Jonathan Trott has got an opportunity to play his 50th test and make a comeback to England squad and Alastair Cook's latest opening partner in test cricket as he has been selected to play in the warm-up match against West Indies. Trott appears to have edged ahead of Adam Lyth to open with Cook against a St Kitts & Nevis Invitational XI as England play the first of two two-day warm-up matches before the first Test against West Indies.
Trott batted with Cook in preparation for the match and has been lined up to open with the captain ever since batting well on the Lions tour in January. He now has an opportunity to play his 50th Test in Antigua on April 13.
Cook is confident Trott is ready to return to international cricket 18 months after fearing his career was over when he flew home from Brisbane looking mentally exhausted by the challenge of facing Mitchell Johnson. "He was in a bad place in Brisbane and at the time I would have been surprised that he'd come back, but it's a huge credit to the work he's done off the field and the effort he's put in," said Cook.
Trott has done everything possible to make his England return a reality, scoring runs for Warwickshire and on a Lions tour to South Africa in January. Work with renowned sports psychologist Stephen Peters has helped repair the mental scars caused by the last Ashes tour, but England are still gambling on his recall.
His problems started against Johnson in the summer of 2013 as technical faults against the pace and angle of the left-armer emerged. They have not been tested again as Trott has not faced anyone of Johnson’s pace but that will change this summer with Trent Boult, Johnson and Mitchell Starc set to face England.
"I am (confident), but you don't know 100 per cent until he's put out in the environment - that is always unknown," said Cook. "There's a lot of things about selection that are unknown until you're put into the pressure cooker of international cricket and, make no mistake, it's a high-intensity environment, there's no doubt about that. But Trotty's done everything we've asked of him. He feels confident in himself and he's just looking forward to taking that next step. What we do know is he's a quality player. You don't have his stats and that weight of runs behind you without being a quality player.”