Posted: 23 September, 2016 by Newsroom

Jonathan Trott Relives The Terrifying Ashes Series Against Mitchell Johnson

"There was no hiding the problem any more. I hadn't slept, I hadn't eaten"

Tags: Cricket

(Image: Getty)

Former England batsman Jonathan Trott has recalled the horror 2013/14 Ashes series against Mitchell Johnson in his book, Unguarded.

Trott, who averaged 44.08 across 52 Tests for England, was barraged by Johnson in the first Test in Brisbane, suddenly quitting the tour afterwards.

Johnson went on to take 37 wickets in a man-of-the-series performance that will go down in Ashes folklore.

And, in an extract of his book published by The Times, Trott has relived the terror.

"I felt I was being led out to face the firing squad by the time we reached Brisbane," he wrote. "I was a condemned man. Helpless, blindfolded and handcuffed. Mitchell Johnson was to be my executioner.

"Certainly, that's how it felt as I approached the second innings of that first Ashes Test. There was no hiding the problem any more. I hadn't slept, I hadn't eaten and I hadn't been able to stop the throbbing in my head. The effort of constantly needing to justify my existence, of avoiding the slings and arrows thrown by commentators, by the crowd, by the opposition, by the millions on Twitter, it was starting to warp my thinking."

He recalls the Australians identifying his struggle with Johnson  - whom he doesn't bear "an ounce of resentment" for his bowling - pretty quickly during the Test match.

"At the end of the over Shane Watson, who I can't say I've ever warmed to, runs past," he notes. "'Get ready for Mitch, he's coming your way,' he snarls. 'Tell me something I don't know,' I mumble back at him."

"I've played against Australia a lot. They are always like this when they're in the game: cocky; loud; in your face. It’s when they're losing they go quiet and sulky. I've seen them quiet and sulky a lot. But there's none of that today. They know they have something special in Johnson. And they know I'm struggling. They're circled like hyenas round a dying zebra."

Trott recalls numerous occasions where his confidence was shot, where he broke down in tears at the exhaustion and the dread of international cricket.

"Struggling with the short ball isn't the same as any other problem in cricket," he wrote. "If you are struggling on off stump, people talk about your technique. If you are struggling with the short ball, they talk about your courage.

"I felt I was being questioned as a man. I felt my dignity was being stripped away with every short ball I ducked or parried. It was degrading. It was agony. I wasn't actually scared of the ball or the bouncer. I was scared of failing. I was scared being made to look bad and letting everyone down."

Tags: Cricket

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