England lose another brick in wall as Trott quits
LONDON – Jonathan Trott followed Graeme Swann, Kevin Pietersen and Matt Prior into the international wilderness on Monday to leave England desperately short of experience ahead of this year’s Ashes series against Australia.
Trott was forced to admit that he is no longer capable of coping with the demands of test cricket following a dismal return to the side in the drawn series in West Indies.
That leaves only Alastair Cook, Ian Bell, James Anderson and Stuart Broad as England players with experience of Ashes success and, with the Australians heading over brimful of confidence, home hopes of reclaiming the precious urn look forlorn.
Cook’s team are in disarray following their erratic performances in the Caribbean.
Although the captain made his first international century for nearly two years in the final test in Barbados, the batting looks highly vulnerable.
Trott’s retirement leaves a gap at the top of the order and Yorkshire’s Adam Lyth looks to be the next candidate to open with Cook.
Only Joe Root enjoyed a consistent series against a moderate West Indies attack and although Bell looked in sublime form when he made 143 in the first match in Antigua, he contributed little after that.
Gary Ballance has established himself at number three but the middle order is in a state of flux with Moeen Ali and Ben Stokes unpredictable influences and Jos Buttler struggling to translate his dynamic one-day form to the five-day game.
Anderson continues to lead the attack with great skill and energy but England’s leading test wicket-taker needs more support.
Broad blows hot and cold, Chris Jordan and Stokes have failed to provide potent seam back-up and the spinning department looks threadbare.
Moeen failed to kick on from his impressive performances against India last year with wildly erratic spells in West Indies and Root provided only modest back-up.
James Tredwell is not a wicket-taking bowler in tests and the reluctance of the selectors to give Adil Rashid a game in West Indies suggests they do not fully trust the Yorkshire leg-spinner.
With major doubts hanging over the future of England coach Peter Moores the portends for the Ashes do not look bright.
But the hosts can take heart from the experience of Australia last time they toured England when Mickey Arthur was removed as coach two weeks before the first test and his replacement Darren Lehmann immediately galvanised the team. – Reuters