BATSMAN Jonathan Trott holds a proven record at international level so having a class player like him back in the squad for their three-Test tour of the Caribbean next month can only benefit England.
There is going to be a lot of attention on his first return, having left the 2013-14 Ashes tour with a stress-related illness, and it comes down to how he copes with that. Only he knows if he is ready to resume Test cricket.
He scored runs for England Lions during the winter in South Africa so he has played abroad since his last Test in Brisbane and there wouldn’t be much point in England taking him and not playing him.
For me, he will definitely play and he’ll probably open the batting. He’s used to batting at No3 but it’s not a massive change. Through his career he’s had to be ready to be at he crease and face the new ball in the first over if an opener was dismissed.
There is no reason he shouldn’t be confident opening the batting and, while his first tour back will be a challenge, it’s a decent one to start with. I’d have thought the pitches in the Caribbean will be pretty slow.
I don’t think he’ll get much of the short-pitched bowling which he is said to have struggled with before his 18-month absence. These things, however, will all come under the spotlight if he plays against New Zealand and Australia this summer.
I’m also pleased to see fast-bowler Liam Plunkett back. He offers skipper Alastair Cook the option of extra pace and aggression. I’ve played against Durham’s uncapped seamer Mark Wood a few times and he has England star potential. Leg-spinner Adil Rashid is an exciting selection and I think England will throw him in and see if he can cut the mustard.
Moving onto rumours of Kevin Pietersen re-signing for Surrey in a bid to force his way back into the England reckoning, I have not heard anything and there hasn’t been any recent talk among the players.
But if Kevin does come back that will only benefit our ranks. We have some young batsmen who are lacking a bit of experience so to have Sri Lanka’s Kumar Sangakkara, who has signed on as our overseas player, and KP would be pretty awesome.
I know he loved playing for Surrey and hopefully he can prove a point by returning and scoring plenty of runs. If he can show his best form then who knows? It’ll be spoken about all summer that’s for sure.
I will finish off with a word on the World Cup. New Zealand face West Indies in the quarter-final on Saturday and I have a hunch the Black Caps will win the whole thing. They look a really confident unit and play with a no-fear attitude.
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WEST INDIES TOUR
England Test squad
Alastair Cook (Essex) captain
James Anderson (Lancashire)
Jonny Bairstow (Yorkshire)
Gary Ballance (Yorkshire)
Ian Bell (Warwickshire)
Stuart Broad (Nottinghamshire)
Jos Buttler (Lancashire)
Chris Jordan (Sussex)
Adam Lyth (Yorkshire)
Liam Plunkett (Yorkshire)
Joe Root (Yorkshire)
Adil Rashid (Yorkshire)
Ben Stokes (Durham)
James Tredwell (Kent)
Jonathan Trott (Warwickshire)
Mark Wood (Durham)
■ April 6-7 - 2-day warm-up, St Kitts
■ April 8-9 - 2-day warm-up, St Kitts
■ April 13-17 - 1st Test SVRS, Antigua
■ April 21-25 - 2nd Test Grenada National Stadium, Grenada
■ May 1-5 - 3rd Test Kensington Oval, Barbados