England vs Pakistan – Trott ready for any ‘needle’
Jonathan Trott can assure Pakistan of one thing – he will simply relish the challenge all the more if they try to intimidate him this summer.
England’s number three memorably announced his Test pedigree with an Ashes-clinching hundred from two places lower in the order on his debut at The Oval last summer.
Trott is 4/1 to reach the same mark in the first innings of the Test against Pakistan which starts on Thursday.
He has since added a double-hundred against Bangladesh at Lord’s, and confirmed his good form with scores of 94 and 110 against those same opponents when he returned to the one-day international team this month.
Indeed, at 16/1, he could be a decent outside bet to be named man of the match in the Trent Bridge Test.
The South Africa-born batsman’s demeanour at the crease is described almost universally as ‘intense’.
But gritty and determined are other adjectives which may be equally appropriate, and it was no surprise to anyone when he warned that he will not be fazed if Pakistan crank up the combat during the four-match Test series.
“I don’t mind a bit of needle,” he said. “You learn to adjust to it and use it as a positive.”
There is no indication yet, other than by association with some of their predecessors, that Salman Butt’s tourists are likely to be especially uncompromising in word or deed.
Either way, though, Trott will be losing no sleep.
“I’m not saying I enjoy people abusing me or bowling beamers at me. It’s probably just in my nature to accept it and make myself more determined.”
Elsewhere in the England side, Tim Bresnan has been called up to the squad after an ankle injury ruled Ajmal Shahzad out of the first Test.
Shahzad’s problem has sidelined him for a week and he could be back as soon as the second Test at Edgbaston.
With fast bowlers James Anderson, Stuart Broad and Steven Finn already in the squad, it is unlikely Bresnan will make the XI for the match against Pakistan, though.
In nine Tests Jonathan Trott averages 50.06. You can get him at 5/4 to make a half century in the fist innings of his tenth Test.