x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

Champions Trophy: England want one more on Trott in final

Ishant Sharma believes India are a complete unit and can deny them a first title on world stage in 40 years.

Jonathan Trott, left, has been a pivotal part of the England side led by Alastair Cook, right, in recent months. Philip Brown / Reuters
Jonathan Trott, left, has been a pivotal part of the England side led by Alastair Cook, right, in recent months. Philip Brown / Reuters

The World Cup champions India are favourites to win the Champions Trophy final tomorrow but Jonathan Trott is equally confident his England side will be worthy rivals when they meet at Edgbaston.

England had an inconsistent build-up to the final, having lost an away series to India early this year, followed by a win in New Zealand but losing to the same opposition at home in the reciprocal one-day series immediately before the tournament.

Over the past two weeks, England lost to Sri Lanka but have since bounced back to top their group and then beat South Africa easily.

Trott, the most consistent performer with 850 runs in the past 12 months, at an average of 65.38, believes England are peaking at the right time.

With the first of back-to-back Ashes series then set to start next month, and dominate the remainder of the summer, there is much for England and their supporters to look forward to.

"It's been a fantastic tournament, with regards to coming back from a loss against Sri Lanka," he said.

"We had the high of beating Australia first up, and then the game against New Zealand - a tight one in the end, but I thought we played really well - and to beat South Africa at The Oval was a great performance.

"I hope we are peaking. There's obviously still a lot of cricket left this summer, and I hope it will be a great one for England."

England are yet to win a world title in the 50-over format despite being in 16 finals in the past 40 years and expectations are high ahead of the high-profile Ashes series against Australia starting next month.

Adding to England's hopes for tomorrow is the fact that Trott and teammate Ian Bell will be playing on their home ground.

"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," Trott said.

"To walk out at Edgbaston will be extra special. It's always fantastic for me, Ian Bell and Chris Woakes to play at Edgbaston … the guys are looking to seize the opportunity. They don't come around very often."

Reports in The Guardian suggested that the England board will be announcing a reward of £2 million (Dh11.3m) if they win the title.

Meanwhile, Ishant Sharma's three wickets in India's win over Sri Lanka in the other semi-final has boosted the hopes of MS Dhoni's men.

The traditionally batting-heavy Indian line-up has now three pacers in form along with the spinners to counter England's well regarded line-up of bowlers.

But Ishant tried to play it down, saying his wickets were not important as the team unit performing together on the field.

"Taking wickets are the things outsiders look for, but if you're bowling in a good rhythm and you're hitting the landing the way you can, I think that's the most important thing," the tall bowler said.

"I also think our fielding has been really tremendous.

"I think if you have the kind of fielders we have at the moment in the team, I think everyone is charging up and everyone wants to have the ball in their hand when the ball comes.

"It gives you really big confidence for every fast bowler, not only for me. I think it's very good and we'll keep working hard on our fielding and in every department. We are getting better," the bowler said.

twitter Follow us @SprtNationalUAE