Friday, 28 May 2010

The Big Squeeze

Life inside Jonathan Trott's head must be interesting. There are all of the tics and scratches going on of course, all of the little rituals and obsessions of his batting, the manifestations of the mind's struggle for order and control. Then there is the effect on his psyche of the press's view of him, which even by English standards has been mercurial.

His hundred at the Oval had him anointed England's number three for the next ten years, even though he hadn't actually batted there. After South Africa, where he played one of history's weirdest nine-ball innings, and Bangladesh, where his luck ran out, he was considered fortunate to be in the squad, let alone the team. And now yesterday.

Bangladesh aren't a big test for everybody, but they were a big test for him, and for Morgan and for England's little middle-order goldenballs Ian Bell. After yesterday, the squeeze is on, especially if Morgan gets a few more in style today. World Cup hero Colin Collingwood* has to come back, which means one less seat on the bus.

Who goes? Who knows, but it's now harder for it to be Trott. Morgan is an obvious number six, because he can move matches along and his batting has the wow factor. KP evidently won't move to three, which might allow a bigger shuffle of the deck, so attention once more falls on Bell, the escape artist. His dismissal yesterday was less easily explained away than Pietersen's. KP had just enjoyed one of the weeks of a lifetime - a small comedown is forgivable. Bell was fresh, coming in with runs on the board. He might not bat twice here, which probably leaves him one innings to save his ass. Again.

* As the Prime Minister apparently called him, so he shall henceforth be known...


Dean @ Cricket Betting Blog said...

Was it not Colin Wood that the PM called him?

The way day 2 ended, the selectors might well have to look at the 5 bowlers policy for the Ashes.

In that case Bell, Morgan, OCD Trott, and Colin Wood will all come under scrutiny.

Remember when Struass was shoehorned back into the side in New Zealand after been dropped a couple of years back, when he was on his last chance.

I got the feeling listening to some of the selectors remarks that they wanted a good slip fielder back into the side, and that got him the nod ahead of Shah or Bopara (can't remember which one).

They had not long lost Tres, Struass and Fred, while Cook was spilling slip chances everywhere.

If fielding comes into their thoughts, then Colin Wood is a certainty, while Bell is a top class short leg (who I believe England missed when he was out of side), Morgan is a good outfielder as well.

Which just leave OCD, who looks a bit lost in the field at times, and his running between the wickets isn't great either.

I believe that OCD Trott will have to do more to keep his place than the others.

And in the great scheme of things, how much will a double hundred against Bangladesh count for at the end of the summer?

The Old Batsman said...

Yup, and the way days 3 and 4 ended!

Colin Wood probably needs a solid summer but think he's safe. KP, obviously. Three way squeeze between the others, agreed. I favour morgan to stay, and trott over bell.

Mark said...

But 'Colin' as a nickname has already been bestowed on Neil Warnock, for anagramatical reasons.