Trott on the brink after latest duck | cricket.com.au

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Trott on the brink after latest duck

Another failure has past England captains calling for change at the top of the order

Jonathan Trott's place as England opener looks increasingly under threat after the right-hander's third duck in five innings on Friday.

A host of former players and the UK press have called for Trott to be replaced for the upcoming Test series against New Zealand beginning on May 21.

He was recalled to the Test side for the trip to the Caribbean after leaving the 2013-14 Ashes series in Australia with a stress-related illness and returned to the team on a run of strong form, including an unbeaten double century for England Lions in January.

However Trott has struggled at the top of the order through the Caribbean series, with scores of 0, 4, 59, 0 and 0.

His three-ball duck, fending Shannon Gabriel's first short ball of the third Test to square leg on Friday night had former England captain Nasser Hussain calling for the opener to be replaced by uncapped Yorkshire left-hander Adam Lyth, who scored 1489 runs in the county championship last summer.

"England had to play Jonathan Trott in all three Tests here to find out whether he could recreate his form of the past but sadly they can draw a line under him now," Hussain wrote in the Daily Mail.

Trott fends away a short ball to be out in Barbados // Getty Images

"It gives me no pleasure to say that because the bloke has been through hell to be back here playing for England.

"There will be a lot of people saying 'I told you so' but you have to feel sorry for the lad.

"He has been one of England's great No.3s so they were entitled to find out whether he still had it or not.

"Now we know that his problems against the short ball are too serious to overcome."

Former England batsman turned commentator Geoffrey Boycott said he did not believe Trott was suited to the role of opener.

Trott, 34, has a Test average of 44 runs and has played most of his England career at number three.

"He is a tough cookie and he has had a terrific Test record. But it's a different ball game psychologically up front," Boycott told the BCC.

"It's not like being down the order and you have plenty of runs on the board and the bowlers are tired.

"Every time you go in it's the new ball and you have got fresh bowlers. It is nerve-wracking.

"He can't play like that against quick bowling. I would be frightened watching him when Australia come [for the Ashes series this summer] with Mitchell Starc and Mitchell Johnson."

Former England bowler Bob Willis said he felt Trott's chances of featuring in the Ashes were becoming slimmer.

"The verdict seems to be: 'How can you possibly pick this man against the Australian pace attack in the summer," Willis told Sky Sports.

"There is no way back for him in the middle order and the only spot available to him is the one he has messed up.

"His dismissal was embarrassing and it looks like the game is up for him as a Test cricketer."

Veteran Telegraph reporter Scyld Berry said the "Trott experiment was worth trying" with no other batsman making a strong claim on the opener's position, but said England could not afford an opening batsman "who is bounced out by a short ball which most experienced openers would have ducked".

Even the reserved Times of London said Trott was essentially unpickable after this latest failure, with former England captain turned award-winning cricket columnist Michael Atherton saying "the way he played the short ball here, rushing at the bowler, so that he was in no position to deal with it, means that England cannot pick him against Australia this summer".

Several other members of England's cricket writing press corps took to Twitter to share their views on the dismissal, lead by former England quick and Guardian correspondent Mike Selvey.

It is a different story for Alastair Cook, with teammate Moeen Ali saying the England captain's first-innings century would "get people off his back".

"He probably just wanted to get it off his chest a little bit but the most important thing was he got the team out of trouble with that century," Ali said after day one.

"We felt like it was coming. He's been playing so well for the previous two games and he deserves it.

"I think just to get people off his back a little bit, it was nice to get a hundred. And the most important thing was he got us out of trouble."

Cook's century drought began in the first Test of the 2013 Ashes, but the skipper has returned to form in the Caribbean, scoring two fifties in the second Test before digging in for a 266-ball 105 on the first day in Barbados.

Ian Botham said he believed Alastair Cook would now go from strength to strength.

"He has got better and better from Antigua through to Grenada to here where he played really well," Botham told Sky Sports.

"He had to battle through on a pitch that wasn't easy to score on but he hung in there.

"His record is there in black and white; in the Test arena he is one of the best we've had and he will probably break every record and who knows where it will end."