JONATHAN TROTT admits his career Test best score was borne out of fear of being dropped from the England side.
The Warwickshire batsman gave the selectors food for thought with a superb unbeaten 175 on day one of the first Test against Bangladesh at Lord’s.
And he shared an unbroken century partnership with Test debutant Eoin Morgan, who added a flamboyant 40, as England raced to 362-4 at the close.
But while many of his team-mates were celebrating Twenty20 success in the West Indies, Trott returned to his county to correct a downturn in form.
And the South African-born right-hander believes going back to his roots has helped him stake his claim for the No3 batting slot. “You’re under pressure whenever you play for England. Everybody wants to be able to pull on that England cap,” Trott said.
“There’s always pressure from outside. It was really important to go back to Warwickshire and do as well as you can. I was not doing as well as I’d have liked, maybe trying to force a few big scores, but I was pleased to do well today.”
Fired-up Trott looked in tremendous form from the very first ball after Alastair Cook fell for just seven in the fifth over of the morning.
He put on 181 with captain Andrew Strauss, who returned to form with a well-executed 83 on his return to the international fold, while Kevin Pietersen (18) and Ian Bell (17) made little impression.
Bell’s dismissal brought limited-overs specialist Morgan to the crease for the first time in the Test arena and the Irishman enhanced his glowing reputation with an unbeaten 40 from 69 balls as he and Trott added 104 from 23 overs to leave England in the box seat.
The pair looked comfortable throughout and left England on course to replicating the 2-0 series victory over the Tigers on the sub-continent two months ago.
SCORECARD | ENGLAND (1ST INNINGS)
A Strauss b Mahmudullah 83
A Cook lbw b Shahadat 7
J Trott not out 175
K Pietersen b Shakib 18
I Bell b Rubel 17
E Morgan not out 40
Extras (10nb 5w 7lb) 22
TOTAL (4 wkts, 90 overs) 362
Fall: 7, 188, 227, 258
Bowling: Shahadat 17-2-66-1, Robiul 14-2-80-0, Shakib 19-1-71-1, Rubel 16-0-74-1 Mahmudullah 24-3-64-1