Jonathan Trott insists that England’s players are wearing the world number one tag lightly as, for the first time, they head into a season at the top of the global rankings.
England face West Indies in the opening Test at Lord’s today at the start of a summer which will also bring a series against South Africa.
Andrew Strauss’s team endured a moderate winter with defeat to Pakistan in the UAE and a drawn series in Sri Lanka. Victory in the final Test in Colombo enabled them to retain their number one spot but the wobble raised some questions in the media about Strauss and his team.
They need to bounce back this summer.
But while fully aware of that, Trott, who along with Warwickshire team-mate Ian Bell will be in England’s top order against West Indies, has revealed that, within the dressing room it will simply be business as usual.
“We don’t feel any pressure,” Trott said. “All that sort of stuff is built up in the press.
“It doesn’t mean anything to us.
“We are a really tight group and we know each other and trust each other and just get on with things.
“It is the first English season we have started as number one but that doesn’t mean we will be doing anything differently.
“We will just concentrate on keeping doing the things that got us to number one in the first place.
“We improved a lot in the last Test in Sri Lanka and won it and that has given us a bit of momentum.
“We knew we had to pull our socks up and we did that.
“There is so much international cricket these days that no side is going to win every Test and every series. But good players respond the right way to a setback – and we have good players.
“I am really looking forward to this summer against West Indies and South Africa. They will be terrific series and we just want to win some matches and provide some good cricket for people to watch. There should be some really good good fast-bowling and batting around and it will make for exciting cricket.”
At Lord’s, Trott will be aiming to maintain the impetus of an excellent Test career so far which has him averaging 52.70 after 28 matches.
Back in 2009 he started in style with an Ashes-clinching ton against Australia at The Oval and he has since added another six three-figure scores as well as eight half-centuries.
This week, though, a new challenge awaits the 31-year-old. His 29th Test appearance will be his first against West Indies, leaving him with only New Zealand, of the senior nations, to face at Test match level.
“It will be my first Test against West Indies and it is always good to test yourself against new challenges,” he said. “You start off with a clean slate against different opposition, but it’s not as though I don’t know anything about them. There is so much cricket played all over the world these days you can always see what teams gave got. We are always well-prepared.
“I feel in good shape after getting some games in for Warwickshire and some runs against Sussex. I was very pleased with that innings down at Hove because conditions were not easy and we were 13 for two when I went in.
“That was a good way for me to start the season and then Belly scored a fantastic 100 against Durham and got 83 in the CB40 so he is playing well too and hopefully we will take that form into the Tests this week.”
n Jonathan Trott was speaking at a MetLife event, during which the company announced that it would be renewing its bat sponsorship of the Warwickshire and England star, extending the agreement until 2014.