The Ashes: England’s gamble on Trott

By Online Editorial

England will go into Thursday’s crucial Ashes decider with an uncapped batsman at number four after selectors put their faith in Jonathan Trott.

England’s cricket selectors have taken a massive gamble for the fifth and final Ashes Test by drafting in Warwickshire batsman Jonathan Trott for his Test debut.

Trott replaces Ravi Bopara, who failed in the previous four tests at number three in the batting order. Ian Bell will now move up to bat at three with Trott at four.

The fifth Test, which begins at the Oval on Thursday, amounts to a winner takes all cricket cup final. So far the markets have not reacted significantly to England’s announcement. Australia remain clear favourites at 2.6 to win the Ashes after levelling the series in ruthless style at Headingley last week. England can be backed at 5.7 with the draw a 2.22 shot.

The news comes after a week of speculation as players and pundits called for the recall of Marcus Trescothick, Robert Key or even 39-year-old Surrey veteran Mark Ramprakash.

Bell’s place was also believed to be under threat and there was talk of sacrificing Alistair Cook. However, England coach Andy Flower and captain Andrew Strauss urged the selectors against dramatic alterations to the batting order as they believed it would represent an acknowledgement of mistakes and encourage the Australians.

If England triumph at the Oval, Strauss’ intervention will be regarded as a masterpiece of composed captaincy. If they lose, history will view him as a weak captain who was afraid to wield the axe.

Trott strengthened his case with a century for Warwickshire against Nottinghamshire on Friday in a game which also saw Bell hit 126 as the two combined for a third wicket stand of 188.

Facing an in-form Aussie attack at the Oval will be a tougher proposition but Trott is optimistic that he can transfer his county form to what will be an intense Test arena.

He said: “I’ve been playing pretty well this season and I hope I can continue to do so next week.

“I’ll try to stay relaxed and let nature take its course and remember it’s just a game of cricket.

“The pressure is on Australia to retain the Ashes. We’re going for the win and hopefully our positive approach will work.”

England Squad for Fifth Ashes Test: A Strauss (captain), J Anderson, I Bell, S Broad, P Collingwood, A Cook, A Flintoff, S Harmison, G Onions, M Panesar, M Prior, R Sidebottom, G Swann, J Trott.

Reproduced with permission from © The Sporting Exchange Limited


MORE: The latest football news

MORE: The latest tennis news


BIOGRAPHY: Adam Lallana

French Open preview
The Sport Review
French Open 2018: Can returning former champions Djokovic or Wawrinka halt the Rafael Nadal juggernaut?
The Sport Review
10 goalkeepers Liverpool FC could sign in summer transfer window
The Sport Review
Arsenal transfers: 10 targets Gunners could sign for defence in summer
The Sport Review
Take a tour of Cristiano Ronaldo’s stunning house in Madrid
The Sport Review
Top 50 Muslim footballers: Arsenal, Chelsea FC, Liverpool FC and Man United stars feature
The Sport Review
10 players Chelsea could sign in the 2018 summer transfer window
The Sport Review
Rio Ferdinand responds to Mo Salah’s injury in Liverpool FC v Real Madrid
The Sport Review
French Open 2018: Johanna Konta’s quest for first win in Paris thwarted; Venus Williams also makes exit
The Sport Review
Gary Lineker responds to Loris Karius’ display in Liverpool FC v Real Madrid