Trott in line as fears grow for Flintoff

ENGLAND selectors yesterday handed uncapped Warwickshire batsman Jonathan Trott a shock call-up for the fourth Test amid mounting concerns over the fitness of all-rounder Andrew Flintoff.<br /><br />Nottinghamshire seamer Ryan Sidebottom was also drafted into the 14-man squad, in place of spinner Monty Panesar, for the match at Headingley, which starts on Friday.<br /><br />But it is the selection of South Africa-born Trott that is the biggest surprise. The 28-year-old has racked up 831 first class runs this season at an average of 83, but his England forays, which total two Twenty20 internationals in 2007, have gleaned just 11 runs.<br /><br />Trott&rsquo;s call-up underlines the major doubts surrounding Flintoff&rsquo;s ability to manage his persistent knee injury through a second Test match in the space of a week. The talismanic Lancashire player appeared to struggle increasingly as the third Test at Edgbaston wore on.<br /><br />National selector Geoff Miler said: &ldquo;Jonathan Trott has performed really well for Warwickshire this season and his place in the squad is fully deserved. His inclusion will provide us with the option of playing six batsmen if we feel this is appropriate.<br /><br />&ldquo;We will continue to closely monitor Andrew Flintoff&rsquo;s fitness in the build-up to Headingley. His right knee will be reassessed by our medical staff over the next 48 hours and no final decision on his availability will be taken until closer to the Test.&rdquo;<br /><br />Trott himself admitted he had not expected to play a part in the Ashes series, which England lead 1-0.<br /><br />&ldquo;I was quite surprised really,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;I&rsquo;m delighted to get the nod for the Test match in Leeds, it&rsquo;s exciting and I&rsquo;m looking forward to it. I&rsquo;m there as cover if they decide to go with six batters. If I don&rsquo;t get the nod then so be it.&rdquo;<br /><br />Australia, meanwhile, must decide whether to risk paceman Brett Lee, who missed the first three Tests with a side injury, while vice-captain Michael Clarke missed training on Monday with an abdominal strain.<br /><br /><strong>ENGLAND SQUAD </strong> FOURTH TEST<br />Andrew Strauss (capt), James Anderson, Ian Bell, Ravi Bopara, Stuart Broad, Paul Collingwood, Alastair Cook, Andrew Flintoff, Steve Harmison, Graham Onions, Matt Prior (wkt), Ryan Sidebottom, Graeme Swann, Jonathan Trott.