Sunday, October 23, 2011

Jonathan Up The Creek? Trott On!!

If people think that taking Jonathan Trott out of England’s One Day International side will result in a transformation of England’s fortunes in this form of the game, they’ve clearly not been watching much One Day cricket lately.
Trott scored 98 of England’s 298 runs at Mohali in the 3rd of this 5 match One Day International series against India, yet all I’ve read about since the match is that his place is in jeopardy!
Never mind the fact Alastair Cook fell cheaply again. Never mind “The Next Gilchrist”, Craig Kieswetter can’t get past 30 and keeps dropping sitters. Never mind England are playing 3 seamers on slow, flat wickets and only one front-line spinner. Yup, if Trott was dropped, things would be alright!
For me, Trott is the key man in this One Day side along with Eoin Morgan, who is sorely missed in India by the way.
Morgan can win a game from nowhere, killing opponents in seemingly dominant positions, and you cannot underestimate the loss of a player like that on this tour. India have Dhoni, an equally capable “finisher”, and he has won 2 of the 3 games in this series for India almost single-handedly.
Morgan can attack even when facing spin from both ends, a pre-requisite for excelling on the sub-continent and something all England’s other players struggle to do, even Trott.
But, Trott is so hard to get out. Even Morgan goes cheaply sometimes and in those situations, it’s essential Trott is there, otherwise England’s innings can and usually do fall apart.
If Trott is in, the players at the other end can go for their shots. Pietersen and Patel both filled their boots yesterday, and 298 is actually a decent total. The fact England didn’t defend it isn’t attributable to Trott in my opinion.
England’s fielding has been abject in this series, a surprise given recent high standards, but at the risk of sounding like a broken record, you’re never going to excel in India playing 3 seamers and only 1 decent spinner.
I know it extends the tail, but I honestly think Scott Borthwick needs to play in the last 2 games. England are desperate for more spin options, so why not give Borthwick a go, he has already played international cricket and done well, albeit at T20 level.
I like Ravi Bopara but there is an ongoing debate as to whether he has the stomach for cricket at this level and with a change in fortunes required, perhaps Rav is the man to step aside? his part time medium pacers don’t seem to be fancied by Cook and he just isn’t delivering runs on this tour.
Kieswetter is also a question mark. He looks good in home conditions, but a delicate touch is required on the sub-continent, and I’m not sure Kieswetter possesses one. Ian Bell has to return to the side now, he is too good a player to sit on the margins and, incredibly, bring the drinks out, as he did in the last game. He could replace Kieswetter and Bairstow could keep wicket.
Finally, let’s play a fast bowler who is suited to these conditions. Stuart Meaker is a skiddy bowler who should be able to serve up plenty of yorkers at the death, something amazingly England’s current attack seem incapable of doing, so give him a chance too.
There’s plenty of changes that could and perhaps should be made to this England side to make them more competitive, certainly on the sub-continent anyway, but Trott isn’t one of them.
They’re up the Creek, but Jonathan Trott must stay.
Tom Huelin for DieHard Cricket Fans
Follow Tom on Twitter @tomhue1

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