Trott targets championship glory
Jonathan Trott believes Warwickshire are capable of further success in this season’s LV= County Championship after regaining promotion to Division One in 2008.
In their first year under the stewardship of director of cricket Ashley Giles, the Edgbaston outfit remained unbeaten in Division Two, eventually pipping local rivals Worcestershire to top spot.
They now face the tricky task of replicating their impressive form against tougher opposition, but Trott is confident his side can rise to the challenge.
“As a team we did well last year and we got back into Division One which is where we want to be,” Trott told ecb.co.uk.
“We think we can win it again this year. That’s how you have to approach a new season.
“We don’t want to drop back into Division Two, we want to be up there fighting for the title.
“It’s obviously going to be a stronger challenge, but I think we’re a better team now than we were last year.
“We are a young side and we are all keen on learning from each other. We don’t have any really big superstars, we’ve just got a really solid team.
“Everyone knows their role and their job and in such a long domestic season I think that’s important as people become comfortable with their position within the team.”
On a personal level, Trott will be keen to maintain his own fine form following a prolific 2008.
His total of 1,240 first-class runs at 62 was only bettered by two men (Leicestershire’s HD Ackerman and Worcestershire’s Stephen Moore).
However, while Trott is eager to continue where he left off last summer, he refuses to set a definitive personal target ahead of the new campaign.
“I was pretty happy with my form last season,” he added. “I did nicely and achieved the goals I set out to achieve.
“But it’s hard to say right now what my targets will be for this year. I evaluate my targets as the season progresses and if I do better than my expectations I don’t keep the same goals, I set them further along.
"If I get off to a good start I’ll push myself to try and achieve more. I won’t relax if I start well, I’ll adjust my targets accordingly.”
With his 28th birthday just around the corner on April 22, Trott is aware he could be about to enter the best years of his career.
He remains keen to get back into the England set-up, having played two Twenty20 internationals against the West Indies in 2007, and did his chances of a recall no harm while on tour with the England Lions squad in New Zealand this winter.
The South African-born batsman racked up unbeaten innings of 138 and 75 in the drawn first Test in Queenstown before adding another 50 as the second match in Lincoln also ended in stalemate.
He then went on to make 94 and 48 in a losing cause in the subesquent one-day series, but insists he will not be distracted by talk of an international return.
“There’s no doubt I’d like to get back into the England side. That’s why you play the game,” he admitted.
“But I’m not looking too far ahead. I’m just concentrating on our opening championship game against Somerset on April 15 and if I do well then that should take care of itself.
“You never know when you’re going to reach your peak as a batsman. You’re probably past it when you realise 'I was better back then.'
“However, I’d like to think I’m approaching a peak. I’ve been playing pretty well and I worked really hard over the winter as I did last year with the Academy.”
“Now I just want to start the season well and be part of a successful Warwickshire side.”