Cricket: Trott defends England’s sluggish start

New Zealand's Tim Southee reacts during the first test at Lords. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Photo credit should read: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire.
New Zealand's Tim Southee reacts during the first test at Lords. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Photo credit should read: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire.
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England were unable to get out of first gear on a sluggish pitch at Lord’s, but insist they have laid a platform from which they can dominate the rest of the first Investec Test.

Jonathan Trott’s top-score of just 39, out of 160 for four, and strike rates in the 20s for three of the top four meant England made mediocre progress at best after winning the toss.

New Zealand left-arm seamer Trent Boult, whose two wickets accounted for Trott and captain Alastair Cook, described the hosts’ approach as “reserved”.

But Trott, citing a slow outfield - relaid in the winter after last year’s Olympic archery - as well as an unusual lack of pace in the middle, believes England have made an acceptable start to this two-match series.

“It was pretty tough,” he said, acknowledging that the spectacle was perhaps not what most were anticipating to whet the appetite at the start of this Ashes summer.

“It’s not what you expect when you arrive for the first day of the summer at Lord’s, and it’s a whitish pitch.

“It was obviously a lot slower than people are used to, the crowds and the batsmen.

“Then add in the fact the relaid outfield is a little bit slower - the ball is sort of stopping going down the hill, when it normally speeds up - it was a little bit different.

Trott gave the Kiwis due credit too, for limiting England’s scoring options.

“I felt New Zealand bowled well, and we sort of combated that okay,” he said.

“Generally, whenever there was a loose ball, it sort of stopped in the wicket and there was no real pace in it to get punished.

“Also with the outfield holding up a bit, balls that would normally run away for two or three were only going for one.”

Nick Compton made 16 while his fellow opener and England captain Alastair Cook hit 32 runs off 115 balls before falling to Trent Boult just after lunch. Ian Bell fell for 31.

Sheffield and Yorkshire batsman Joe Root ended the day unbeaten on 25.