South African-born Jonathan Trott scored 3,835 runs in 52 Tests for England at a strike rate of 47.18, and the talented batsman (who retired from competitive cricket at the end of the 2018 English County season) believes that patience is a virtue that batsmen should hold on to despite the speed of scoring in white-ball cricket.
In an interview with Cricinfo in India, where Trott is serving as batting coach for the England Lions, Trott spoke positively about the health of Test cricket and his belief that the art of building an innings still has an important place in the skill sets of batsmen at all levels.
‘When I was growing up, it was all about the defence first. Nowadays these younger players play so much white-ball cricket, (as well as) watching so much of it, because of how much is available on television and highlight shows. But sometimes you need to practise the basics of defence just as much. I think it’s a little bit of a role reversal now,’ said Trott.
‘Our job as coaches is to remind them of the basics and help them work on the defence, because at the younger age they seem to be more expansive. These days you see guys being more positive against spin, and that comes from playing a lot of one-day cricket where they explore different options on how to hit boundaries and where they can hit spinners. Yes, that’s probably not the traditional way how you play Test cricket, but I think exploring your options of hitting the spinners is just as important as your defence against them – the basics.’
Trott believes it is crucial for Test batsmen to have a balance between being able to attack spin bowling, as well as being able to defend against it, and added that the outcome of any Test match is no longer easy to predict.
‘Anybody can win on a certain day. If you look all around the world, you see a lot more results in Tests. But you’re also seeing a lot more teams at home dominate now, which is what is changing a little bit. But then again you saw India winning in Australia and England against Sri Lanka, of course. I think Test cricket is very healthy and is indeed in a good state,’ said the former Rondebosch Boys’ High School learner.
‘I still think people would say Test cricket is the pinnacle of international cricket. Yes, it’s a lot tougher than 20 overs. It requires a lot of patience, determination and effort, that’s why it’s the ultimate. It’s about knowing when to hit and when to leave. That puts the confidence in your game in the longer format,’ said Trott.
Read the full interview with Trott on Cricinfo.
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