Centurion enjoys 'magical' return of form and fortune

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The Independent Online

Jonathan Trott was not alone in wondering what the summer's first day of Test cricket had in store for him. A golden touch – so evident during last August's Ashes decider – deserted the Warwickshire batsman in South Africa and Bangladesh over the winter and, by his own admission, it had shown little sign of returning throughout the past week or so.

But neither Trott nor the 16,000 or so spectators watching at Lord's yesterday needed to worry. The player who capped an unforgettable debut by taking a wonderful century off the Australians at The Oval was back in the groove against an admittedly limited attack and went to bed last night dreaming of converting an already substantial innings of 175 into something really huge.

"Every time you don't get runs when you put on an England helmet it's disappointing," said Trott, who looked tense and horribly out of sorts towards the end of the South Africa series and then found some strange, and unlucky, ways of getting out during the tour of Bangladesh.

"Maybe you get a little bit over-keen. Having had such a good start in the Ashes and then done really well in the one-day games in South Africa, and the first Test, you think that this is something you really enjoy. It's a great feeling, a great buzz.

"So when you have a few innings that don't go your way you ask why you are not getting runs and probably try to look for things that aren't there.

"To be honest, the last few days I've not hit it that well in the nets, and for Warwickshire I felt a little bit out, but today I found my form and everything sort of clicked. I've put in lots of hard work over the past month and it has just come together. It's one of those magical things."

It was Trott's temperament, more than his technique, which caused concern over the winter and he needs to look the part, as well as play a part, this summer to guarantee involvement in the next Ashes battle, which is now only six months away. Bangladesh's Australian coach, Jamie Siddons, is among those who believe the 29-year-old has made a good start.

"I was impressed with the way he went about it," said Siddons. "Good on him for persevering and sticking with it. He was really patient and I thought he played really well."

Unfortunately, Siddons could not say the same for his own attack. "We didn't put enough balls in the right place and I think the fast bowlers let the side down today," said the coach. "I'm sure they were not trying to bowl half-volleys but they certainly bowled enough of them."

A four-wicket haul was probably more than Bangladesh deserved, especially as the first of those successes left Alastair Cook cursing his luck (and maybe regretting the absence of the Decision Review System, which should have been in use at Lord's but was scrapped when the International Cricket Council and the broadcaster Sky failed to reach agreement over who should pay for third umpire technology.

While Trott and Andrew Strauss harvested increasingly easy runs against an off-target Bangladesh attack, Cook was left kicking his heels in the home changing room after losing a high-looking leg before wicket decision to Shahadat Hossain. Had Cook been able to appeal against the verdict he would almost certainly have been reinstated but that escape route was closed to him.

Whether or not the review system will be used in England at all this summer remains to be seen, but sponsorship of the technology is probably the long-term answer.

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