Jonathan Trott splits opinion more than most cricketers and indeed more than most sportsmen. This is particularly true in the ODIs, where he is either a brilliant accumulator of runs or a limpet clogging up the innings. Today he has scored 98 not out off 116 balls. He could have been run out very early after a huge mix-up with KP but the Indian’s fielding was awry. (Which was surprising in that they’ve been quite sharp in this series but pretty familiar for anyone who watched them in England.) His strike rate in this innings was pretty close to his career average and 98 runs in any match is not something at which to be sniffed. But the impression of scoring slowly still remains.
This is, I am convinced, harsh. England scored 298-4 in fifty overs, just a hair shy of a run a ball. Trott was not far off this rate, but when compared to KP’s 64 off 61 balls or Patel’s unbeaten 70 off 43 it certainly looks slow. But without Trott sticking around and keeping the scoreboard ticking over those innings may not have been possible. Bopara never looked set and if Patel had to contend with that at the other end he may not have been able to get himself going. Yes, Trott could have kicked on more, but that isn’t how he plays. When he’s got out cheaply England have collapsed. It’s important to have people like Kieswetter, Pietersen and Bairstow who can score at better than a run a ball, but it needs a Cook or a Trott to hold up the other end. You need to score runs to win any cricket match. Trott has been one of the few batsmen to consistently do this in ODIs and he ought to be recognised as one of England’s best ODI batsmen.