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Bowling additions worthwhile - Trott

Jonathan Trott is convinced England made the best of a "lose-lose" situation after their Investec Ashes warm-up opponents Essex lost two frontline bowlers to mid-match injuries.

Without seamers David Masters and Tymal Mills because of Achilles and hamstring injuries, Essex became further depleted when part-time off-spinner Tom Westley was also unable to bowl because he dislocated a finger fielding at gully.

Boyd Rankin and Reece Topley, initially left out by England and Essex respectively, were both on hand to deputise - and national team director Andy Flower decided it was worth shedding this fixture's first-class status to get them involved.

Trott and his captain Alastair Cook therefore faced a sterner test of their batsmanship, as preparation for next week's first Test at Trent Bridge.

They both eventually retired out anyway, on 79 and 82 respectively, as England closed a rain-shortened third day of four at Chelmsford on 217 for three, with a lead of 352.

Trott said: "Obviously, two bowlers down, it can be quite tricky for a captain - a long season and down to Ravi (Bopara) and Saj Mahmood.

"You don't want to bowl Saj into the ground, for 15 overs straight or something like that.

"If it hadn't been done, you'd probably be asking me 'is it the right preparation, having only one frontline bowler available to come at you before a first Ashes Test match?'

"It's a lose-lose situation probably. But I thought the right thing has been done."

The two replacements did not let anyone down.

"Reece Topley bowled well, and Boyd Rankin came in and did as well," said Trott.

"For the game of cricket and our preparation for the first Test, I think it was pretty much spot on.

"We heard whispers of what they were trying to do, with regards to approaching the ECB and MCC to get the game changed and making it worthwhile for both teams.

"The last thing you want is Essex players going out there through the motions. It's difficult with their injuries."

The loss of first-class status means all performances in this match will be absent from the record books - including Tim Bresnan's century yesterday and Essex leg-spinner Tom Craddock's career-best five-wicket haul in England's first innings.

Trott sympathised, but added: "I remember the same thing happening to me in Bangladesh - where the game was changed.

"When Andy Flower told me it had happened, I don't think he's the type of guy you want to tell him he's wrong."

Craddock was magnanimous about his misfortune.

"It's disappointing, but ... luckily enough it's on TV," he said.

"So people did see (what I did) - which was good - and I'm quite happy to be a part of it.

"I found out when we took the drinks break and they (Topley and Rankin) came on to bowl.

"The whispers were going round that it wasn't a first-class game any more. My question was 'Does the first half still count?'

"But it's gone now, all finished, out of my hands. So there's nothing I can do about it."

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