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Page last updated at 17:55 GMT, Saturday, 22 August 2009 18:55 UK

Jonathan Agnew column

Jonathan Agnew
By Jonathan Agnew
BBC cricket correspondent

Jonathan Trott leaves the field at The Oval
Trott batted superbly for his maiden Test century on his debut appearance

At some stage over the next 48 hours, England surely will regain the Ashes.

Should Australia succeed in achieving what appears to be an impossible task in batting for more than two days, they would more than deserve to keep them.

Almost everything went according to England's plan on the third day.

They went about their business of consolidating the advantage given to them by Stuart Broad, with the first objective to get through to lunch with enough batting left to score freely in the afternoon.

In fact, they lost only one wicket - the admirable Andrew Strauss for 75 - and Australia must already have felt that their fate was sealed.

Paul Collingwood will have the most anxious wait to see if he is selected for the tour of South Africa

And just as he did on the second evening when England were threatening to wobble after the quick dismissals of Ian Bell and Paul Collingwood, Jonathan Trott again seized the opportunity to demonstrate exactly why the selectors preferred him to any of the other nominations for Ravi Bopara's replacement.

Aged 28, he has played a lot of cricket now but this was the most pressurised of debuts but you would not have known it as his feet moved positively from the start, and he is surely a batsman we will see a lot of in the future.

With Kevin Pietersen to return, and Bell and Bopara also in the picture, it appears to be Paul Collingwood who will have the most anxious wait to see if he is selected for the tour of South Africa.

Trott's technique appears to be tight enough for him to bat at number three. He favours the legside, but plays with a straight bat.

There has been no better shot in this Test than the drive down the ground that he played off a flagging Stuart Clark shortly before he was caught low in the gully for 119.


It was a shame that Andrew Flintoff, who scored 22 off only 18 balls, could not keep his aggression going for long in his final Test innings, so Graeme Swann's cameo of 63 in a riotous partnership of 90 from only 88 balls with Trott came at the perfect time to deliver the Australians the knock-out blow.

It must have been hugely frustrating for Ricky Ponting's team as the salt was rubbed into his side's gaping wounds.

But Australia's openers resisted defiantly and both played their natural games with only Graeme Swann, the spinner, looking dangerous.

England's objective would surely have been achieved more easily had Monty Panesar been selected, but that might have been at the expense of Broad, without whose bowling England would not find themselves in such a dominant position.

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see also
England on course for Ashes glory
22 Aug 09 |  England
Ashes win not a formality - Trott
22 Aug 09 |  England
England v Australia day three photos
22 Aug 09 |  Cricket
Inspired Broad shatters Australia
21 Aug 09 |  England
England struggle in deciding Test
20 Aug 09 |  England
Classic Ashes: The Oval
19 Aug 09 |  Cricket
Live cricket on the BBC
26 Oct 11 |  Cricket
Australia in England 2009
20 Sep 09 |  England

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