Blogs & Opinion


Drabble Down Under:

Most Popular Posts:

Ashes Tour Diary

Drabble Down Under - Joe Drabble Posted 26th November 2013 view comments

Battered, bruised and ultimately bullied in Brisbane, England's turbulent start to the Ashes series has been compounded by the departure of Jonathan Trott for the rest of the tour due to stress.

England's lynchpin at No 3, Trott has arrived back home to the comfort of his family after revealing that a horrible mental illness has caught hold of him. It puts cricket and this tour into perspective.

Jonathan Trott: His tour exit provides England with a selection dilemma

Jonathan Trott: His tour exit provides England with a selection dilemma

The Australian press and public have been largely sympathetic towards Trott however they also realise that his absence significantly boosts their chances of ending their Ashes losing streak.

Trott was in sublime touch in Australia three years ago, averaging 89 and scoring centuries in Brisbane and Melbourne that went a long way to helping England record a famous 3-1 win.

Robert Craddock, writing in the Sydney Telegraph, observed: "Trott's departure is a blow from which England's tour may never recover and it has eerie echoes to Marcus Trescothick's sudden departure for similar reasons in 2006-07.

"Already England are one Test down and will now have to include an unproven player like Jonny Bairstow in their top six.

"But it's not just about team balance.

"The departure of a player through mental injury cuts deeper than if he had twisted an ankle or broken an arm.

"There is a chance a distinguished Test career could be over and sadly, no deed he has performed on the field will be remembered more than the way he left the game."

Temperament

Indeed, Alastair Cook, Andy Flower and Co must now work out how England are to replace the void left by Trott and at breakfast this morning Nasser Hussain, Michael Atherton and David Lloyd made strong cases for both Joe Root and Ian Bell to step up.

Root, an opener by trade, would seem the most likely contender, however there is also an argument that Bell, who has played 82 more Tests than Root, should step up to the plate.

Either way, England must make a decision on which batsman replaces Trott before Adelaide and this week's tour match against CA Chairman's XI in Alice Springs offers Jonny Bairstow, Gary Ballance and Ben Stokes the perfect opportunity to stake a claim.

Whoever comes in will have to have temperament. Australia have set their stall out to ruffle England up and reaction to Michael Clarke's plea for Mitchell Johnson to break James Anderson's arm during the last knockings at The Gabba have been greeted with a mixed view Down Under.

Many believe Clarke crossed the line, however controversial Australian cricket writer Ben Dorries has a different take on the confrontation.

Writing in the Brisbane Courier Mail, Dorries said: "By telling pale-faced and smarmy Pom Jimmy Anderson to 'get ready for a broken f**king arm' during the dramatic closing stages of the Gabba Test, Clarke finally stands for something. With every hot-blooded gesture, you could almost feel thousands of sports lovers suddenly discovering new warmth for Clarke. It did what 25 Test centuries couldn't ... it won him widespread acceptance from the Australian public. After losing three Ashes series in a row, Clarke should be applauded for standing up for his team and going chest to chest with the Poms."

Applauded? I'm not so sure, but one thing is certain; Australia are prepared to fight and fight hard for what everyone in these parts believes is rightly theirs, the Ashes urn.

back to top

Other Cricket Experts:

Latest Posts in Cricket:

Bob Willis

Away for a while

Bob Willis thinks Jonathan Trott will be absent from England duty for some time following his latest setback....

Latest News RSS feeds

Cook: No Flower influence

England captain Alastair Cook insists Andy Flower will have no influence in the rebuilding of the national team.

Div One: Woakes flattens Lancs

Chris Woakes' 5-63 put Warwickshire on top against Lancashire, while Gary Ballance struck a century for Yorkshire.

Div Two: Smith hits Derbyshire

Will Smith's half-century helped Hampshire to 231-5 on a weather-affected first day against Derbyshire.

Same again from Kings XI

Kings XI Punjab pulled off their second big run chase in a row to earn a seven-wicket win over Rajasthan Royals.

Watkinson: Not ideal timing

Lancashire boss Mike Watkinson admits the timing of Peter Moores' departure has been far from ideal.

Features

A look at the highs and lows of new England supremo Peter Moores' coaching career

A look at the highs and lows of new England supremo Peter Moores' coaching career

Following confirmation on Saturday that Peter Moores had been appointed as England head coach for a second time, we take a look back at the highs and lows of his coaching career.

Indian Premier League: Watch the best bits of this year's tournament on Sky Sports

Indian Premier League: Watch the best bits of this year's tournament on Sky Sports

Watch Kevin Pietersen's return to action - and the best of the rest of the Indian Premier League - right here on skysports.com.

Next England cricket coach: We look at the five contenders to replace Andy Flower

Next England cricket coach: We look at the five contenders to replace Andy Flower

With interviews already under way for the vacant England coaching position, we look at the five men in the frame to replace Andy Flower on a full-time basis.