Jonathan Trott: 'I accumulate here and there and let other guys hit sixes'
Trott's feet firmly on the ground after typically focused century keeps England flying high
Cahal Milmo is the chief reporter of The Independent and has been with the paper since 2000. He was born in London and previously worked at the Press Association news agency. He has reported on assignment at home and abroad, including Rwanda, Sudan and Burkina Faso, the phone hacking scandal and the London Olympics. In his spare time he is a keen runner and cyclist, and keeps an allotment.
Tuesday 28 December 2010
He may have scored his third century in five Tests against Australia, but for the unflappable Mr Trott his remarkable record against the old enemy is nothing out of the ordinary. He did though have to concede that this innings, a century in one of the sport's great occasions, would be one to "savour".
Amid all the sound and fury erupting around him, the single-minded Trott remained unmoved as he assembled the innings that ensured England moved ever closer to retaining the Ashes. What did he make of the Ricky Ponting episode? He paid no attention, mind firmly set on scratching his mark in the crease and making runs, and more runs. What was the atmosphere like in the middle as controversy heaped upon controversy? "I didn't really hear any verbals or whatever," said Trott.
And what about your innings, and your record against Australia? "I don't think it's anything about batting against Australia in particular," he said. "I've played five games against Mike Hussey, and he's also scored three hundreds... you might also have to ask him why he likes batting against England."
Trott walked off the MCG at the end of day two accompanied by a Test average of 62.92 – only Don Bradman stood above him on the all-time list – and a fifth century in 29 Test innings.
"It's just one of those things, very fortunate, and I worked pretty hard on my game along with everyone else in the team," said Trott. "Just happy to build a contribution to getting us in a good position, I suppose.
"This is definitely an important Test match and one I'll savour. They're all pretty special. But Boxing Day, with the hype around it and the support from the English fans, it would definitely be right up there."
Trott survived one scare on 49 when a desperate dive saw him narrowly home – according to the third umpire – before Ricky Ponting's shy shattered the stumps. Otherwise on he went, batting in the same particular manner that has characterised his Test career from the moment he made his hundred on his debut last year, against Australia of course.
"I think it's important I don't over-rev when I'm batting [or] try to look to over-hit the ball," stated Trott of his studied approach. "Be calm and be nice and patient and learn to play my natural game which is to obviously just accumulate here and there and let the other guys hit the boundaries and sixes."
He had one other moment of notable discomfort came when he edged a ball from Ben Hilfenhaus on to his knee, a wincing blow that left him limping through part of the final session. He said: "It was one of the most painful things I've felt in my life.
"I asked for the runner to put the pads on and see how it went. I gave it 20 minutes to see if it stiffened up. It stiffened up a little bit – that will teach for me inside-edging it."
Trott is not one of life's natural risk-takers so his summary of the match was a natural attempt to rein in spiralling expectations. "We all know that the Australian team, like we saw in the last Test they have some good players," he said. "There's plenty more left to be done in this match."
Peter Siddle, the only Australian to take anything out of the day with three wickets and two catches in the deep, refused to answer questions on the controversial events in the middle, restricting himself to three curt responses of "no comment".
Siddle may have taken the first three England wickets to fall, but there was little comfort elsewhere for a home side under increasing pressure. "It was another tough day," admitted Siddle. "I guess when luck's not on your side it's not on your side. There's not much you can do about it. That's just cricket."
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