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Trott feels England have silenced critics

Andrew McGlashan
June 22, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Chartbeat test »
Jonathan Trott said England had "proved a few people wrong" with their Champions Trophy performances © Getty Images
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Jonathan Trott believes England have "proved a few people wrong" about their approach to one-day cricket by reaching the Champions Trophy final and putting themselves within one win of their first piece of 50-over global silverware.

Throughout this tournament, especially after the defeat to Sri Lanka at The Oval which left them needing to win every subsequent match, England's tactics have been picked apart. The chief area for debate has been the top-order, of which Trott is a crucial part, and whether they score at the tempo required in modern one-day cricket.

Eoin Morgan and Jos Buttler have had lean tournaments with the bat - although Ravi Bopara has provided late impetus - but England have rigidly stuck to their formula and order, even in the 24-over contest against New Zealand, which was win or bust for them.

In that game they were led by Alastair Cook's 47-ball 64 and Trott says that the rest of the team feed off the example laid down by their captain, who is leading in a global event for the first time, and that they have the utmost belief in how they approach the game.

"A lot of people were a bit sceptical," Trott said. "But this team has proved a few people wrong with regards to their takes on the game of cricket and how it should be played.

"He's a really good leader and he's always got the backing of the changing room, for whatever he decides is the direction of this team. He's fully in charge, with Andy Flower and Ashley Giles, and the guys are always following him."

There has been plenty for Cook to deal with during this tournament, from the fallout of David Warner's punch at Joe Root in a Birmingham bar to the accusations of ball-tampering, which started to fly around after the defeat to Sri Lanka. Trott, though, said Cook had taken everything in his stride as he has since making his England debut in 2006.

"He got brought in and played straightaway as opening batsman and captain, from not having played," he said. "A lesser person could have maybe buckled under the pressure. We've seen how he handles pressure, going to India for his first tour as Test captain and winning there - and now this."

There is added significance for Trott with the final being staged at his home ground of Edgbaston - the same applies to Ian Bell, Chris Woakes (who has not featured during the tournament) and the coach Ashley Giles, who was previously in charge at Warwickshire - and the prospect of a defining match in England's history at a place he knows so well had long been in Trott's sights.

"You always have a little cheeky sneak at the fixtures, and where the final is going to be played, and I was very excited about getting here - and it's happened. For me personally, I'm very excited. The guys are looking to seize the opportunity. They don't come around very often."

The most recent major final England played in was the 2010 World Twenty20 in Barbados where they beat Australia to claim their only piece of global silverware. From that team there could be four players appear in this match, although it could be as few as two.

The management will have to make a decision whether to stick with the same bowling that demolished South Africa. Steven Finn played his first match of the tournament, claiming the vital wicket of Hashim Amla, while James Tredwell continued to deputise superbly for Graeme Swann and earned the Man-of-the-Match award.

Tredwell could earn a place in the team by right, regardless of Swann's fitness, but on a ground where the surface can encourage reverse swing Bresnan, now a father after the birth of Max Geoffrey, is slight favourite to be preferred over Finn.

If you ask any of those involved in staging or promoting the Champions Trophy, England versus India is probably the final they will have dreamt of. Home side pitted against the powerhouse of world cricket.

What they won't have dreamt of is the less-than-ideal forecast for Sunday which currently predicts rain of varying heaviness throughout the day. Even for the final there is no reserve day. In 2002 the trophy was shared when India and Sri Lanka could not complete a match even with two days at their disposal because the match had to restart on the second day.

England trained at Edgbaston on Friday but India opted for a day off following their victory against Sri Lanka.

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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