Trott to make Ashes debut
England look to a batsman born in South Africa to rescue their Ashes campaign.
Last Modified: 16 Aug 2009 14:51 GMT

 Jonathan Trott will make his debut at The Oval [GALLO/GETTY]
Jonathan Trott will make his test debut for England after being called up to the squad for the fifth and deciding Ashes game against Australia.

The 28-year-old South Africa-born Warwickshire batsman was named in a squad of 14 on Sunday with the two teams level at 1-1 going into the match at The Oval starting on Thursday.

"I'm (happy) as hell really,'' said Trott, who was born in Cape Town, played for South Africa at under-19 level but qualifies for England through his grandparents.

"I've been playing pretty well this season so hope I can play well this week.

"I'm pretty much going to try and stay as relaxed as possible. I'd like to think that under pressure I perform. We'll see this week.''


National selector Geoff Miller said Trott was close to a callup for the fourth test.

"He's a confident lad and he knows how good a player he is,'' Miller said.

"There's no (more) gamble than anyone when you do select them for their debut. He's a quality player. He's got a very strong mental attitude. He's unfazed but you never know until you get thrown into the international arena how you're going to react to it. But we as selectors have every confidence that he will be able to surmount that and do the job he's required to do.''

Trott has played in Twenty20 games for England, the backup Lions team and was called up for the fourth test at Headingley after averaging more than 83 for Warwickshire only to be left out of the starting lineup.

"He was in the squad at Headingley and it's a consistent policy that we've had,'' Miller said.

"He's been in quality form this year, he was the leading runscorer in the Lions. He's been part of the process for a while now and he deserves and merits his inclusion.''

Bopara out

The selectors have dropped out-of-form Ravi Bopara after England lost the fourth test by an innings and 80 runs at Headingley. He had scored only 105 runs in seven test innings.

"Ravi Bopara has been going through a tough time with the bat in this series and we have decided to leave him out of the squad for this game,'' Miller said.

"He will be extremely disappointed but remains very much part of our plans for the future and I am sure that he has the talent and temperament to regain his place in the side.

"Ravi's omission means Jonathan Trott will make his test debut. Having been part of the squad at  Headingley, he was the next batsman in line in our view and this rewards him for the excellent form he has shown in county cricket both this summer and with England Lions over the winter.''

Allrounder Andrew Flintoff, who has announced he will retire from test cricket after the series, was included in the squad and is expected to return after missing Headingley with a knee injury.

England kept faith with Ian Bell, who is expected to bat at No. 3 in place of Bopara, and chose Trott ahead of the more experienced Robert Key and veteran Mark Ramprakash, who has been in top form for Surrey in county cricket but hasn't played for England for seven years.

Monty Panesar, who played a dramatic role in the first test, was brought into the squad but Graeme Swann is likely to be preferred as spinner, while paceman Graham Onions is likely to make way for Flintoff.

Miller said that both Flintoff and paceman James Anderson had improved after their injuries and were expected to be fit for the final test.

England squad

Andrew Strauss (captain), Alastair Cook, Ian Bell, Jonathan Trott, Paul Collingwood, Matt Prior, Andrew Flintoff, Stuart Broad, Graeme Swann, Steve Harmison, James Anderson, Ryan Sidebottom, Graham Onions, Monty Panesar.

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