Trott to retain spot; Tredwell injury doubt
There will be no kneejerk reaction to Jonathan Trott's tough return to Test cricket in his new position of opener following the double failure in Antigua with Peter Moores, the England coach, saying he has "earned the right to have a go," but James Tredwell has emerged as a doubt for the second Test in Grenada.
Tredwell strained his arm diving for a catch which rebounded off silly point late in the final session of the opening Test, as Jason Holder guided West Indies to a draw, and with the quick turnaround to the second contest could be struggling to recover which may create the opening for Moeen Ali's return.
Trott was dismissed for 0 and 4, edging outswingers from Jerome Taylor in both innings, in his first international for 16 months, which came after scores of 0 and 2 in the second two-day warm-up match in St Kitts. Both brief innings at the Sir Vivian Richards stadium were characterised by uncertain footwork, although he was not alone in that with Alastair Cook's travails also continuing with a lean Test match.
Antigua was only the second time in Trott's 50-match career that he had opened the batting - the previous occasion coming against Bangladesh in Dhaka in 2010 - and England have Adam Lyth, the Yorkshire opener, as part of their squad but the management will not be making any hasty decisions.
"I don't think you're looking to change your opening partnership straight away," Moores said. "I think Trott has earned his right to get a go. He's come back into our squad and we've watched him play and we can see he is really hungry and playing nicely.
"He's been done by the swinging ball, so he's working hard to get past that challenge, which will be there in Grenada and that is not going to change. But what we know about Trott is that once he gets in, he has that fierce determination and concentration to make people pay and that is one of his great strengths as a player.
"I think if you take it in the whole context, that first game back was always going to be quite a tough one. But he's back in and he's got a good chance to go and show what he's got. This is a player we've all watched play some brilliant innings for England and I think now is his chance to come back and show he's still got that."
Trott's position as opener had further been put under scrutiny by the potential return of Moeen who has joined the squad in Grenada after coming through the Championship match against Yorkshire to test the side injury he picked up towards the end of the World Cup. One school of thought had been that he could open the batting, as he does in one-day cricket, alongside Cook to give the side additional bowling resources in flat conditions but an injury concern over Tredwell, who claimed five wickets in Antigua, could create the vacancy for Moeen.
However, he still has to prove he can withstand the extensive workload that will come his way in a Test match having only bowled 11 overs against Yorkshire. Adil Rashid, the legspinning allrounder, is the other spin option available.
"Certainly, Mo is one of the key players for us," Moores said. "He had a fantastic summer last year and a good winter. Mo is very much part of our plans. We have to check where he is at because he's had this stomach strain but Mo feels very good about it.
"Tredwell's got a niggle in his arm, diving for the catch that came off Gary's boot. He stretched quite a lot for that. We'll see how he scrubs up over the next couple of days and see if he's available for the next Test."
England currently have 17 players on duty in West Indies following Moeen's arrival, with quick bowlers Mark Wood and Liam Plunkett providing options should the pace attack need freshening up although that would appear an unlikely route.