Thursday, October 8, 2009

`Trott can solve number three problem`

Jonathan Trott's Test career may only be one game old, but Mark Butcher believes he already has enough experience to cope with the pressures of Test cricket.

Trott was included on Thursday in the England squad which will play four Tests against the world's number one ranked side this winter.

The 28-year-old made his international debut this summer when he replaced the misfiring Ravi Bopara at number three in England's final Ashes Test at the Brit Oval.

The selectors' decision to gamble with the Warwickshire batsman paid off as he hit a fine maiden Test century to help guide England to a 2-1 series victory.

Butcher, who played the majority of his 71 Tests at number three, was impressed with the way Trott slotted into the role, and is confident he will do well in South Africa.

"He played two perfect innings at the Oval in terms of their tempo and technical ability," Butcher said.

"For me he has what it takes to solve that problem at number three and perhaps allow the likes of (Ian) Bell and (Paul) Collingwood and Bopara, when he gets another chance, to come in and express themselves a bit more in the middle order."

The series against the Proteas looks set to be a fiery encounter given the recent history between the two sides.

England captain Andrew Strauss refused his opposite number Graeme Smith a runner during the ICC Champions Trophy match between the two last month despite the fact that the 28 year old was clearly suffering from cramp.

Four of the 16-man England squad - Trott, Strauss, Kevin Pietersen and Matt Prior - were born in South Africa and are all expected to receive a frosty reception from the home crowds.

Pietersen thrived on the barracking he received from the South African crowd and players during his return to South Africa in 2005, when he hit three centuries for England in the one-day series between the two sides.

Butcher believes Trott, who has played for the Proteas at under-15 and under-19 levels, will be able to deal with any sledging he receives from the players and fans.

"I don't see why he wouldn't be able to come in and handle the pressure and any stick the South Africans give him," the former Surrey batsman said.

"I don't think anyone has come into a Test match under as much pressure as he did when he came in against Australia so it'll be a walk in the park for him."

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