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Trott’s retirement is the right decision

The Roar logo The Roar 04-05-2015 Alec Swann

When Jonathan Trott fended a well directed bouncer Shannon Gabriel bouncer to square leg, just a couple of minutes into his first innings at the Kensington Oval in Barbados, his number was up.

An attempt to rediscover, from a team perspective, a batsman who had conducted the majority of his career in the upper reaches of the world rankings, all conducted with the best of intentions, hit the proverbial brick wall with that dismissal.

Another single-figure score in the second innings merely provided the answer to a question that the man himself announced a couple of days later.

Everybody’s time has to come to an end at some stage and there was no disgrace in trying to extend a career; Trott is a professional cricketer after all.

The required boxes had been ticked. Plenty of runs at domestic level, more, importantly, on tour with the England Lions and the conquering of the problems that had led to a premature departure from the Ashes tour 18 months ago.

There is a school of thought along the lines of Trott’s recall being an error of judgement, of the adage ‘you should never go back’ being ignored and the want for the good times to return overriding the sound process of the selectors.

With hindsight now ready to play its part all of the above could be said to be true but the England hierarchy can hardly be faulted for wanting to see the Trott of old back in the line-up.

A steady presence at the top of the order, a determined, unflappable shield to the more expansive and expressive below him, Trott was a pivotal part of the success England enjoyed in the not too distant past and it wouldn’t have taken too big a leap of faith in the expectation of the same qualities to resurface.

And for a brief time in the first innings in Grenada, the Trott of old could be witnessed: the shuffling clip through the leg side, the guide behind point, the intense defensive method, the concentration.

But that was a mere vignette and no foundation on which a second coming was to be constructed.

Walking off with nought to his name in the third Test, Trott must have known he was spent.

The passing of time, and there are very few exceptions, dulls the components that make up the constitution of any batsman, at any level.

It could be the desire to churn out scores that once came as second nature, or the marginal slowing of the reflexes, or even the mistiming of deliveries that were once either defended or put away with relative ease.

Watching both Trott and, similarly, Shivnarine Chanderpaul these past few weeks has been to see a futile raging against the dying of the light. There has been little verve in their play and it has all appeared something of a struggle.

Not a battle through to easier times – a normal Test innings for all bit the very gifted – but a constant scrap with self that isn’t providing a resolution.

That is why Trott’s decision to call time on his international days is the right move.

The cynical, and a glance at Twitter would indicate the presence of plenty of those, point to his jump coming before a push, or blame being pointed at selectors, coach and even captain for recalling Trott.

But for all the cock-ups of the English cricketing establishment over the past year or so, this has been a punt which simply didn’t work out, not a sign something is rotten.

And others who have, inevitably given the snap judgements that seem to be de rigeur these days, stated that he didn’t fancy facing the Australians again need their opinion to be given short shrift.

Trott was a fine player for England, a number three who, when at his peak, was exceptional and it has been to Gary Ballance’s credit that his shoes have been more than adequately filled.

Alastair Cook received the batting plaudits for his substantial haul during England’s 2010-11 triumph in Australia but Trott’s contribution, and his century at the MCG especially, wasn’t far below.

A successful stint in the Caribbean would’ve most likely seen him looking for Ashes winners’ medal number three come early July in Cardiff but not every career ends with the bat raised and a warm glow of satisfaction.

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