean today, right? Johnson could go off the boil tomorrow, and his alter ego Midge the pie chucker could emerge.

    On the other hand, Steyn has clearly been the best quick since 2009. The players, the team, the management, the crowds, the press - all know what's coming. Wickets.More wickets. And even more wickets.

    Philander's record completely smokes Johnson., & he is a hair behind Steyn. Johnson needs more than one match to be accorded such honour.

  • on November 24, 2013, 2:47 GMT

    Johnson and steyn r probably the 2 best bowlers right now - the batsmen never know whats coming

  • Hammond on November 24, 2013, 0:09 GMT

    Get rid of the forward press and move back or forward depending on the length of the ball. Has worked the same way for 200 years. Back to basic Trotty. Read your ancestors book on how to play cricket maybe.

  • on November 24, 2013, 0:04 GMT

    I'm Australian and I grew up watching the tests of the late 70s early 80s. My benchmark for failure is therefore rather high: Greg Chappell at one point had a sequence of six or seven consecutive ducks and wasn't dropped.

    I would describe calls for Trott's axing as premature.

  • foozball on November 23, 2013, 23:39 GMT

    @Ivan Joseph, changing something like a stance or backlift is going to be difficult in the short term. If he stopped walking into the shots and stayed still, he would have time to adjust his backlift and hit down on the short ball. Eliminate those couple of steps, and he'd be in a much better position.

  • Maroubra_Flyer on November 23, 2013, 23:22 GMT

    He looked very poor yesterday, like his problems have gotten to him mentally. He shuffles across the crease and looks to play to the leg side a lot. However he's not the first batsman to be "sorted out" Needs to spend time in the middle and maybe not look to score as quickly and his form will return, but he does have problems with his technique that needs sorting out. he should restrict himself ala Steve Waugh to regain control and get 'in" before accelerating. As for cricpanther I love your optimism (have you been living in Aus) and it is the right attitude to wrest back control of the match but its counter to the English temperament and the way this side has been playing. Also history is not on your side. 550 is 100 more than the previously successful 4th innings chase and this is a wicket that will only further deteriorate in the hot Australian sun

  • zenboomerang on November 25, 2013, 8:48 GMT

    Really sad to learn the news of Trott having to leave the tour - a good bloke - & maybe the foreign owned news media in Oz have to take a fair shame of the blame for this...

    Anyway, all the best to a top cricketer & all the best in the future :)

  • Sir_Ivor on November 24, 2013, 11:58 GMT

    Nutcutlet Trott's predicament is similar to what Mohender Amarnath was in in 1979.After he had played for India for almost 10 years and having done fairly well Jimmy suddenly started falling to short-pitched bowling. In fact in the Bombay test of 1979, Rod Hogg hit him on his sola toupee --before helmets --which fell on the stumps and he was bowled. The selectors saw that he had a problem and he was dropped for 3 years. before 1979 he had even played Roberts Holding and Thomson and had done quite well.Then suddenly it happened in 1979.He made a comeback in 82 on the back of heavy domestic scores He was solid in Pakistan against Imran and co and then in West Indies against Marshall and co.He had switched over to an open stance and seemed infallible till he got out for 0 or so for 6 consecutive Test innings.He would nick to slips almost helplessly.So an open stance can succeed only if Trott gets square behind the line of the ball like Amla does and NOT play side on beside the line of it.

  • Liquefierrrr on November 24, 2013, 8:30 GMT

    Trott sat with a therapist for 4 hours when he was correctly given out LBW in the last Ashes, how long is he going to have to sit with them for after being absolutely embarrassed twice in this Test?

    Adelaide starts up in early December, he may still be in therapy by that stage!

    He got absolutely hammered here, completely out at sea.

    Very, very weak cricketer. His last 2160 runs have been at an average of 36. He's been on the decline for literally the last half of his career.

  • Mr.PotatoesTomatoes on November 24, 2013, 6:58 GMT

    @foozball- Even getting rid of his trigger movement might not be an easy thing to do in the short term.He will have a whole array of weight transfer issues into all shots he plays.He might have more time to counter the short-pitched stuff aimed at him,but will end up sacrificing scoring opportunities.I think he is much better off fighting this out mentally,rather than look for technical answers especially on tour.He needs to play risk-free cricket and make the Aussies bowl where he wants it.Take a leaf out of Sachin's 241 against the Aussies where he didn't play the cover drive throughout his stay at the crease.

  • Greatest_Game on November 24, 2013, 5:10 GMT

    @ Pistol Smith thinks that "Johnson and steyn r probably the 2 best bowlers right now - the batsmen never know whats coming."

    Hmm - in Johnson's case the team, the management, and Johnson never know what's coming. When you say "the 2 best bowlers right now" you mean today, right? Johnson could go off the boil tomorrow, and his alter ego Midge the pie chucker could emerge.

    On the other hand, Steyn has clearly been the best quick since 2009. The players, the team, the management, the crowds, the press - all know what's coming. Wickets.More wickets. And even more wickets.

    Philander's record completely smokes Johnson., & he is a hair behind Steyn. Johnson needs more than one match to be accorded such honour.

  • on November 24, 2013, 2:47 GMT

    Johnson and steyn r probably the 2 best bowlers right now - the batsmen never know whats coming

  • Hammond on November 24, 2013, 0:09 GMT

    Get rid of the forward press and move back or forward depending on the length of the ball. Has worked the same way for 200 years. Back to basic Trotty. Read your ancestors book on how to play cricket maybe.

  • on November 24, 2013, 0:04 GMT

    I'm Australian and I grew up watching the tests of the late 70s early 80s. My benchmark for failure is therefore rather high: Greg Chappell at one point had a sequence of six or seven consecutive ducks and wasn't dropped.

    I would describe calls for Trott's axing as premature.

  • foozball on November 23, 2013, 23:39 GMT

    @Ivan Joseph, changing something like a stance or backlift is going to be difficult in the short term. If he stopped walking into the shots and stayed still, he would have time to adjust his backlift and hit down on the short ball. Eliminate those couple of steps, and he'd be in a much better position.

  • Maroubra_Flyer on November 23, 2013, 23:22 GMT

    He looked very poor yesterday, like his problems have gotten to him mentally. He shuffles across the crease and looks to play to the leg side a lot. However he's not the first batsman to be "sorted out" Needs to spend time in the middle and maybe not look to score as quickly and his form will return, but he does have problems with his technique that needs sorting out. he should restrict himself ala Steve Waugh to regain control and get 'in" before accelerating. As for cricpanther I love your optimism (have you been living in Aus) and it is the right attitude to wrest back control of the match but its counter to the English temperament and the way this side has been playing. Also history is not on your side. 550 is 100 more than the previously successful 4th innings chase and this is a wicket that will only further deteriorate in the hot Australian sun

  • Wefinishthis on November 23, 2013, 23:17 GMT

    Trott's only weakness is listening to all the media. He actually changed his batting style in response to talk about the short ball, which is a big no-no and has ended up creating a self-fulfilling prophecy. Phillip Hughes had the same problem and ended up ruining his unusual technique and became a C.Guptill B.Martin bunny after being the one of the few to take Steyn and Co apart in South Africa. Batting is naturally an in-form/out-of-form activity and he just needs to keep doing what he did to get there and eventually things will start to work for him. Patience is key! Look at David Warner, he just said 'screw it, I'm going to play my natural game that got me selected in the first place' and it's been paying off for him recently. He will naturally get out cheap later in the series, but he needs to just keep doing what he does and the rewards will come. Same with Cook, I'm sure another hundred for him won't be too far away either.

  • trumpoz on November 23, 2013, 23:12 GMT

    There is not much that I enjoy more I cricket than seeing a menacingAussie bowler take a batsman apart. Do not write Trotts career off. Steve Waugh was famous for not being able to play the short ball...... 10k + runs later he is an Aussie legend. Trott just has to find a way - not so much to score, just not get out. His temperament is fantastic and he should average 50+ in test cricket.

  • Meety on November 23, 2013, 23:03 GMT

    @CherryWood_Champion on (November 23, 2013, 20:07 GMT) there is truth in what you say - but he is a good batsmen & I think he can correct his flaws. Then again - who wll England replace him with? For ages Trotts Test average has been well above his FC ave. History shows that over time your test ave heads down towards a FC ave & mostly below.

  • on November 23, 2013, 22:50 GMT

    What! Is "SHORT BALL" the new buzz word in cricket now? But there isn't any REAL Short Ball these days! Sunny Gavascar and Viv Richards and the Chappell brothers, and other guys of that era can tell you all about REAL short balls, when you had to STOP them without helmets! These days the guys are using their helmets to stop the few 75 MPH military medium stuff that the overwhelming majority of the guys are bowling, and you all are talking about SHORT BALL! But I guess the term has got popular in India these days, because they see the way that Rohit Sharma and Darwan have been dealing with it outside India! Not long ago, no Indian commentator would have wanted to even mention the term - ever since Gavascar and Mohinda Armanath retired!

  • SurlyCynic on November 23, 2013, 22:36 GMT

    Not the first time Trott has struggled against pace is it? Steyn has also had his number in the past. And in test matches at the Wanderers and Perth England have been shot out by quick bowling and techniques looked deficient, but then they went back to feasting on flat tracks. Just a pity there are not more pitches like the WACA and the Wanderers!

    Can't wait for the Perth test this tour, it's going to be brutal. I've watched Johnson put players like Kallis and Smith in hospital and it's England's turn now.

  • on November 23, 2013, 21:26 GMT

    England will do well to loose the sreies 4-0 than a white wash. They are a over rated side..Were lucky to win the ashes at home which they could have lost 2-1.

  • 2.14istherunrate on November 23, 2013, 20:45 GMT

    Trott deserves the courtesy these days extended to all their player swho are not p[laying at maximum effect for a while. Players who play nearly 50 Tests at 50 are undroppable. He needs to ask the 'gurus' about his problem. Gooch is there, Thorpe will be soon and theie is Cook too and Flower. Bell had a dreadful run till earlier in the year and now he is a hero. It says something about modern England Trott will be back and proving he is still a big nuisance to bowlers. I am sure the fear Warner claims to have seen was absolute terror at his moustache. It is a frightening thing.

  • cricpanther on November 23, 2013, 20:44 GMT

    England bowlers has already done their roles on a good note. Now its turn of English batman to play well and win this test match. You have more than 1000 deliveries and you can't make half of the runs 500 odds!! Once and twos...can make big difference, rotate strike quickly and just make sure to hit ground shots, not the shot in the air with no control!!! Cook should have to play the captain inning and set the positive attitude on batting. Bell should not be too defensive and give it simple catch near to pitch!! Root should play his natural game and learn it more from Great Gooch! Have more partnership and dont throw your wicket away cheaply!! Let aussi do all hardwork to earn your wicket.

  • Nutcutlet on November 23, 2013, 20:33 GMT

    @cricpanther on (November 23, 2013, 19:59 GMT): with your attitude, you must have heard of Pollyanna! Love it, but you are so detached from reality as to beggar belief. The (realistic) best that England can hope for from here is to bat into the 5th day. That will be no small achievement & indicate that the destiny of the Ashes is still very much in the balance. You are right in one point though. England mustn't seize up & must look to take all the runs on offer. It is on days like the one about to begin that I look for genuine character. Which of England's bats is going to show what he (or they) are made of? Should be interesting...even if the result is foregone.

  • Front-Foot-Lunge-Needs-A-Hug on November 23, 2013, 20:26 GMT

    I disagree with Dobell, it is not just a technical issue, it is a psychological one as well and it happened all last summer. You can hide mediocrity in a winning side but this England side are looking at a pasting they might never recover from, the stuff of career ending nightmares. Let's be sure about this, Trott's career is finished at this level. If they pick him for another test it will merely prolong the inevitable, that he is done at this level. It is telling that a bowler like Mitch who was so widely criticised before this test was the one to sign Trott's pink slip.

  • CherryWood_Champion on November 23, 2013, 20:07 GMT

    Common folks .... give him a break ... He was in a purple patch most of this career until now. Anything that goes up has to come down ... this happened with all the players and will happen for most of the upcoming cricketers. Question would be how soon can Trott, sort this problem out and how long would the lean patch be.

  • cricpanther on November 23, 2013, 19:59 GMT

    England should look to Win this Test Match, Still l two days are there and 90+90 overs!!! good enough to chase the score. If they try to make quick runs and pressure off to english side and put on more runs will make aussie on pressure!! Not to be too defensive, no to be too offensive...just balanced the inning and give some positive cricket. If they try to win, 100% chance to end up with Draw....if they try to draw..100% chance to loose!!! Cook and company should have only one thing.....stick there for long long time and score a big double hundred or tripple hundred!!! Still Game ON for England..just need to believe on their batting ability and conditions!!!

  • on November 23, 2013, 19:45 GMT

    He is getting into an untenable position when the ball is aimed at his hip/ ribs. With his low backlift for the bat to meet the rising ball it has to come upwards so he will naturally play it in the air. The solution could be to not get cramped up - perhaps a more open eyed / two eyed stance as Jimmy Amarnath employed so successfully will prevent him from getting cramped as he plays the rising ball on leg

  • Nutcutlet on November 23, 2013, 19:24 GMT

    No, Trott should not be written off prematurely but if left arm quick bowling has found him out and he fails to adapt his technique to cope with it, then his effectiveness both in terms of runs & giving off an aura of impeturbability that is so important to England's top order, will be under scrutiny. Trott cannot afford another double failure at Adelaide & England will be under the cosh again if there's no resistance after first drop. This, of course, is as much an opporunity as it is a challenge. Vaughan on TMS was suggesting that he needs to go two-eyed à la Chanderpaul. Years ago Kenny Barrington did the same thing, as did Peter Willey. It's a late-career move that often works out. One thing's for sure, if he continues to bat as he has here, then he's Mitch Johnson's bunny for the series. He has to evolve his technique & if there's one thing Trott can be guaranteed to do, it's show the application to get things right. He is too important to England for him to be cast aside now.

  • yuvi_gladiator on November 23, 2013, 19:20 GMT

    this is why i love international cricket. when bowlers see a weekness they are all over you. trott just have to live with it i am afraid and find other ways to score, just like steve waugh, sourav ganguly and many others did.

  • mzm149 on November 23, 2013, 18:45 GMT

    If Trott gets dropped, his home country will be more than happy to take him in their side. They need a solid batsman like him in their side after Kallis.

  • Lara213 on November 23, 2013, 18:43 GMT

    I forget which 80s England batsman it was, it might have been Goochy, but in preparation for taking on the mighty Windies pacemen he had Gladstone Small bowl at him full whack at 20 instead of 22 yards. I imagine Trott wouldn't get any complaints from the England bowlers if he asked them to do the same.

  • pitch_curator on November 23, 2013, 18:22 GMT

    Trotty has an issue but it is too early to write him off. He needs a long innings in the middle even if he does not score runs. Adelaide could be his do or die. If he does not perform in Adelaide then in Perth he has no chance and in the final two tests there will be immense pressure if the team does not do well. He will be hoping his team does well even if he does not in Adelaide.

  • AKS286 on November 23, 2013, 18:15 GMT

    ICC player of the year 2011 well done but I think its 2013 and he flops in every series. Robert Key was the Wisden cricketer of the year, So, whats the conclusion?

  • Mr.PotatoesTomatoes on November 23, 2013, 18:07 GMT

    The problem the Aussies have identified with Trott is that he absolutely loves the leg side, so much so that he will try to put bat on ball to almost everything going down leg.It works for you as a batsman when the field is 7-2(off-on), but with as many as the Aussies have stationed for him on the leg side,its asking for trouble.And he ain't just compulsive,he also plays them aerial.Serious problem.Don't see the Aussie bowlers giving him anything that's on off or outside off,and he will have to curb his natural tendencies to look for runs.Should be interesting watching him belaboring and battling against his demons.

  • on November 23, 2013, 17:38 GMT

    Trotty looks totally gone. His career may well be over at the conclusion of this series.

  • SoverBerry2 on November 23, 2013, 17:09 GMT

    Problem with Trott is that he playing so many shots early in his innings. He should try to settle down first, and then pull the short balls.

  • CodandChips on November 23, 2013, 16:55 GMT

    Time to move on. Have Bell or Mooen or Taylor at 3, or bring in Balance or Taylor at 6. He's been given enough chances with the summer ashes and ODIs.

  • blthndr on November 23, 2013, 16:51 GMT

    due to poor form his batting average is also going down at alarming rate from 56 to 46 ....

  • on November 23, 2013, 16:28 GMT

    What a great leveller this game is. Mitchell Johnson was being hit all around the park back in the 2009 Ashes. And now this Ashes may well be remembered for being "Johnson's Ashes".

  • stormy16 on November 23, 2013, 16:05 GMT

    I was surprised when I read Trott could be dropped! I thought he was safe as houses but he has scored one hundred this year in March and a sting of struggles since. When attempted a sort of pull first ball today I thought something was not right. That just didn't look like Trott neither did it look like a convincing cricket shot. He played another strange looking hook that fell in no mans land. The shot he played to get out was well - weak as Warner put it. Trott has issues but surely he is a class act and will get over it.

  • Sanju_Tvm on November 23, 2013, 15:35 GMT

    Read something similar about Clarke here yesterday, and today everyone is praising him. Wonder what Trott will do in his next innings.

  • Sir_Ivor on November 23, 2013, 15:28 GMT

    Kumar Sujeet. it surprises me that you bracket Jonathan Trott's technique with that of Indian Batsmen. That would I suppose include the names of Sunil Gavaskar,Rahul Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar. Indian batsmen, out of necessity to succeed on wickets other than home made a conscious effort to modulate their technique to what was needed say in Australia South Africa or England. Those that did not adjust simply vanished from the scene to the more vague confines of the commentary box. Sanjay Manjrekar made his debut against the West Indies at the Kotla in 1987 after the 87 WC.He was simply an epitome of the Bombay coaching manual.I expected him to be the next Gavaskar. He got hit on the eye at the Kotla but came back even better. he did well in West Indies and later in Pakistan facing the likes of Bishop Ambrose Akram Younus and others.Then he went to Australia in 199192 and saw that it was different. He could not make the adjustment and went from the scene. I doubt if Trott can come back.

  • AKS286 on November 23, 2013, 15:25 GMT

    I never want him to play in playing XI.He bats at no.3 but he is a complete mediocre. He can't handle spin in India now pace in Aus. Taylor or Hales or Nick should replace him. He is a quality batsman but quality is not upto the mark for international level. Now if all fan will give an excuse of 150kmph bouncer what you want is Aus, Eng, SA, NZ. So, its better to select him only in sub-continent except Pak. Every team is having bowlers who can bowl 150kmph except SL & Bang. This is international level and He bats on No.3 which is very important position. Ganguly retired due to problem against short ball.

  • zarasochozarasamjho on November 23, 2013, 15:22 GMT

    Dobell is a splendid analyst. One point I will disagree with him in this report is that people with belief, in any walks in life, do not give importance to who is saying what about them. They will only be swayed by their own analysis of their strengths and weaknesses and the recognition that they may be going through a lean patch. They shall be working on how to rectify this TEMPORARY situation. The Australians are known to play "TOUGH". It didn't bother the world class players like Miandad, Mushtaq, and Imran. It wouldn't really bother Trott either; because he too is world-class. He shall soon work out his problems, I am sure; and I am not an England fan. I just respect good players and decent persons.

  • Srini_Indian on November 23, 2013, 15:12 GMT

    It is funny that the players brought up in hard and bouncy track struggle against short ball. They accuse Indian players as poor against bounce but from whatever little I watched from this test, most of the "English" players are sitting duck against pace and bounce.

  • on November 23, 2013, 15:08 GMT

    High time that Trott was found out. He is a flat track bully and when the Aussies found him out in the UK he stopped scoring runs. England will play him at Adelaide as that pitch holds no demons. I cant wait to see him run scared at the WACA.

  • on November 23, 2013, 14:50 GMT

    Dear Dobell,Cricket is a funny game full of uncertainties.You see the other day we had articles containing numerous doubts on Australian batting and its overall abilities as a Test side.Now Australia is on the verge of defeating the English side quite comprehensively.At international level if you are not as suspect as Vinod kmbli or to some extent Sourav Ganguli against the short ball there is every chance of a failure or two being a one-off incident.Trott tried nothing different from what Ajharuddin used to do in the past, albeit with the use of his more flexible wrists.So watch out for the next match.Trott in all likelihood would be there with his usual flair.Of all the foreign players Trott has caught my imagination the most with his abilities as well as humbleness.He so much resembles an Indian batsman in technique and temprament.Good luck mate.The mute swan does'nt need to burst into swan song right now.

  • Guruprasad.S on November 23, 2013, 14:34 GMT

    Right. Trott is too good a player to be written off so early. David Warner knows this fact very well. That is why, he and other Australian players want to upset Trott's mental state so that Trott continues to be a poor performer through the series. It is upto Trott now to answer the likes of Warner with his performance. Also, one should not forget that Cook, Trott and Bell are capable of long and patient test innings, while only Clarke has such abilities among Australian batsmen. Warner, Watson and Steven Smith are far too inconsistent to play long test innings on a regular basis. Eventually, in this series, that quality should help England fight back.

  • SamRoy on November 23, 2013, 14:30 GMT

    Yes, Trott is a quality batsman and as @heathrf1974 said he may have to put away the pull/hook shots as his playing style is such that every time he tries play them (of fast bowlers) he gets into an awful tangle. But his playing style allows him to clip good length deliveries on off-stump through mid-wicket with relative safety.

  • on November 23, 2013, 14:29 GMT

    trott is a master class. He has played some of the finest innings in his career and you cant just question his career just because he,s not coping up with a short ball according to the demands. A player of trott,s class who averages above 50 is surely to come up even stronger against the likes of johnson.

  • chicko1983 on November 23, 2013, 14:22 GMT

    So people, English mainly, like to write of johnson prematurely but not trott? Both players have won the icc player Of the year award, Johnson did in 2009. Trott is just coming up against a great bowler in great form, and is getting done over. Don't worry, Graeme smith also had problems against Johnson, and he is also a winner of the icc player of the year award. And he broke sangakarra's finger, another winner of the same award. Heres a thought, Maybe Johnson is actually a very good bowler? His career average and strike rate is better than Anderson, including his dark years.

  • jokerbala on November 23, 2013, 14:16 GMT

    one bad match and the axe is out? short ball bouncers at 150kmph is bound to have anybody hopping.people need to relax . Next match he scores a century and people will write that he has staged a great come back, when he was never gone in the first place.This is just sensationalism.

  • valvolux on November 23, 2013, 14:15 GMT

    Its always struck me how a guy with the most glaring technical deficiency in any top 3 can score so many runs. His trick is to be able to hit on side gaps when a bowler bowls an off side line with his huge shuffle across off stump. Then the captain fills those gaps on the on side, so he stops shuffling and uses his weaker off side game to find gaps there, to make the captain rethink. No question hes just toyed with captains to open up gaps on the on side, as he can hit anything a metre outside off there. Clarke has just done what Stephen Fleming did to Damien martyn - ignore trying to make him play to his weaknesses, just feed his strength, but make him hit in the air with pulls and hooks by giving him juicy shorter balls that are there to be hit. If there's one man who you know can bowl a short ball down leg side with consistency, its MJ! Trott has been sorted here. When your so called strength becomes your weakness, you have no idea what to practice in the nets.

  • heathrf1974 on November 23, 2013, 14:02 GMT

    Trott is a quality batsman and I rate him, but like Steve Waugh he may have to put away the pull/hook shots.

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  • heathrf1974 on November 23, 2013, 14:02 GMT

    Trott is a quality batsman and I rate him, but like Steve Waugh he may have to put away the pull/hook shots.

  • valvolux on November 23, 2013, 14:15 GMT

    Its always struck me how a guy with the most glaring technical deficiency in any top 3 can score so many runs. His trick is to be able to hit on side gaps when a bowler bowls an off side line with his huge shuffle across off stump. Then the captain fills those gaps on the on side, so he stops shuffling and uses his weaker off side game to find gaps there, to make the captain rethink. No question hes just toyed with captains to open up gaps on the on side, as he can hit anything a metre outside off there. Clarke has just done what Stephen Fleming did to Damien martyn - ignore trying to make him play to his weaknesses, just feed his strength, but make him hit in the air with pulls and hooks by giving him juicy shorter balls that are there to be hit. If there's one man who you know can bowl a short ball down leg side with consistency, its MJ! Trott has been sorted here. When your so called strength becomes your weakness, you have no idea what to practice in the nets.

  • jokerbala on November 23, 2013, 14:16 GMT

    one bad match and the axe is out? short ball bouncers at 150kmph is bound to have anybody hopping.people need to relax . Next match he scores a century and people will write that he has staged a great come back, when he was never gone in the first place.This is just sensationalism.

  • chicko1983 on November 23, 2013, 14:22 GMT

    So people, English mainly, like to write of johnson prematurely but not trott? Both players have won the icc player Of the year award, Johnson did in 2009. Trott is just coming up against a great bowler in great form, and is getting done over. Don't worry, Graeme smith also had problems against Johnson, and he is also a winner of the icc player of the year award. And he broke sangakarra's finger, another winner of the same award. Heres a thought, Maybe Johnson is actually a very good bowler? His career average and strike rate is better than Anderson, including his dark years.

  • on November 23, 2013, 14:29 GMT

    trott is a master class. He has played some of the finest innings in his career and you cant just question his career just because he,s not coping up with a short ball according to the demands. A player of trott,s class who averages above 50 is surely to come up even stronger against the likes of johnson.

  • SamRoy on November 23, 2013, 14:30 GMT

    Yes, Trott is a quality batsman and as @heathrf1974 said he may have to put away the pull/hook shots as his playing style is such that every time he tries play them (of fast bowlers) he gets into an awful tangle. But his playing style allows him to clip good length deliveries on off-stump through mid-wicket with relative safety.

  • Guruprasad.S on November 23, 2013, 14:34 GMT

    Right. Trott is too good a player to be written off so early. David Warner knows this fact very well. That is why, he and other Australian players want to upset Trott's mental state so that Trott continues to be a poor performer through the series. It is upto Trott now to answer the likes of Warner with his performance. Also, one should not forget that Cook, Trott and Bell are capable of long and patient test innings, while only Clarke has such abilities among Australian batsmen. Warner, Watson and Steven Smith are far too inconsistent to play long test innings on a regular basis. Eventually, in this series, that quality should help England fight back.

  • on November 23, 2013, 14:50 GMT

    Dear Dobell,Cricket is a funny game full of uncertainties.You see the other day we had articles containing numerous doubts on Australian batting and its overall abilities as a Test side.Now Australia is on the verge of defeating the English side quite comprehensively.At international level if you are not as suspect as Vinod kmbli or to some extent Sourav Ganguli against the short ball there is every chance of a failure or two being a one-off incident.Trott tried nothing different from what Ajharuddin used to do in the past, albeit with the use of his more flexible wrists.So watch out for the next match.Trott in all likelihood would be there with his usual flair.Of all the foreign players Trott has caught my imagination the most with his abilities as well as humbleness.He so much resembles an Indian batsman in technique and temprament.Good luck mate.The mute swan does'nt need to burst into swan song right now.

  • on November 23, 2013, 15:08 GMT

    High time that Trott was found out. He is a flat track bully and when the Aussies found him out in the UK he stopped scoring runs. England will play him at Adelaide as that pitch holds no demons. I cant wait to see him run scared at the WACA.

  • Srini_Indian on November 23, 2013, 15:12 GMT

    It is funny that the players brought up in hard and bouncy track struggle against short ball. They accuse Indian players as poor against bounce but from whatever little I watched from this test, most of the "English" players are sitting duck against pace and bounce.