Jonathan Trott of England celebrates reaching his century during day 4 of the 1
Jonathan Trott made 211 against South Africa A in the first unofficial Test © Getty Images

Jan 14, 2015

England’s Jonathan Trott completed his return to competitive cricket with a double century as former captain Michael Vaughan backed him to make a Test comeback. Trott scored 211 not out for the second-string England Lions as their first unofficial ‘Test’ against South Africa A in Paarl ended in a high-scoring draw. Lions captain Trott hasn’t played for England since November 2013.

The 33-year-old South Africa-born batsman withdrew from England’s Ashes tour of Australia 14 months ago due to a stress-related condition. But he returned to form with English county side Warwickshire last season, ending the domestic season with back-to-back hundreds, and on Tuesday produced his third successive century in first-class cricket to be 176 not out overnight.

Gary Ballance, who has filled Trott’s position of number three in the senior side, is currently averaging over 60 in Test cricket. But with Australia-born opener Sam Robson having yet to make the spot his own, Vaughan said Trott could return at the top of the order alongside current skipper Alastair Cook.

“England will want Trott back in. They will be looking to see if he can fill that role alongside Alastair Cook. “I wouldn’t rule out the selectors looking at Trott to open alongside Cook. The only spot available at the moment is as an opener,” added Vaughan, with England’s next Test series not until they tour the West Indies in April, said Vaughan.

Trott extended his total to 211 not out, hitting 17 fours in 403 balls when, after nearly 11 hours at the crease, he called time on his marathon innings by declaring with the Lions 624 for eight in reply to the hosts’ first innings 504 for eight late in the morning session of Wednesday’s fourth and final day.

The Lions’ innings also featured five fifties from number five down, with tailender Jack Brooks one of four Yorkshire players passing the half-century mark.   There was time for South Africa A to make 92 for two in their second innings before a draw was agreed at tea.

The second and final ‘Test’ is due to start in Bloemfontein on January 18.