From the publishers of THE HINDU

VOL.34 :: NO.43 :: Oct. 27, 2011

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CRICKET / INTERVIEW/JONATHAN TROTT

‘Team's interest is my priority'

Jonathan Trott, the 2011 ICC Player of the Year, is happy that he has done really well. But the England middle-order batsman isn't satisfied. He says he wants to get even better, like everyone else in the England team aspires to. By V. V. Subrahmanyam.

AP

Jonathan Trott…“I don't think too much about the World Player of the Year award. I just wanted to be the best and see how far I can go.”

Jonathan Trott gives one the impression of being an elderly statesman in the current England one-day team. It's not just because of his appearance but also the way in which he conducts himself on the field. At 30, Trott may have played only 35 one-day internationals, but the fact that he is an integral part of England's future plans is a tribute to this wonderful middle-order batsman who was named the 2011 ICC Player of the Year for his consistency at the highest level.

“I have only played the World Cup here. The grounds don't seem to be as big as in some other places. I think our line-up complements itself quite well,” said Trott during an interaction in Hyderabad before the first ODI against India.

“We have a few players who like to work the ball around and a few who like to clear the boundaries. I think we have got a good blend of everything and it's really exciting to see the team coming together,” he said.

“I don't think too much about the World Player of the Year award. I just wanted to be the best and see how far I can go. No doubt, it is a fantastic feeling to be given the award and at the dinner that evening, looking at the names that have won it in the past, sometimes it seemed quite surreal,” said Trott.

“When I retire, I will think about how fantastic it was. I am just chuffed about how it has gone in the last year or two and I hope to continue that,” he said. “I just think knowing my own game pretty well, working really hard… it's mainly clichés; there's no real hidden secret. You need things to go your way here and there. I just work really hard on my game. I hate getting out.”

Trott is happy that he has done really well, but he wants to get even better, like everyone else in the England team aspires to. “I can't sit here and say this is why I have scored runs. It's something that I love doing. I have thrown myself into it. Whenever I have had the opportunity to work in the nets, I enjoyed working with Andy (Flower) and Goochie (Graham Gooch),” he said.

Trott always puts his team's interest above everything else. “Team's interest is my priority. That I suppose is what allows me everyday I wake up to play for England and do as well as I can. You know it is a very special feeling to wear an England cap,” he said.

The Yorkshire batsman stressed that it was important to be self-critical but not to over do it. “People are human, they make mistakes. Look forward instead of looking at the past. It's important to move on when you play so much cricket, and try and put it right each time you go out there, work in the nets,” he pointed out.

Reflecting on the young talent in the England team, Trott said it was a fantastic and exciting feeling to be a part of the squad. “There is a lot of talent. It's huge for English cricket,” he said.

Trott was all praise for Jonathan Bairstow, who impressed with his breezy knock on his ODI debut against India in September. He also hit a brilliant 53-ball century against Hyderabad in a warm-up game recently.

“It's very pleasing to see someone come in and feel like he can play his natural game in the team. A lot of the time, people come in and think they have to change something, be different players to what they are used to. It's a good advertisement for the team environment and we work really hard to maintain that,” Trott explained.

On the pressures one could face owing to the advent of natural talent in the England team, Trott said: “As a batter, you are under pressure. Some people crumble under pressure, others do well which is fantastic. I don't think seeing other people do well puts pressure on you,” he said. “That's not really a good team ethos to have. It's more a reflection of being happy and thinking of what you can achieve. I think you have to look at the flip side and the positives. I only feel it ensures healthy competition,” he added.

Trott was seen playing the slog-sweep repeatedly in the warm-up games against Hyderabad. When questioned about this, he said he has been able to play it (the slog-sweep) well. “But you have to pick the right sort of conditions to play it. It's important to have time in the nets and to work with Andy was a very good experience. There are a few things I am trying to get better at, not just batting,” he said.

On the future of England cricket, Trott said it is very bright given the fact that the team is now World No. 1 in Test cricket. “We have won many one-day events at home. It is time we started winning abroad,” he added.

Talking of the emergence of young talent in the England team, Trott said: “Well, there are always people waiting in the wings to come in and take your place. It's a healthy competition that drives a lot of guys to work harder but at the same time, it's fantastic to see someone come in and do well. Whenever you put on the England cap, there's always pressure. That's just a fact of life, you have got to get on with it and deal with it as best as you can.”

Talking of England's dream of winning the World Cup, Trott said: “I played only in one World Cup. See, Australia have won three World Cups with some of the seniors in the squad in all three editions. I don't think getting young players alone is the key. I think it's finding the right blend and I definitely benefited from playing my own game.

“The set-up the ECB has with the Lions tours and stuff like that is pretty good. I certainly benefited from going on two Lions tours. I think Andy Flower and Cookie (Alastair Cook) and Andrew Strauss have generally got it right.

“We set our targets in Test cricket, so hopefully we can do that in one-day cricket as well.”

On his role in the England team, Trott was of the view that having played cricket over the years and with his cricketing knowledge he can put his point of view across when it's probably valid, and at the right time. “I think I am the third oldest in this team. I have played quite a bit of cricket and not only internationally but a lot of domestic stuff. It is invaluable at times just being able to — I love that side of cricket — chat about it with some of those youngsters because that's what I tried to do when I was a young guy coming in. Having the courage to talk to the captain if you see something wrong,” he said.



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