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Page last updated at 08:31 GMT, Sunday, 16 August 2009 09:31 UK

England gamble on uncapped Trott

Fifth Ashes Test, The Oval: England v Australia
Dates: Thursday, 20 August to Monday, 24 August Start time: 1100 BST
Coverage: Live Test Match Special commentary (from 1025 BST on day one, 1045 BST on remaining days) on BBC Radio 4 LW, 5 Live sports extra, the Red Button and BBC Sport website. Live text commentary on BBC Sport website and mobile phones. Also live on Sky Sports.

Jonathan Trott
South Africa-born Trott has played two Twenty20 internationals for England

England have taken a major gamble for the crucial fifth Ashes Test by replacing Ravi Bopara with the uncapped Warwickshire batsman Jonathan Trott.

Andrew Flintoff, who missed the fourth-Test defeat at Headingley with his ongoing knee injury, is expected to play his final Test before retiring.

Ian Bell keeps his place in the 14-man squad and will bat at three while left-arm spinner Monty Panesar is recalled.

The series is tied at 1-1 and England must win to regain the Ashes.

Trott had been included in the 14-man squad for the Headingley Test, but was released to play for Warwickshire.

The 28-year-old was then left out of the England Lions team to face Australia at Canterbury this weekend, adding to the speculation that he would be included for the final Test.

And England national selector Geoff Miller confirmed on BBC Radio 5 live: "Ravi's omission means Jonathan Trott will make his Test debut at The Oval.

"Having been part of the squad at Headingley, he was the next batsman in line in our view and this rewards him for the excellent form he has shown in county cricket both this summer and with England Lions over the winter."

A delighted Trott told BBC Radio 5 live's Sportsweek: "I'm chuffed.

"I've been playing pretty well this season and I hope I can continue to do so next week.

"I'll try to stay relaxed and let nature take its course and remember it's just a game of cricket.

"The pressure is on Australia to retain the Ashes. We're going for the win and hopefully our positive approach will work."

With 1,013 runs in the County Championship this season at an average of 92.09, Trott is a player in a rich vein of form.


Born in Cape Town, Trott played in the Under-15 and Under-19 World Cups for South Africa, making his first-class debut for Western Province in 2001.

However, he moved to Warwickshire the following year, qualifying as a non-overseas player through his English father, making a century on debut against Sussex in 2003.

His consistent performances in limited overs cricket were rewarded with a call-up to England's Twenty20 team against the West Indies in 2007, scoring 11 and two.

However, the decision to hand him a Test debut in the high-pressure environment of a decisive Ashes clash is a big gamble by the selectors.

Somerset's Marcus Trescothick, Kent's Rob Key and Mark Ramprakash of Surrey had all been mentioned as possible replacements for Bopara.

Trescothick ruled himself out earlier in the week, but any hopes Key and Ramprakash had of a recall were ended when Trott served a timely reminder of his ability with a century for Warwickshire against Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge.

Bell also scored 126 in that game as he put on 188 for the third wicket with Trott to help his case to retain his place.

Miller added: "Bell will bat at three which is a position he has occupied for England before and we were delighted to see both him and Jonathan make centuries for Warwickshire this week."

Bopara's place had been in severe jeopardy, with just 105 runs from his seven innings in the series.

"He has been going through a tough time with the bat in this series and we have decided to leave him out of the squad for this game," said Miller.

"He will be extremely disappointed but remains very much part of our plans for the future and I am sure that he has the talent and temperament to regain his place in the side."

Flintoff is expected to play in his final Test match after an extended rest for his troublesome knee.

"The swelling has gone down on his knee and we're happy with his progress," continued Miller.

"It's always difficult to come through back-to-back Tests with an injury, but he's had more of a rest period so I'm extremely optimistic he will be fine."

England have added to their bowling options by recalling left-arm spinner Panesar and left-arm seamer Sidebottom.

England squad: A Strauss (capt), A Cook, I Bell, J Trott, P Collingwood, M Prior (wk), A Flintoff, S Broad, G Swann, J Anderson, S Harmison, G Onions, M Panesar, R Sidebottom.

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see also
Jonathan Agnew column
16 Aug 09 |  England
Watson shines as Aussies dominate
15 Aug 09 |  Cricket
Trescothick rules out Test return
13 Aug 09 |  England
Ramprakash ready for Test call-up
12 Aug 09 |  England
Key 'dreaming' of Ashes call-up
11 Aug 09 |  Cricket
Flower hints at batting changes
09 Aug 09 |  England
Aussies win to level Ashes series
09 Aug 09 |  England
Trott gets surprise England call
04 Aug 09 |  England
Live cricket on the BBC
26 Oct 11 |  Cricket
Australia in England 2009
20 Sep 09 |  England

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