By Rob Barnett
Andy Flower has confidence that Jonathan Trott can come back from the stress-related illness that has forced him out of the Ashes tour.
The number three batsman has returned home, having played in the opening Test at Brisbane that Australia won by 381 runs yesterday.
Team Director Flower hopes the 32-year-old, who averages 46.45 in 49 Tests and 51.25 over 68 one-day internationals, will play for England again, but is putting no pressure on him to do so.
“Trotty has been suffering from a stress-related condition for quite a while,” Flower explained.
“He’s always managed it very successfully and he’s been a brilliant international batsman for England and hopefully will continue to be a brilliant international batsman for England in the future.
“But he needs time away from this environment for a while; he needs time with his family; he needs time to reassess and spend some quiet time with his family.
“And this isn’t the type of environment for that type of rest and recuperation that he requires.”
Trott’s international career has coincided with Flower’s time as team director, a role he took on in early 2009.
Trott played two Twenty20 internationals in 2007 but had to wait until the deciding Test of the 2009 Ashes for his next cap.
He richly rewarded Flower’s faith in him with a second-innings century that helped to reclaim the urn, the first of nine Test and four ODI hundreds.
“He has to have his time away, he has to recuperate and I’ve got the utmost respect for Jonathan Trott as a man and as a cricketer,” Flower said.
“I’m very thankful that I’ve been coach while he’s been playing, not least because he’s been a brilliant number three batsman for us. He’s a great guy to spend time with.
“He’s also a strong man and I am fairly confident that he can come back from this, but it wouldn’t be the end of the world if he didn’t. He can be very proud of everything that he’s done.”
While pained by the situation, Flower spoke of the opportunity it has created for another batsman to play in this Ashes series.
Jonny Bairstow, Gary Ballance and Ben Stokes are the squad members that could replace Trott, if not at number three then further down a shuffled batting order.
“Trott is an excellent team man and as a quality international batsman he’s been a rock for us over the years since he started in 2009,” Flower added.
“So he will be missed, but it opens up an opportunity for one of our young players to come in and in a way that’s very exciting.
“And I’m sure that the young player that gets the chance will be absolutely champing at the bit to show what he can do in the international game.”