Asked a year ago who’s England most mentally strong batsman was, the sure answer would be Jonathon Trott. He was a batsman that showed little emotion at the crease, other than the rare smile when confronting the other batsman at the end of the over. A batsman that would seemingly block out any interference whether from the crowd or the field and would instead just simply focus on each ball as it comes. And would recuperate himself with the constant re-making of his mark at the crease.
However the sight of a fully fired up Mitchell Johnson, in the Ashes Series seemed to completely throw Trott, and you almost felt like a little fear had crept into the back of Trott’s mind. Playing shots that we had never seen before, throwing his bat at wide deliveries and not shying away from dangerous short balls. As in to give an aura of confidence but in fact portraying the complete opposite and taking risks that Trott would have usually calculated were not worth taking.
Although Trott at the time boasted an average of over 50, It seemed that this speed of bowling from Mitchell Johnson, was completely alien to Trott. Which in fairness is true as there has not been a bowler on the cricketing circuit that consistently delivered the ball at 90mph since the likes of Brett Lee.
Don’t get me wrong, I would be very pleased to see Jonathon Trott return to the international cricket circuit. However I do wonder if he has shown too many weaknesses during that Ashes tour, that can now be exploited by other teams and coaches, especially against short explosive bowling. Which two of the three major test sides have in their armoury, with Morne Morkel and Dale Steyn in the South African side and Mitchell Johnson and Ryan Harris in the Australian side. And these are the sides that a cricketing nation like England should be competing against.
Also with England’s recent decision to discard Pietersen from any future plans, you wonder whether they will reintegrate a 32 year old back into the setup. But instead take a fresh approach and mould Joe Root into the England number 3, which if successful would guarantee a great batsman in the most important batting position for many years to come.