Jonathan Trott had made several headlines for England in his 49 Test matches thanks to some stellar knocks that saved and won games for his country. However, when a stress-related illness forced Trott to pull out midway from England's Ashes tour of Australia in 2013-14, then coach Andy Flower bemoaned the loss of his "rock" in the batting order. Trott returned home "wounded" and England suffered a 5-0 thrashing at the hands of rivals Australia. Â
Fourteen months after the unfortunate incident, Trott has signaled he is ready for big time cricket again with an unbeaten 211 for England Lions against South Africa A at Paarl on Wednesday. This was the fourth double century of Trott's topsy-turvy career.
Trott, 33, was regarded as the most technically-proficient batsman in a line-up that boasted of Andrew Strauss, Alastair Cook, Ian Bell, the controversial Kevin Pietersen and Matt Prior. Trott had amassed 3763 runs at an average of 46.45 with the help of nine hundreds and had sealed his spot at the coveted No.3. His future looked bright and not many would have bet against Trott retiring with 100 Tests under his belt.
However, uncertainty and the constant pressure of performing at the top level, got to him. Days before what would have been his 50th Test at the Adelaide Oval, Trott decided to go home. His father was booked to fly in from England, while his uncle was travelling from South Africa. Trott's mother was already present in England when they were given the shock of their lives. Trott knew the decision could spell the end of his England career but he realised he was too tired and distracted to carry on at the highest level.
But in an ode to his determination, Trott has regained form and composure, cracking three hundreds for Warwickshire over the last year.
Trott is currently touring his native South Africa and has been in splendid form for the England Lions. Leading from the front, he made 6 and 79 not out versus Gauteng Invitation XI earlier in the month. He has now sent another strong notice to the selectors with a double hundred. In 2013, Trott had complained of feeling drained out even after scoring 40, weeks before he took the drastic step of flying back home from Australia - butÂ looks to have found his rhythm and high levels of concentration again.
What really triggered Trott to take a call as drastic as that is still shrouded in mystery. It took him just one Test Down Under to realise he had had enough. Trott had managed just 10 and 9 in the first match at the Gabba, falling to Mitchell Johnson in both innings.
However, a little over a year later, it looks like Trott could be on his way back into the big league. He has shown the hunger for runs again - the same hunger that saw him score hundreds on debut for county and country. With Pietersen out of contention, England could turn to Trott to add much-needed experience to the batting line-up.