JONATHAN Trott is confident his best form is yet to come in the Ashes after watching Ian Bell and Joe Root pile on the runs for England in the first two Tests.
The home side have seized a 2-0 lead after wins at Trent Bridge and Lord’s, with the third Test beginning at Old Trafford on 1 August.
Trott has managed decent first-innings scores of 48 at Trent Bridge and 58 at Lord’s, but has lost his wicket for a duck in each second innings.
Bell has made a century in each match so far, while Root produced a match-defining knock of 180 as England emphatically won the second Test.
However, Trott also feels in good nick and, when asked if his best was still to come this series, he said: “I hope so. I’ve felt good, actually.
“Sometimes you score runs and you’re not feeling at the top of your game. I feel like I’m playing pretty well and it’s been nice to get a couple of good partnerships, like with Belly at Lord’s in a tricky situation, I suppose, at 28 for three.
“We put on 99 and he went on and got the big score that I would have liked. But there are still three games left and personally it would be nice to contribute in a similar way.
“Anybody can get out quite early in their innings, I suppose.
“You haven’t contributed for the team but, if you get 50, at least you have done something towards the team effort – although it is pretty upsetting because you have done all the hard work and you’re feeling pretty good.
“It’s frustrating but I feel in the past that I have contributed and the side has been successful. Other people like Joe and Ian have stepped in, perhaps it is my turn for the rest of the series.”
Australia’s Matthew Wade is willing to ditch his wicket-keeping gloves and earn a spot in the Ashes side as a specialist batsman.
The 25-year-old is set to start the three-day game against Sussex which begins tomorrow as one of a number of players looking to force their way into Darren Lehmann’s Test team.
Australia’s batting line-up has flagged badly across the first two Tests and a good performance against Sussex could see a fringe player such as Wade propelled into the next Test at Old Trafford.
Wade is on the tour as an understudy to ’keeper Brad Haddin, but would be happy to play as a batsman only if needed.
“It’s a huge opportunity for everyone who’s not had a game,” he told Sky Sports News.
“The Ashes tour has not started as we wanted, but to get an opportunity to play, which I’ve not had for a couple of months, is great for me.
“I am here as a back-up wicket-keeper, but I want to get amongst the runs and push for a spot as a batsman. I’d take a spot where I can get one, wicket-keeper or batsman.
“If I get a tap on the shoulder to play a game, especially an Ashes game, I’ll take it.”
Meanwhile, Scotland’s emerging stars last night pulled off a thrilling run-chase to beat a powerful Northants second XI at the County Ground.
After racing to 236-1 in their second innings, Northants declared to set the Development XI an improbable 310 for victory in 71 overs.
The Scots had been dismissed for a shot-shy 216 in their first innings but stepped up several gears to stun their hosts.
Arbroath youngster Ross McLean led the way with a superb century, sharing a 200-run opening stand with Carlton’s Hamish Gardiner.
Gardiner was eventually out for 90 while McLean went on to reach his maiden ton at this level. The opener went on to make 108 from 181 balls with eleven fours and a six.
When McLean was out, Scotland still needed 68 from 16 overs but they were guided home by Grange star Josh Edwards, who compiled a hard-hitting 51 not out. Coach Craig Wright said: “That is one of the best run chases I’ve seen from a Scotland team at any level, especially taking account of the standard of opposition.
“Northants fielded a lot of guys with first-team experience, while we had seven under-19s in our side.
“We batted much better in the second innings and Ross and Hamish gave us a fantastic platform. It was great to see Ross going on to his hundred, showing that he can go on and get the really big scores.”