Jonathan Trott claims that he does not look at the Ashes any differently as compared to any other tournament that he plays for England. However, he is energized by the excitement of a good contest. He believes that Australia will be able to offer that as they have quality bowling line-up and he knows he’ll have a hectic job to do at the critical number three position.
One might be tempted to trace the lack of his enthusiasm for the Ashes in the fact that he was not always meant to be an English player. “I had no dreams of playing in the Ashes because I didn’t know it was possible. I grew up in South Africa, so all I knew was green and gold and watching Allan Donald and Gary Kirsten and wanting to play for Western Province. I didn’t know there were other options,” he had once said.
He eventually became an England player and there must have been a dramatic shift in his consciousness thenceforth. The graph of his England career is testament to the fact that he belonged to England. He averages over 50.00 in the 43 Test matches that he has played for England and has nine hundreds to his name.
It’s not a lack of enthusiasm but a method of approaching the game by which he can be composed, by which he does not take unnecessary pressure on himself. He is a very engaged cricketer who thinks long and hard about his game. He still regrets the fact that he could not score a little more in the Champions Trophy final but he is as much a jolly cricketer who can have a laugh off the field.
That aspect of his personality has never really come to the fore for much of the English fans who consider him a tad too thoughtful. The nature of his job breeds such patience and maturity in him.
With Alastair Cook at the top of the batting order, he has had to grind away a lot of time waiting in the dressing room with his pads on but he can’t afford to slip into complacency.
He was forced to dig into his reserves of patience waiting for his turn to bat in the second innings of the first Ashes Test of the 2010-11 series at Gabba. He was alive to the opportunity, and scored a wonderful century remaining unbeaten at the end of the match.
Jonathan Trott was the second-highest run-getter for England in that series, helping England to a memorable series win down under. That was Jonathan Trott’s second outing at the Ashes as he had made his debut in 2009 at the Oval in the final and deciding Test match, where he scored a century.
He has scored 605 runs in the nine innings that he has played against Australia, racking up an astonishing average of over 85.00.
Jonathan Trott will have a huge role to play at the Ashes this year as well. England need his steely solidity at the top of the batting order. England will be experimenting with Joe Root at the head of the innings and in case of an emergency, Trott’s fire-fighting skills will be called upon.
He has the ability to score runs at a brisk pace but he prefers to take his time. In a situation when the opponent is dominating the state of the game, he can drop the anchor and occupy one end. He reads the situation and plays with composure but does not alter the method of his game.
He has been very consistent for England in the longer version of the game. His lowest total in the last six months in all formats, apart from a truncated match against New Zealand, is 27.
He has, however, recently developed a strange habit of throwing away his wicket after reaching the 40-50 mark. It is something that does not worry Jonathan Trott very much as it has been a sign of bad luck more than a lapse of concentration.
Trott’s understated style on and off the field means that he is the unsung hero of this English team. Alastair Cook has his deserved share of praise because of extraordinary figures that he is amassing in international cricket and Kevin Pietersen has a natural talent for attracting attention but Trott likes to live in the shade and do his job. He will continue to do the same at the Ashes this year.