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Trott anticipates Zaheer return

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Zaheer Khan

England batsman Jonathan Trott will prepare to face Zaheer Khan, pictured, tomorrow despite the India fast bowler limping out of action today

England batsman Jonathan Trott is preparing himself to face Zaheer Khan on day two of the first npower Test despite the left-arm seamer being forced to leave the field with an injury today.

Zaheer was in the midst of a sensational spell, having accounted for openers Alastair Cook and Andrew Strauss, when he appeared to strain his hamstring.

Such an injury casts doubts over his participation in the remainder of the encounter and, potentially, the four-match series.

But Trott, currently on 58 not out after helping steer England to 127 for two at the close of a rain-affected opening day, is expecting to be facing Zaheer tomorrow.

He said: “I expect the guy to be bowling again tomorrow, that’s certainly what I will be preparing for.

“If he is injured, then so be it. We will just focus on whoever has got the ball in their hand.”

The extent of Zaheer’s injury is still unknown, with an India team spokesman proving non-committal on the severity.

He said: “Zaheer Khan is being looked after by the medical team. He is under investigation now. It was the hamstring, it was a strain but we are awaiting reports.

“The physio is with him now and we will know more possibly by tomorrow morning.”

Should Zaheer miss the remainder of the encounter, it would be a bitter blow to the tourists’ chances of emerging victorious.

India coach Duncan Fletcher refused to be drawn on whether the left-armer would bowl over the course of the next four days, but admitted he had been missed during his time off the field.

“Zaheer bowled very well and it was a big loss when he went off the field,” said Fletcher.

“He is a really clever, quality bowler and could have been the one to get the third wicket so it was a real disappointment when he was forced off.

“Had he stayed on the field, I think we would have got a third wicket. Who knows, we might have got four and then it would have been a very good day.”

Jonathan Trott

Trott expects a tough test when he resumes his innings tomorrow. The number three batsman said: "We have to go out there and work hard."

Zaheer’s injury should not overshadow the excellent riposte performed by Trott and Kevin Pietersen, who shared an unbroken 65-run stand, following the losses of Strauss and Cook.

Pietersen looked circumspect for much of his innings but batted through a tricky period to reach 22 not out at the close.

Trott looked, for the most part, assured throughout his stay although he was aided by two reprieves – on eight and 32.

However, he knows the hard work is far from finished and is determined to kick on after laying a solid platform.

“We can't rest on our laurels and just expect to be 200 for two tomorrow,” he added.

“We have to go out there and work hard because obviously they’re going to be really keen to make inroads and it's our job to go out there and combat that.

“We'll see where we are after the first hour. We don't look too far ahead, we just take it an hour at a time, maybe half an hour at a time.

“Even an over at a time if someone's bowling a good spell and try to get the score as high as possible.”

Today’s effort improves Trott’s already-remarkable record at Lord’s.

His first Test appearance at the home of cricket, against Bangladesh, yielded scores of 226 and 36 not out, which he followed up with a sensational 184 to ensure England a series success over Pakistan.

Earlier this summer, he endured his first failure in being dismissed for just two against Sri Lanka before scoring a fluent half-century in the second innings.

Trott claims he does not try any harder at Lord’s, although he admits it is every cricketer’s dream to impress at the venue.

“I'm not too sure (why he has such a good record),” he said. “It's nothing to do with grounds, I don't think like that.

“I try to do the best I can at every opportunity and we play here twice a year so maybe we just get more of an opportunity here.

“But it's the home of cricket, it's every cricketer's dream to play here. It's a privilege and you want to make the most of it.”

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