Trott gallops to winning post
Posted in England
Jonathan Trott’s ICC Cricketer of the Year award on Monday evening was one that, just a couple of years ago, few could see him winning, Trott included.
He said himself at the ceremony at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London that he never envisaged himself winning this award. I was also surprised, at first, by his ascent to the top of the game.
However, when you look at the numbers, it is clear that Trott is currently one of the finest batsmen in the world. In the last 12 months he has hit 1,042 runs in 12 Tests at an average of 65.12, with four centuries and three fifties. A remarkable effort that has helped England no end.
On top of his achievements as a vital player in an incredibly successful England Test team, Trott has been an integral player in the one-day side as well.
He has hit over 1,000 runs in 24 one-day internationals at an average of 48.36, with two hundreds and nine half-centuries. Furthermore, at the World Cup in the sub-continent he was England's top run-scorer with 422.
The Warwickshire batsman was the tournament's top-scorer at the point of England's departure and his performances at the World Cup and in the one-day series following the Ashes saw him rise to number five in the ICC ODI batting rankings, which is no mean feat considering the wealth of more experienced batsmen flourishing in one-day cricket.
For me personally, if I had to pick an England team, many of the players would pick themselves, such as Graeme Swann, Alastair Cook and Matt Prior, but Trott would be a mainstay at number three.
In winning the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy, Trott had to beat stiff competition from the 'Little Master' Sachin Tendulkar, South African batsman Hashim Amla and England team-mate Cook.
Cook has had a memorable 12 months himself picking up Test Cricketer of the Year, hitting 1,302 runs at 51.74, including a mammoth 766 runs in the Ashes.
He set the record score at the Gabba with an unbeaten 235 and he hit an even bigger 294 during the series whitewash of India this summer.
Still, while Cook is certainly deserving of Test Cricketer of the Year, I feel Trott warrants the overall title on the basis that he has been potent with the bat in both formats of the game. He currently remains in the top 10 of the ICC rankings for both Test and ODI batsmen.
Furthermore, Trott's achievements appear all the more impressive due to the relatively small amount of time he's been in the Test arena.
Cook has been playing for a few more years and there have been times, as recently as the summer of 2010, when there have been calls for Cook to be dropped from the Test team.
As well as the Essex man has done to consolidate his place in the England set-up, Trott has come in to the side and, despite the occasional blip, regularly delivered when called upon. As Tim Bresnan said at the awards ceremony: “He’s just Mr. Consistent.”
Looking at the milestones throughout his time playing cricket, there could be a case to argue that he should have been involved with the England team earlier in his career as he seems to adapt and progress at every level very quickly.
Going back to 2002, Trott scored 245 on his second XI debut for Warwickshire. The following year on his County Championship bow he hit a century. The potential has always been there.
Of course, in 2009 the Test call-up finally came, and unsurprisingly, despite being chucked into the deep end (the fifth Test of the Ashes series) Trott excelled yet again, hitting a 119-run Test debut century in the second innings to help England win back the Ashes.
From then it has been a rise to the top, and it is great that it has culminated with this recognition of his ability.
The trophy was presented to him by former West Indies fast bowler Curtly Ambrose, who was being inducted into the Hall of Fame at the same ceremony.
Even though I fear it may be too late for Trott to reach a similar legendary stature in the sport, I’d imagine there are not too many who would bet against the South African-born right-hander remaining key to England's progression and one of the top batsmen in the world for a few years yet.