Dependable Trott does it his own way
Jonathan Trott has no intention of changing the way he bats - no matter what people say about him.
It seems churlish in the extreme to criticise England’s most reliable batsman at the World Cup, but some observers have not found Trott’s pragmatic approach entirely to their liking.
The statistics, however, speak for themselves: four half-centuries in five games; 298 runs in total - a tally bettered only by four players in this tournament; and a career average of 54.61 in one-day internationals - third on the all-time list - heading into Thursday’s must-win clash with West Indies.
Among current and past England players, Trott has made the most ODI runs - 1,147 - without hitting a six, but he insists that is irrelevant providing he continues to perform.
“People are entitled to their own judgement,” he said. “As long as I’m being effective, and I work hard with (team director) Andy Flower, whatever he says is more important to me than what other people say.”
Trott claims his measured approach over the last three weeks is a reaction to conditions rather than an inability to clear the ropes, before reminding his detractors of his Twenty20 performances for England and Warwickshire.
“Have you not watched me play T20?” he said in response to a question about strokeplay that appears subdued compared to the explosiveness of some batsmen in this competition.
“They’re big fields at Edgbaston as well. I hit a few one-bounce fours in Australia as well.”
For Trott, who can operate close to a run-a-ball tempo and is an expert rotator of the strike, batting is about percentages and risk management.
“It is one of those things where the situation determines it,” he revealed. “If you try to hit it hard along the ground, the outfields are hard enough around the world in one-day cricket for boundaries anyway.
“If I started hitting the ball in the air and getting caught at the boundary, you guys would probably be having a go at me for that anyway.”
England have not been alone in failing to capitalise fully on the batting powerplays during the World Cup, and Trott suggests expectations often exceed the realities of the situation
He said: “You can get caught up in powerplay and, as a batsman, I think changing your mindset can be quite dangerous as well.
“Maybe trying to hit more on the ground, maybe if you can find the gaps on these quick outfields, is a good thing.
“It is all about weighing up your options and where the fielders are at, and what your strengths are as a batsman and what your boundary options are really. It’s all about playing the situation to the best of my ability and what’s best for the team.”
Like captain Andrew Strauss and off-spinner Graeme Swann, both of whom missed practice today, Trott has felt unwell in recent days.
All three are expected to be fit to face West Indies in Chennai, when defeat will spell the end of England’s World Cup campaign.
West Indies, meanwhile, are also optimistic about their major injury doubt, over hard-hitting opener Chris Gayle.
It fell to Kieron Pollard, a fearsome striker of the ball himself, to confirm Gayle’s abdominal strain should heal in time.
“Chris is coming along pretty well. He should be fit for the match against England - we should have a full 15 to choose from,” said Pollard, who respects the opposition but retains great faith in his own team.
“Whatever England say about coming back, they are entitled to do that. Each and every game we go into, we regard ourselves as favourites.
“We have a lot of things that are driving us at the moment, one of them being that we were written off. We are using that as a motivating factor.”