Sunday, 29 May 2011

Jonathan Trott Will Save Your Life

We've all thought about it. What if you're captured by aliens, and your only chance of survival is for someone to bat for a really, really long time? Only after he's scored enough runs, or bored the aliens into a stupor can you break free from their clutches and find safety. Who would be the man who you would let bat for your life?

Tendulkar might get mobbed by over-zealous fans. Kallis' wig might blow into his eyes. Ponting might come over all Ashes 2010 and start edging Anderson to Swann first ball or arguing with umpires. There's only one man who could be chosen with your life at stake. The man who's concentration would not be broken even by aliens pointing ray guns at him. A man who would instead mark his guard and check his gloves. That man is Jonathan Trott.

Jonathan Trott is everything you want in a test number three. He will score a lot of runs, form solid partnerships with other batsmen, not take many risks, and not get out. A test number three doesn't need to switch hit fast bowlers for six. A test number three just needs to accumulate an awful lot of runs and not get out. This is what Trott does.

Nick Knight on Sky this morning said that Trott is a "limited batsman" as he doesn't play a whole range of shots. Nothing could be further from the truth. Trott has studied the art of shotmaking, and worked out what shots he can play that won't get him out. He knows exactly what shot to play to any given ball, and can score runs all around the ground. During the Ashes, the Aussies thought he was an lbw candidate, so bowled straight. So Trott worked them off his legs. Sri Lanka, knowing Trott's on-side strengths, bowled short and wide of off-stump (rarely a successful strategy). So Trott cut and pushed his way to a double ton.

It seems odd that even an a day when Trott has made 200, there are some knocking him for not going quickly enough. What a ridiculous thing to say. Trott scores his runs at a strike rate of 48 - that's faster than Kallis (45), Dravid (42) and Chanderpaul (42). But strike rates aside, Trott isn't there to hit sixes and get out - he's there for a long haul and to anchor the innings.

It's becoming increasingly well documented that Trott's average (of those with over 20 test innings) is the second highest of all time (behind Bradman, obviously). After his double ton today, Trott has 1803 test runs at 66.77. To get ahead of Bradman's average, he needs to score 897 runs before his next wicket. You wouldn't put it past him to get 897 not out.

Don Bradman was a one-of-a-kind - a freak cricketer that gets thrown up once every five generations. Jonathan Trott, like Bradman, is a superhuman run machine. Quite simply, when looking at him, you just can't see any way that he is going to get out. Which is why when the aliens come, I'm sending for Trotty.


Another fun piece of Jonathan Trott average trivia

Jonathan Trott averaged 37 in Tests after his first full season with England. To get it back there now, he'd need to get 22 ducks in a row. (props to @howe_zat for that)

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