Monday 18 December 2017

England ‘heartbroken’ by Trott’s exit from Ashes due to stress

England's Jonathan Trott leaves the field after losing his wicket for 9 during day three of the first Ashes Test at The Gabba, Brisbane, at the weekend
England's Jonathan Trott leaves the field after losing his wicket for 9 during day three of the first Ashes Test at The Gabba, Brisbane, at the weekend

David Clough

ENGLAND must redouble their efforts to fight back in the Ashes, as they come to terms with Jonathan Trott's absence from the remainder of their tour.

Stuart Broad spoke this morning of the impact of Trott's departure, after England's number three had to fly home because of a stress-related illness.

Trott twice fell cheaply to the bowling of Australia's match-winner Mitchell Johnson in England's shocking 381-run defeat in Brisbane.

England have since travelled on to Alice Springs, with a stop-off for Broad and five of his team-mates at the tourist attraction and sacred site of Uluru.

It is back to Alice, in the heart of Australia's barren 'red centre', for a two-day match against a CA Chairman's XI on Friday and Saturday - and then another flight south to Adelaide for next week's second Test.

Broad reflected on England's uncomfortable experiences at the Gabba, and in particular the shock of having to say goodbye so early in the tour to one of their most experienced and reliable batsmen.

He said: "It's heartbreaking for us to lose Trotty.

"He's been part of the side for four or five years - he's a fantastic guy.

"He gave us a lot of solidity in the number three spot.

"But the important thing is he's got the support of the changing room he's played with for 49 Tests.

"Everyone's looking out for him, and he gets a bit of privacy at home to get himself right.

"We wish him very well from Australia here."

Trott's problems aside, England's batting faltered alarmingly in the first Test as Johnson's pace and bounce helped to bowl them out for 136 and then 179.

"It was really disappointing from our point of view," said Broad, who took six for 81 in Australia's first innings.

"We sat in the changing rooms after the first day, and everyone was buzzing.

"We stamped our authority in the way we wanted to, but to follow that up with three really poor days hurt the team."

Broad is confident nonetheless England can improve, as they must and often have after poor starts to recent tours.

"If we judged the English cricket side on the first match of the series, we'd be the worst side in the world - because we don't have a good record in that.

"I can't put my finger on why, but it's something we need to improve.

"One thing is that we know we can get better throughout the series."

Much will rest, of course, on England's next performance.

Defeat would put them in a perilous position heading for the third Test at Perth, where Johnson helped Australia to their only victory in the 2010/11 Ashes.

"Adelaide will be a huge Test match, to get back into the series, but we have confidence and experience we can do that," added Broad.

"We have a group of players who are strong.

"They know when they've made mistakes and (need to) put them right."

Press Association

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