Trott aware of hundred's significance
Jonathan Trott acknowledged his century today was one of his most crucial for England.
Trott’s fifth Test ton kept the tourists on course for an Ashes-clinching victory at the MCG.
The number three batsman has made other vital hundreds for England, not least on Test debut to help Andrew Strauss’ side regain the urn at the Brit Insurance Oval last year.
Trott followed that with three figures against Bangladesh and Pakistan, both at Lord’s this summer, and in the drawn opening match of this series at Brisbane.
With the Ashes at stake in Melbourne, Trott is aware of the potential significance of this knock, which stands at 141 not out as England led by 346 with five first-innings wickets in hand.
"Each hundred you get is in different circumstances,” he said. “This is definitely an important Test match and one I'll definitely savour.”
“They're all pretty special but Boxing Day, [with] the hype around it and the support from the English fans, it would definitely be right up there."
Trott’s third century in five Tests versus Australia is an enviable record, but he modestly attempted to deflect attention from such personal accolades.
"I don't think it's anything about batting against Australia in particular,” he added.
“I've played five games against Mike Hussey and he's also scored three hundreds; you might also have to ask him why he likes batting against England. It's just one of those things. I'm very fortunate."
Trott, renowned for his intense concentration at the wicket, made every effort to stay relaxed in front of another huge crowd today.
Although he picked up 12 boundaries himself, the right-hander was happy to let more natural strokemakers - like Kevin Pietersen, who struck 51, and Matt Prior, who was unbeaten on 75 - set the pace.
"I think it's important I don't over-rev when I'm batting and try and over-hit the ball,” Trott observed. “Sometimes I find I'm a bit tense; it's too much.
“I try and be nice and patient and play my natural game, which is to accumulate here and there and let the other guys hit boundaries and sixes."
Trott came to the wicket in the fifth over today, albeit against a ball more than 50 overs old.
He initially had to battle against similar conditions to those in which Australia were skittled for 98 yesterday.
Having steadied the loss of England’s openers, he shared a 92-run partnership with Pietersen and will resume his unbroken alliance of 158 with Prior tomorrow.
"Obviously the cloud cover was there and a bit of drizzle,” he recalled. “But fortunately the sun came out this afternoon and the wind sort of dried the pitch out.
“There was still a bit of seam movement early this morning."
Trott offered few chances and his one anxious moment came when he dived to complete his 49th run as Ricky Ponting made a direct hit from the outfield. The third umpire confirmed the batsman had just made his ground.
"I was flat on my stomach - but I had a feeling I'd made it," he revealed.
Trott paid little attention to Ponting’s altercation with on-field umpire Aleem Dar over TV umpire Marais Erasmus’ decision to reject Australia’s review for caught behind against Pietersen this afternoon.
Pietersen went on to make 51 and Ponting was later fined 40% of his match fee by the International Cricket Council.
"I don't really know much about what was going on,” Trott said. “I was speaking to KP the whole time so I didn't see any chatting altercation really. I saw him [Ponting] chatting but I'm not sure what about."
Trott required treatment on his left knee in the evening session after an inside edge off Ben Hilfenhaus had him writhing in agony.
Ian Bell was put on standby as a runner but Trott carried on without his Warwickshire team-mate’s help.
“I asked for the runner to put the pads on and see how it went. I gave it 20 minutes to see if it stiffened up,” he revealed. “It stiffened up a little bit ... that'll teach me for inside-edging it."
"It was one of the most painful things I've felt in my life. It's just a bit sore on the knee-cap."
Trott knows there is still much for England to be do to win this game and was wary of Australia’s ability to come back at the tourists, as they did in victory at Perth.
"We all know that the Australian team - like we saw in the last Test match - has got some good players so we're going to have to be at the top of our game to make sure we keep the pressure on them the whole time," he concluded.
"There's plenty of work for us left to be done in this Test match."