At A Slow Trott…

30 05 2011

Usually a man who has just scored 203 gets a little slack. Usually a man who has just scored 203 as part of a wider run scoring record which in recent times approaches Bradman-esque proportions could do no wrong. Usually a man who does this whilst filling in what has, even until relatively recent times, been a problem number 3 position for England could be expected to to not have a word said against him.

Yet, the remarkable thing about Mr. IJL Trott of Warickshire and England, is that in his particular case this does not appear to be the case with regular, albeit sly, reference to his failings by the commentators and several pundits in the media.

To illustrate this, words commonly associated with Trott and his batting are adjectives such as ‘plodding’, ‘one paced’, and ‘turgid’ to go along with the more pleasant ‘rock like’ and ‘solid’ – the innate causes of the vernacular employed being both his greatest strength and his weakest trait. To see Trott bat in the recent World Cup was to be consistently torn between the two extremes of ‘thank god he’s there – without him we’d be stuffed’ to ‘get a move on mate – you’re going to cost us the game by batting too slowly’.

We usually talk about an excess of 20/20 cricket being bad for players techniques and concentration, yet Trott is one player who it would undoubtedly help. An example of this would be former countryman Jacques Kallis who, in his younger days, was consistently accused of the same thing and it was only relatively late in his career and the advent of the IPL that he seemed to gain another gear. Since then Kallis has become admired not only for his remarkable ability to accumulate runs, but also (crucially) for his ability to bat to the situation. Whilst we have never been hugely keen on the IPL as a tournament itself, even we can see the positive effect that it has had on the South African’s batting.

We once heard Boycott, him of the excellent cricketing mother and grandmother, explain why Ken Barrington is not held in higher esteem by students of the English game – essentially that despite his test average of 58 and 20 odd hundreds he bored the pants off people – and one feels that perhaps Trott might be treading the same path. (Boycott escapes a similar fate by being an ever present on the radio/tv and singing his own praises at every opportunity!)

This is hardly a new idea but until Trott discovers 3rd gear he is unlikely to move from the merely very good to the potentially exceptional and until then, he can expect these murmurs to continue. Mind you, we’re not sure that Trott himself would care as long as the runs keep coming…

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5 responses

30 05 2011
Giles Bradstock

Very good Richard,
It does seem that unless you bang the ball to all corners from the word gothe England fans and commentators will harangue you at every available chance.
Following the BBC text commentary yesterday, Trott and even Bell where again coming in for stick whereas Pietersen, the most out of form bat still escapes the axe over him tag as he’s a crowd pleaser.
Trott and Cook anchor the innings, the over five in the top seven a stroke players. Leave it alone, it Works!

30 05 2011
Brian Carpenter

All these murmurings are utter rubbish, with the exception, perhaps, of some of the criticisms of Trott’s tempo in limited-over cricket. As Nasser said this morning, England would have killed for a number three who could churn out runs like this a few years ago. Now they’ve got one, some people have to find fault with it. No doubt they think Rahul Dravid’s always been a bit over-rated too.

Words fail me.

30 05 2011
Bradders

Absolutely – I’m all for him as any conceivable arguments against him are outweighed by the sheer weight of runs. Re reading the piece it doesn’t come across as positive on him as i meant it although I think if in due course he takes a leaf out of Kallis’ book whilst maintaining his heavy scoring, that will put him on a level with the greats of English cricket. It took me a while to come round to Trott but its fair to say he’s convinced me now!!

30 05 2011
Jonathan

HI Bradders,

Great to see you back!

I have been frustrated by the negativity from commentators and journalists alike. IN my opinion, stuff ’em, it is great that we have a number 3 again, and one that scores runs, everyone can build their innings around him. The England team should be used to how he plays his game, and realise they have a massive asset that stabilises the entire line up, the remainder of the batsmen should do as BEll did yesterday and use their innings to bolster the pace and allow Trott to flow.

He has such an incredible temperament, I wish it would rub off on others like KP. As for KP, all those calling for his head need to calm down, Cook, Trott and Bell carry this batting line up at the moment, which allows for the odd failure, we all seem to have forgotten KP’s double hundred in Oz this winter that set up the win for us. He will do it again, but he needs to come to terms with and admit his flaws, of which left arm spin is one!

One last word on Trott, lets hope he keeps up this rich form, if England want to be no.1 they must be consistent, and in Trott they have a vital key to that.

31 05 2011
Russ

I’m more inclined to blame Strauss than Trott for a lack of urgency. Perhaps his aim was to lull Sri Lanka into a false sense of complacency, in which case he succeeded admirably; but from his post-match comments, England seems to have accepted the “inevitable” draw, instead of going hard after tea yesterday when the window of opportunity was open. Slow batting is an over-rated problem anyway. It reduces the probability of a draw, by increasing the probability of both wins and losses. More entertaining, but not necessarily better.

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