England sweating over Jonathan Trott's fitness ahead of crunch tie against New Zealand

Jonathan Trott is currently out with a quad injury and could miss England’s must-win match against New Zealand in ICC Champions Trophy 2013 © Getty Images

Cardiff: Jun 15, 2013

Jonathan Trott could miss England‘s must-win Champions Trophy match against New Zealand in Cardiff with a quad injury.

Often criticised for slow-scoring, the South Africa-born batsman has nevertheless been a reliable source of runs in the 50-over format, scoring over 2,500 runs at an impressive average of 52.56.

England view the Warwickshire right-hander, who bats at number three, as their one-day anchor man, providing a launch-pad for more dynamic batsmen later in the innings.

It was the role Trott played in top-scoring for England with 76 at The Oval on Thursday in a seemingly challenging total of 293 for seven that Sri Lanka overhauled during a seven-wicket win thanks to an outstanding 134 not out from senior batsman Kumar Sangakkara.

Trott was off the field for much of the Sri Lankan star’s innings and he now faces a fitness test to see if he will be available to face New Zealand, a match labelled a “quarter-final” by England captain Alastair Cook and one the hosts will likely need to win if they are to reach the last four.

“Jonathan had a tight right quad and we thought the best thing to do was to get him off before things got significantly worse,” said England assistant coach Richard Halsall.

“We have to have a look at him tomorrow [Saturday] at training and we don’t know yet if he’ll be fit.”
Meanwhile Halsall insisted Trott’s critics were ill-informed.

“Trott’s in the top 10 one-day batsmen in the world and he builds a magnificent platform for us. It’s always reassuring to have him there. People who continue to talk about him haven’t really looked at the black and white facts. He continues to put us in a position to score big scores which we should defend, like yesterday (Thursday).”

Halsall’s comments were a reflection of the fact England only took three wickets against Sri Lanka.

“We were expecting to win the game at halfway. We didn’t bowl in the disciplined manner we did against Australia (a match England won by 48 runs) in the first game and we couldn’t hammer out the consistent lengths we did against Australia. Against world-class batsmen you have to be world class when you’re bowling and we weren’t. Our bowlers would say we should defend that total and we didn’t,” said Halsall.

As well as Trott, England could also be without seamer and hard-hitting lower-order batsman Tim Bresnan against New Zealand.

Bresnan’s wife was due to give birth to the couple’s first child during the one-day series against New Zealand that preceded the Champions Trophy.

But she had not yet done so and the Yorkshireman could leave the squad at any time to be present at the birth.

“It’s been quite a while and I think Tim’s wife would be pleased if the baby would come along now. She’s bored of being pregnant but there’s no news. He’s ready to go when it happens,” said Halsall.

If Bresnan was missing, it would open up a place in the attack for either fast bowler Steven Finn or off-spinner James Tredwell.

Finn was omitted for the tournament opener against Australia while Tredwell has rarely let England down when deputising for Graeme Swann and could feature if one-day coach Ashley Giles decides he needs two spinners in Cardiff.