Jonathan Trott’s comeback a work in progress after Warwickshire return
As comebacks go, Jonathan Trott's is so far one to be filed under 'work in progress' after Warwickshire return, writes Charlie Reynolds
It’s been 129 days since Jonathan Trott left England’s catastrophic Ashes tour, his career potentially over, but on Tuesday the South African born batsman made his return to the cricket field.
The setting could scarcely have been more different to his last appearance in whites, the sticky Queensland heat and raucous crowd of an Ashes Test at the Gabba replaced with a handful of cagouled county cricket aficionados in the gentle spring sunshine of a two-day friendly at Edgbaston.
Gloucestershire’s decision to bat first gave Trott the gentlest of re-introductions, his first touch of the ball coming in the third over, as he stooped to pick up a ball that dribbled to him in the gully.
A couple of moves around the field aside, it wasn’t until the 24th over that the crowd – now numbering perhaps as many as 50 – got a real opportunity to see Trott in action, with the 32-year-old brought on to bowl at the Pavilion End.
Trott sent down a maiden, the first ball sprayed down leg side, but the rest accurate if unthreatening medium pace, including the sort of yorker that has seemed beyond the capabilities of some of his England team-mates in recent international outings.
That though was it for quite some time for the Trott spotters, the batsman not even taking the field after for almost an hour after lunch, instead left to carry the drinks for a while.
In the end he did return and even bowled a couple more overs before Gloucestershire’s agreed declaration after 60 overs.
However ‘Trott Watch’ was then put on hiatus, beginning in earnest in the 15th over of Warwickshire’s innings, when Varun Chopra’s dismissal brought him to the crease.
He started in traditional style, furiously marking his guard with taurine scrapes of his boot and the odd troweling with the bat thrown in for good measure. Then came the adjustment to the straps of his pads and finally he was ready to face his first ball.
A leg side half volley generously allowed Trott to get off the mark first ball, clipping the ball effortlessly into the leg side for two, with exactly the sort of shot that has brought him countless runs over the years.
Trott’s struggles against Mitchell Johnson this winter have been well-documented, but he looked considerably more at home against Gloucestershire’s own left-arm paceman David Payne, ducking easily under a bouncer to a smattering of appreciative applause from the Edgbaston faithful.
However, that was about as good as it got for Trott fans, because after facing only 19 balls – not having received much of the strike in an eight over spell at the crease – he was out.
Payne angled one in to Trott who was struck flush on the front pad as he slightly carelessly shouldered arms and was promptly given LBW, with no option but to disconsolately trudge back to the Pavilion with just four runs to his name.
As comebacks go Trott’s is so far one to be filed under ‘work in progress’.