Strauss will come good - Trott
Jonathan Trott is backing England Test captain Andrew Strauss to put his recent run of poor scores behind him as he prepares for the four-match npower Test series with India.
Strauss will play on loan for Somerset against India at Taunton in a three-day tour game, starting tomorrow, in a bid to regain good form ahead of the opening Test at Lord’s next week.
He managed only 27 runs in his four innings versus Sri Lanka this summer, falling on the last three occasions to left-arm seamer Chanaka Welegedara.
Strauss is set to face one of the best left-arm pacemen in the world in India’s Zaheer Khan, but Trott points to how Alastair Cook has revived his fortunes in spectacular fashion during the past 12 months as an example of how quickly a player can regain his form.
“I thought people would have learnt from the end of last summer with what everyone was saying about Alastair Cook - and then look at the winter he had,” he said.
“As a team, we respect Andrew so much and what he has done for the team and with the bat. The bloke knows his job as captain and opening bat is to score heaps of runs like everyone else selected in the position he bats.
“Andrew has been really working really hard with Graham Gooch (England consultant batting coach). He’s been coming to nets during the one-dayers.
“If Andrew goes on and scores hundreds this series, everyone will be really happy, and he is capable of that.”
Trott also feels the team has a collective responsibility to perform if certain players are out of form.
“If Andrew has a few low scores, it’s important that we all dovetail with each other and you pick up the slack when someone else is not doing too well,” added.
“Hopefully they will do it when you are not doing too well. We work as a team like that and that is what team-mates are for.”
Trott is calling for England to repeat their opening Test win against Sri Lanka in May when they face India, the world’s top-ranked side. Indeed, victory by two Tests or more will see the hosts usurp their opponents.
“Playing against India, the number one team in the world, at Lord’s is going to be a great challenge for the individual but also for the team in general,” he said.
“England is a fantastic team to be part of at the moment and we are really excited about the opportunity that lies ahead.
“There is a lot of cricket to come up during the summer. But Lord’s is where we are going to start, and hopefully we can start off with a win like we did against Sri Lanka.”
Trott, who made his Test debut less than two years ago, is excited about facing new opponents in the longest format.
“It’s a great opportunity and will be a great advert for the game on the back of a good series against Sri Lanka,” he continued. “As you go through your career, you are going to come across teams you haven’t played before and it’s how you adapt and adjust to them.
“There is maybe a bit of an advantage in that they haven’t seen you or played against you. I’ve played against some of them in county cricket so there are a few things there. But Test cricket is a little bit different and it will be very exciting.”
India only have the Somerset game to become accustomed to English conditions after ending their tour of the West Indies on Sunday. However, Trott is unsure whether that will give England an advantage.
“I don’t know. A lot of teams come over and are slow to get going but they have been playing cricket,” he said. “It’s not like they have had a couple of months off and have come to England and have one game to get rid of the rust. They are going to be right on top of their game.”
Trott averages more than 60 in Tests and has set his sights on sustaining that kind of form.
He said: “I’d like to think I can do that. There is no reason why not. There is no reason why you can’t continue. But like life, cricket is similar. There are lots of ups and downs and it’s how you deal with those and bounce back.”
However, he is more concerned with England beating India.
“I don’t worry about what I’m going to finish my career with. I try and worry about how many Test series wins I can contribute to and be a part of,” he said. “That is our goal as a team and the most important one as an individual and everyone in the team feels that way.
“When you get the chance to go out into the middle, it’s your job to represent the other nine guys in the changing room and all the coaching staff. It’s a great opportunity to play and test yourself and at the end of it, see where you’ve ended up.
“But as regards the averages, I don’t pay too much attention to them. I don’t know my average now although I bet you can tell me my strike rate,” he joked.