Jonathan Trott, one of the serious, grind-down-the-opposition-until-their-pips-squeak batsmen of his generation, was in philosophical mood last night. He was mulling on Alastair Cook's level of dissatisfaction at being dismissed in a strange occurrence 10 runs short of his third Test double century.
"He was deeply upset, he realised what an opportunity he had out there to be still batting tonight; that's the way he is," said Trott. "He's not one to express too much emotion or disgust but deep down he will be upset, but also happy with the job he did."
Cook, who earlier on the third day of the third Test had shared a partnership of 173 with Trott, was run out for the first time in a first-class innings. Having apparently made his ground again comfortably after he and Kevin Pietersen decided against a single, Cook took his bat out of the way of Virat Kohli's throw without first touching it down. When the ball hit the stumps he had to go.
Given Cook's accumulative skills, it was put to Trott that his captain may simply never be sated. There seems to be an obsession about the acquisition of runs in the grinders that does not exist in the same way among the flamboyant breed.
"You'd have to ask him, but seeking an endless amount of runs can be quite an unfruitful path to go down," said Trott. "The most important thing is the way you go about it and what you can contribute to the team. He will be very happy with his contribution."
Trott and Cook like batting together. Their average partnership is close to 70.
"We talk in a similar way about batting and go about it in a similar way," said Trott. "It's always nice to have the opportunity to bat with him; I feel we have a good rhythm and understanding together. When you have played a lot of cricket it's one of those things that develops. You keep each other going." How bowlers must hate the grinders.