x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Ashes round-up: Trott ridicules Warne's criticism of Cook

England batsman defends his captain saying fellow batsman has led by example throughout the series and the result shows.

Simon Kerrigan, seen here in action at Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi in March, could be playing his first Test at The Oval if England opt for two spinners. Christopher Pike / The National
Simon Kerrigan, seen here in action at Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi in March, could be playing his first Test at The Oval if England opt for two spinners. Christopher Pike / The National

Jonathan Trott has laughed off Shane Warne's criticism of Alastair Cook, and dismissed the "Australia way" of cricket captaincy.

Australia's former record-breaking leg-spinner, in his guise as a broadcaster, took issue with Cook's tactics en route to England's 74-run win at Chester-le-Street six days ago.

Since his description of Cook's leadership as a "horror show", both coach Andy Flower and the England captain himself have pointed out that – while employed to commentate on this summer's series – Warne is also involved in an advisory capacity for Australia.

Trott, England's No 3 batsman, also questioned Warne's partisan motivation. "I don't know why he said stuff like that.

"I think it is quite amusing when he tries to criticise Alastair's captaincy when we're 3-0 up in the series.

"It's quite baffling, but I suppose everyone is entitled to their views on the game and how it's being played. That's just his.

"I think Alastair's record speaks for itself as captain."

As well as believing Warne is wide of the mark, Trott senses his comments are not entirely impartial.

"It makes me smile really.

"It's just a bit of stirring. I don't know what he's trying to do or his thoughts."

Trott cites Cook's cool head in England's narrow first-Test win in Nottingham as an example of his leadership qualities (view gallery).

"I think he has captained in pressure situations.

"His captaincy at Trent Bridge got us over the line."

Cook is capable of inventive tactics when necessary, Trott points out, but is no serial innovator simply for the sake of it.

"It is very easy as captain to start chasing the game.

"That's more the Australia way, to put fielders in funny places.

"Sometimes if you set a normal field it can be observed as a bit basic, or dull or unimaginative.

"But that's the way we are, and it has worked for us."

Warne's main gripe at Chester-le-Street appeared to be Cook's decision to first bring Tim Bresnan back into the attack, rather than Stuart Broad, when Australia were threatening a successful chase of 299.

It was Bresnan who almost immediately took the prize wicket of opener David Warner, before Broad bagged six more in a dramatic collapse (view gallery).

"At certain times Alastair does make correct decisions and places fielders in attacking situations," said Trott.

"We saw the short-leg go in against Michael Clarke, and he was bowled the next ball.

"I think that was pretty inventive and good foresight."

New players in England squad

England included the uncapped duo of Chris Woakes, the Warwickshire all-rounder, and Simon Kerrigan, the Lancashire left-arm spinner, in a 14-man squad announced Sunday for next week's fifth and final Ashes Test against Australia at The Oval.

Woakes, who has already played in a one-day international, was brought in after pace bowling all-rounder Tim Bresnan – who starred with bat and ball in the Chester-le-Street win, was ruled out for the rest of the season with a stress fracture in his lower back.

Meanwhile, with pitches at The Oval renowned for taking turn, Kerrigan was added to give England an extra spin option in addition to off-break bowler Graeme Swann.

The hosts also gave themselves additional fast bowling choices by including Chris Tremlett, who if selected will be playing on his Surrey home ground, and Middlesex's Steven Finn, dropped after the 14-run first Test win over Australia at Trent Bridge.

England, who at 3-0 up have already retained the Ashes and won the series, will be looking to win four matches in a home Test series against Australia for the first time when the clash with their arch-rivals starts on Wednesday.

Squad

Alastair Cook (captain), Joe Root, Jonathan Trott, Kevin Pietersen, Ian Bell, Jonny Bairstow, Matt Prior (wicketkeeper), Stuart Broad, Graeme Swann, James Anderson, Chris Woakes, Chris Tremlett, Steven Finn, Simon Kerrigan

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