In an uncertain World Cup campaign, England have two more reasons to worry after Andrew Strauss and Graeme Swann both went down with stomach upsets before tomorrow’s must-win match against West Indies.
But it is comforting to know they can rely on Jonathan Trott, a paragon of consistency in an alarmingly inconsistent team.
Trott was able to calm concerns about the well-being of England’s captain and off-spinner – and make it clear he will not be changing the no-frills batting style which is serving him and his adopted country so well.
Trott has made four half-centuries in five Group B matches, yet has attracted criticism too for what some see as dour and one-dimensional accumulation.
No one in the England camp is complaining, though – and that is what is important to Trott.
“People are entitled to their own judgement,” he said.
“As long as I’m being effective, and I work hard with (coach) Andy Flower, whatever he says is more important to me than what other people say.”
Trott has made himself unique among England batsman by making the most one-day international runs – 1,147 – without ever hitting a six.
The 29-year-old has even surpassed the limpet-like Geoff Boycott, and in these days of habitual power-hitting all around him his grounded approach is conspicuous. Trott can clear the ropes, though, as he has proved both for England and Warwickshire in Twenty20 cricket.
He was happy to go on the counter-attack too.
“Have you not watched me play T20?” he asked in response to a question about his sixlessness.
“They’re big fields at Edgbaston as well. I hit a few one-bounce fours in Australia as well.”
For Trott, who can operate close to a run-a-ball tempo and is an expert rotator of the strike, batting appears to be all about percentages and risk management.
“It is one of those things where the situation determines it.
“If you try to hit it hard along the ground, the outfields are hard enough around the world in one-day cricket for boundaries anyway.
“If I started hitting the ball in the air and getting caught at the boundary, you guys would probably be having a go at me for that anyway.”
However he comes by his runs, England have been grateful to Trott at this World Cup.
While he has kept producing close to his best, his team-mates have lurched to extremes – with defeats against supposed minnows Ireland and vulnerable co-hosts Bangladesh leaving them on the verge of another early exit from a competition they have never won.
“We haven’t played consistently,” he said.
“We’ve either played badly with the bat and well with the ball, or badly with the ball and well with the bat.
“We’ve got ourselves into this position, and it’s only us who can get ourselves into a position where we can go through.
“It’s four knockout games for us, and three for everyone else.”
Like Strauss and Swann, Trott has felt unwell in recent days.
“I’m pretty confident they will be all right. These things are normally 24 or 48 hours,” he said.
lIreland’s exit from the World Cup was confirmed after a below-par batting display saw them go down by 131 runs to South Africa in Kolkata.
After winning the toss, Ireland’s disciplined effort in the field – that saw South Africa on 117-5 at one stage – was first undone by JP Duminy, who blazed his way to 99 off 103 balls to lead his side to 272.
The Irish misery continued with the bat, as Morne Morkel and Robin Peterson grabbed three wickets each, while Jacques Kallis took two to condemn Ireland to defeat in the 34th over.