Us* supporters have always assumed, from a distance, that Jonathan Trott is the most neurotic batsman in the England team; it’s all that superstitious scratching at the crease that drives the opposition mad.
When Trott hit the winning runs the other day, he ignored the congratulations of both his batting partner and the opposition until he’d returned to his mark and methodically deepened his customary trench by another couple of millimetres.
However, our spies in the England dressing room have revealed that Trott has a rival in the completely barmy stakes. It’s none other than Alastair Cook, a man we all assumed was too cerebral to indulge any obsessive-compulsive urges.
Well apparently not. Cook believes – as firmly as the Archbishop of Canterbury believes in the resurrection – that every bat has a finite number of runs in it.
Therefore, once a piece of willow – no matter how firmly pressed, and irrespective of how many grains / knots the blade possesses – has reached a certain level of productivity, it should be binned unceremoniously.
This obscure conviction contravenes all accepted batting conventions. Once a batsman finds a bat he loves (probably one with a meaty middle and a pickup lighter than a fairy’s leotard), he sticks with it until it breaks – especially if he / she is scoring runs and feeling confident.
Not Alastair. If our gallant skipper is struggling to reach double figures with a particular bat, he takes it as a positive sign: “blimey, another duck, this bat must have loooooads of runs left in it”.
It’s when he’s just scored a double hundred that Cook starts worrying about his equipment: “hmmmm; this bat’s probably got nothing left in the tank; I’d better phone Gray Nicolls”
Of course, Cook’s devotion to this peculiar theory is as nutty as a jar of Nutella stuffed with a pack of dry roasted. One wonders where it came from …
Rumours that Cook was scammed by an unscrupulous bat salesman as a child have thus far been denied by his representatives.
By the way, if you’re looking for some new equipment this season Millet Sports has a decent selection, including a wide range of Newbery Cricket bats that vary in price depending on how much you want to spend. I’ve got a Newberry myself actually.
* As a non-elitist cricket blog that prefers to speak in the vernacular, rather than abide by old fashioned grammatical conventions that might make us appear posh, we’ve chosen to open this sentence with ‘us’ rather than ‘we’. However, for those of you who are offended by the common touch, here is an alternative: “We England cricket followers have forever assumed, as one does, that Mr Jonathan Trott esquire is the England batsman most consumed by neurotic tendencies, what. It must be all that rather superstitious gardening he is somewhat prone to; the type that really gets the opposition’s dander up”. We also promise to spell ‘How’s That?’ the proper way in the future, rather than resort to crude derivatives like ‘Howzat?’ I hope this makes everyone happy ;-)