Jonathan Trott has been a bedrock around which the England top-order revolved in recent times © Getty Images

 

By Nishad Pai Vaidya

 

One man who goes about doing his job efficiently without any fuss is Jonathan Trott. He has been one of the most consistent batsmen in world cricket – in Tests and ODIs – over the last year. Yet, he remains an unsung hero. There is no hype around him even though he is the fastest man to get to a thousand runs in ODI cricket.

 

Jonathan Trott is another South African import. But unlike Kevin Pietersen, he had his chances at the highest level in age group cricket. He represented South Africa in the under-19 World Cup and played the second edition of the tournament held in the year 2000 alongside the likes of Graeme Smith, Thami Tsolekile and Albie Morkel. Nevertheless, he decided to try his luck in England. He joined Warwickshire and his British passport ensured that he played as a local and not an overseas player.

 

The decision to migrate to England has paid rich dividends – for him and for England. He has brought stability to England’s batting, as he plays the role of the sheet anchor. When England are in dire straits, he is the man who gives them hope.

 

Trott is blessed with cool and calm temperament. His face does not mirror the situation out in the middle when comes out to bat. His face is expressionless! He just takes a good look around the field and marks his guard before getting ready to face the bowler. This tactic probably calms him down, but it also gets under the skins of some rival captains.

 

His ability to stay unruffled has helped him perform under pressure on many occasions. He was picked to debut in the final Test of the 2009 Ashes series in England. There is always pressure on players in an Ashes series, but it’s far greater for a debutant playing in a deciding Test for the Urn.

 

He walked in to bat in the second innings (on the back of a good 41 in the first) when his team was in a very precarious position. What unfolded is history. He stroked a match-winning 119 which set up a target that was beyond the reach of Australia. The world got an early glimpse of how good he can be when the chips are down.

 

Since then the runs have flowed from his bat in both ODIs and Tests. He doesn’t come across as a naturally aggressive batsman, yet he scores at a very brisk rate. His risk-free cricket is laced in conventional and classical shots. He would take the singles, the twos and also hit the occasional boundaries.

 

One can call him a busy player at the crease as he doesn’t play too many dot balls and keeps the score ticking. Any youngsters who want to know how to score quickly without taking too many risks would do well to watch Trott batting.

 

He is England’s man for the crisis situations as the records show. In both formats, he has rescued England from tough or sometimes hopeless situations. His 189 at Lord’s, a Test match marred by the spot-fixing controversy, took England from 102 for seven to 446.

 

In the Ashes series Down Under, he stood out with consistent performances which helped England clinch the urn in Australia after 24 years. Unlike his team, his form continued into the one day series as he was the top run getter of the series.

 

England haven’t had a very good campaign in the World Cup so far. Their fate hangs in the balance on the result of their game against the West Indies. But in their campaign of struggle, Trott has stood out yet again, as he has contributed in almost all the games. The last two innings, in my opinion, were among his best, as they were played on slow, turning tracks.

 

The 52 against South Africa came at a time when they were three down against the spin of Robin Peterson. He built a partnership with Ravi Bopara to rescue England from a horrible position. England won that game by a small margin, which underlined the importance of his stay at the crease.

 

In a similar position against Bangladesh, he scored 62 when England were struggling against the Bangladesh spinners. The result didn’t go in England’s favour, but Trott played a fantastic innings by holding one end as Eoin Morgan was going after the bowling.

 

England batsmen are not known to play spin very well, but Trott has been an exception. It would be a absorbing contest when he faces the likes of Harbhajan Singh on a crumbling fifth day wicket of a Test match.

 

Trott has been a silent achiever. It’s time the world recognized his worth.

 

(Nishad Pai Vaidya, a 20-year-old law student, is a club and college-level cricketer. His teachers always complain, “He knows the stats and facts of cricket more than the subjects we teach him.”)