A Sense of Belonging

Until today there was an uncertainty about Jonathan Trott's status in the England side. Of course, there was a nerveless maiden century in the deciding Test of an Ashes series, and a double century at Lord's, and a record-breaking ODI partnership, but there was also the timewasting fussiness of his guard-taking ritual, more than a hint of strokelessness under pressure and an innate lack of charisma and batting elegance. Earlier in the season it began to look as though many in the media wanted him to fail, simply so as the sainted Eoin Morgan could be welcomed into the Test side.

Today, though, he resoundingly came of age with a truly magnificent combination of patience, technical rigour and impeccable shot selection; as good a century as has been made in England colours in the past couple of decades.

And Stuart Broad, for once rejecting hubris in favour of simply showing what he can do with a bat in his hand, was equally impressive.

As the runs mounted, their body language between overs reflected the way in which their partnership moved from uncertainty to realisation to fulfilment. By the end they were pumping each other's hands like long-lost friends, and they resume tomorrow at 11 requiring a further three runs to break a record which has stood for 79 years.

If Jonathan Trott lives to be 79 he'll never play better.

This is a player who really belongs.

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