Trott content after day of 'hard graft'
Jonathan Trott believes England combated New Zealand’s disciplined bowling performance fairly effectively on the opening day of the first Investec Test at Lord’s.
Trott top-scored with 39 as Alastair Cook’s men laboured to 160 for four from 80 overs on a day that saw twice as many maidens (30) as boundaries off the bat.
While it is rare for teams to score at just two runs an over in modern-day Test cricket, Trott insisted there were good reasons for England’s measured progress.
In addition to the skilful performance from New Zealand’s attack, the hosts also had to contend with a placid pitch seemingly slowed by recent wet weather in the capital.
“It was a little bit slow, the pitch and the outfield. You could maybe add on an extra 20-30 runs and it would be a normal day,” Trott told ecb.co.uk after stumps had been drawn.
“It was a little bit slow-going I suppose, if you want to look at it that way, but we’re in the game.
“I think they bowled well; you have to give credit to the opposition. But I think we also combated their strategy quite well and didn’t give in, or try and force the pace too much.
“It was a little bit stoppy, there was a little bit of tennis-ball bounce and it was hard graft. It was about nudging and nurdling and getting into positions.”
England were far from surprised by New Zealand’s efforts in the field, having encountered similarly impressive performances in the recent reverse series.
“They bowled well to their field settings, which they did in New Zealand, so we knew what to expect basically,” Trott explained.
“They are very good when the ball isn’t doing so much. They bowl a good channel and are quite disciplined in their bowling.
“That’s what they do – they try and squeeze you as much as possible and let you make the mistake, which is a very good tactic for this pitch.”
Nevertheless, Trott remains hopeful that England can press on to post a substantial first-innings total.
“The new ball obviously comes tomorrow morning and we’re going to have to play that well,” he added.
“It might come on to the bat a little better, you never know, so the run-rate might pick up hopefully.
“We’ve got two good strikers at the crease (Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow), with Matty Prior to come, so fingers crossed we can have a good day tomorrow.”
Trent Boult led the way for the Black Caps with two wickets and was unsurprisingly pleased with how things panned out after Brendon McCullum had called incorrectly at the toss.
“I reckon it was a pretty successful day for us,” reasoned the left-armer.
"As a bowling group, we did our jobs. We were pretty patient and to have them 160 for four at the end of day one is pretty satisfying.