No more heavy sessions for Jonathan Trott

Drinking sessions that is. Trott’s announcement in an interview that he puts his excellent international form down to the fact that he has layed off the drink shows that he is determined not to let anything stand in the way of him having a successful England career.
So far for Jonathan Trott the results have been amazing, he has solved the test number 3 spot (maybe not so much in the 50 over side) and he currently averages over 50 in both tests and ODIs.
I’ve got to be honest and say as a Warwickshire fan I seen him as a decent county player, but I didn’t see him doing this well at international level. When he got picked for the the 2009 Oval test match, I thought he might play a handful of tests for England and then slip quietly back into county cricket.
How wrong was I?
Alcohol in sport is quite a big problem in the UK. Despite Trott’s South African background, he appears to have got caught up in what seems to be a British culture. The alarming line in his interview is the one in which he says “the guys in the team understand” (him not going out boozing any more). This suggests to me that Trott is the exception, rather than the norm.
Another good example of someone turning their game around after going on the wagon was the change in form and fortune for snooker player John Higgins.
Higgins put his world championship win in 2007 down to the fact that he had given up drinking, he has since gone on to become the top player in the world since that win.
On the flip side I once heard Darren Gough say on his awful radio show (on one of few occasions I listened) that he used to go out and have 5 or 6 pints every night during and after Yorkshire games, and that he didn’t regret a thing as he had such a great time.
The first thought that came into my head was I wonder if Glenn McGrath was doing that as well? I expect we all know the answer to that question and it might also go a long way to explaining the difference in Ashes series wins between the two men.

Jonathan Trott’s Abysmal Conversion Rate

How many times is he going to get to 50 and not convert? This can’t keep continuing. This is the 5th time in 7 innings that Trott has failed to convert 50 into 100.

This simply isn’t good enough, if he doesn’t up his performance soon, England will have no choice but to drop him.

His scores so far in this world cup are 62 (Holland), 16 (India), 92 (Ireland), 52 (South Africa), 67 (Bangladesh), 47 (West Indies) and 86 (Sri Lanka). I think everyone will agree, that is an appalling rate of conversion.

Compare that to Andrew Strauss who has a century (158, India) and a half century (88, Holland) to his name and you can see how bad Trott is, Strauss has a far superior conversion rate.

Then we have other high scorers that put Trott to shame, we have Bell with 69 (India) and 81 (Ireland). Pietersen 59 (Ireland), Bopara 60 (South Africa), erm, Morgan 63 (Bangladesh) and 50 (Sri Lanka), (embarrassed cough) Wright 44 (West Indies), bloody hell is that all, Collingwood 30 (Holland) and oh my god, are we really that bad, Prior 22 (Sri Lanka).

Erm, maybe Trott is doing a bit better than I first thought. Maybe I was wrong to listen to all those ex-players and cricketing experts who say that Trott is too ‘one paced’ for 50 over cricket.

Well on these pitches he’s just what is required. So far he has scored 422 runs at an average of 60.28 in this world cup. A ‘one paced’ Trott style innings would almost certainly have seen South Africa home yesterday as well.

Would he be able to adapt and play more shots on a 300+ runs flat bed wicket? That remains to be seen and when he gets the chance we will find out.

I certainly wouldn’t bet against it, as on current form I wouldn’t put anything past him.

Jonathan Trott, great attitude, but not sure about the bowling!

It is always great (and previously rare) to see England players want to improve themselves and add more string to their bows, I’m never going to criticise anyone for that.

It shows great attitude and a great commitment to both the player himself and the team, it shows an attitude that says ‘I want to stay in this team for the long term, I really want it, it means a lot too me.’

In short it makes Samit Patel’s efforts look poor next too Audley Harrison’s commitment to throw punches.

Thats why I commend Jonathan Trott’s attitude in saying that he wants to take over Paul Collingwood’s role as the batting all rounder in the team. Apparently he has already had a chat with David Saker about working on his bowling, to try and make it good enough for 50 over cricket.

It is a commendable attitude to have, if we had more sportsmen with that committment we would have won far more gold medals, word titles, etc, over the years. It is probably one of the reasons why we have such a strong unit of guys in the England cricket team these days.

To just be there and be complacent about your place in the team is no longer an option.

It is probably why Trott is now a fixture in the England team, I have to admit even after his Ashes century at the Oval, I still only saw him as a short term fix in the side. I never imagined he would go on to have the success he has.

Personally I can’t see Trott’s bowling getting good enough to regularly bowl 5-8 overs in 50 over cricket, no matter how much he works on it. While I commend his attitude, I hope England leave him to concentrate on his batting.

Trott could yet prove me wrong though, and as I have stated above, it wouldn’t be the first time.

Has the Analyst gone mad?

4. Jonathan Trott: unflappable and reassuring presence, the most consistent England No 3 of all time, but looked a little shaky on the bouncy Perth pitch. – 8/10

Thats the view of Simon Hughes in his Ashes players ratings for the Daily Telegraph.

Don’t get me wrong, I like Jonathan Trott, I think he has done a decent – but not world beating – job since he came into the side. We also never hear the debate over England’s problem position any more, which is also a credit to Trott’s performances.

But to say that Trott is already the most consistent England No.3 of all time is getting just a touch carried away, he has done a decent job and has been our best and most consistent No. 3 for some time, but most consistent ever, I think thats jumping the gun a bit.

Test Cricket is Alive and Well

Friday was yet another enthralling day of test cricket. In the new crash, bang, wallop era it was the sort of day that proves that the test format is still the pinnacle of cricket.

In the morning the headlines belonged to Mohammad Amir for his remarkable one man show bowling performance, and to Kevin Pietersen for his now, more than troublesome batting frailties.

Then after lunch Jonathan Trott and Stuart Broad took over with magnificent centuries. Trott showed the sort of discipline and attitude that England’s batsmen consistently lack, and as the partnership developed you could see these attributes rubbing off on Broad.

Any doubts over Trott’s place in the side when Bell returns are now dead and buried. He always seemed the odd man out to me, I always had the impression he had to do more than the likes of Bell, Morgan and Collingwood to keep his place. His place is now in no doubt, Jonathan Agnew described it as by far his best innings, even better than his debut century at the Oval last year to help England win the Ashes. Thats some accolade.

Stuart Broad seemed to be going down the well trodden route of prospective all-rounder, to just being a bowler who could throw the bat a bit. One century dosen’t make him a number 6, but it does show that there is still plenty to work with.

This wasn’t a fluke innings, it wasn’t one of those times when a tailender just throws the bat with no pressure and it comes off, it was a proper innings. When Broad came out to bat the whole series had just about been thrown away by England. Broad responded with remarkable fighting spirit. And lets remember he hasn’t just smacked some average bowling attack around, this isn’t Bangladesh, this Pakistani attack can stand alongside any in world cricket.

While England’s batting frailties were there to be seen again yesterday, the positives to take from this (and there are some positives this time, Michael Vaughan) are that England fought back from the brink of defeat in a manner we aren’t used to seeing from them. Both these centuries counted, the whole summers work was just about to be undone before Trott and Broad intervened, they were proper test match, high pressure innings.

In a match that has already swung one way and then the other, it will be interesting to see if Pakistan can fight back again. If not for their own pride, the Pakistan players owe it to Mohammad Amir to make a match of this. This young man deserves as much credit as Trott and Broad have received, any other day and he would have been the headline maker.

His efforts shouldn’t be overshadowed. He looked a decent prospect in Australia last winter, he has now shown during this English summer that he is already the real deal. Yesterdays showing was the culmination of an impressive summers all-round cricket from the youngster, and he has now already got his name on the Lord’s Honours Board, and probably not for the last time either.

Is it IJL Trott or OCD Trott?

I have heard many commentators describing how Jonathan Trott goes through his marathon process before every ball, and how he has to perfrom his little idiosyncrasies.

For me watching Trott, I’m starting to think he has a major case of OCD. The performance he goes through for every ball is just remarkable. I had never noticed it before, but now it seems he has started to try and dig a trench in the wicket as well.

Is this just a new thing he does at test level? Or has this always been his way in county cricket, but we just never seen (or heard about) it before?

Watching Trott must be like a case study for shrinks all over the country.

What is Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder? – Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, OCD, is an anxiety disorder and is characterized by recurrent, unwanted thoughts (obsessions) and/or repetitive behaviors (compulsions). Performing these so-called “rituals,” however, provides only temporary relief, and not performing them markedly increases anxiety.

Signs and Symptons – People with OCD may be plagued by persistent, unwelcome thoughts or images, or by the urgent need to engage in certain rituals.

Trott preparing to face a ball fits part of that description, it is like watching a ritual. He also looks very anxious at times, the Johannesburg test match in South Africa last January springs to mind.

Trott is not the only cricketer who looks like he has an unhealthy interest in a particular procedure, South African batsman Neil McKenzie is supposed to be another one.

Apparently he couldn’t go out to bat until all the toilet lids had been put down, and his wife wasn’t allowed to leave her seat while he was at the crease. I would think that goes a bit beyond just being superstition.

Tennis player Rafael Nadal is another major ritual performer. He goes through a meticulous process and takes an age to steady himself before every serve, and when it’s on a crucial point he takes even longer, all this after he has found the time to pick his arse on every point.

Is it superstition, OCD, or just plain gamesmanship? Who knows.

Who needs Aussie Sledging?

With the announcement from South African coach Mickey Arthur that Jonathan Trott wouldn’t be good enough to get in his South African top 6 on the eve of the deciding test who needs the Aussies to start to try and undermine Trott before he makes his debut.

Although on the whole Arthur’s comments about Trott are mainly positive, the main headline that it will provoke is that Arthur doesn’t think Trott is that good and that England are welcome to him.

About getting in the South African team Arthur said “He would have been there or thereabouts. He would have been a really good franchise player. I suspect he would have been a South Africa A (2nd Team) player right now, but he would have battled to get into our top six at the minute. With the calibre of player we have in our top six, I think we’re pretty much settled for a while. I suspect he would have been there as reserve strength”.

Not exactly an insult but hardly a ringing endorsement, nevertheless the timing will probably do Trott no favours as the Aussie team are likely to pounce on the negative aspects of it and let him know all too well when he comes out to bat.

The Aussies have already sounded a warning to Trott – trying to unsettle him – with Mike Hussey’s comments over the weekend about test cricket being a big step up from what Trott is used to at county level. I would have expected a bit more psychological abuse from Australia in the build up to The Oval test match but they don’t rally need to now after Mickey Arthur’s input!