Mitchell Johnson celebrating after dismissing Jonathan Trott in the first Ashes Test. (Getty Images)
Adelaide: England captain Alastair Cook said on Wednesday it was important to give Jonathan Trott time and space to recover from the stress illness that forced him out of the Ashes series in Australia.
Trott left the tour after he twice fell cheaply to Mitchell Johnson in England's heavy 381-run loss to Australia in the first Test in Brisbane. His display was blasted as "poor and weak" by Australian batsman David Warner, in comments that drew censure from Cook and England head coach Andy Flower.
Trott's playing future is now up in the air. He has been granted indefinite leave by the England and Wales Cricket Board, and Cook said his troubles had given his teammates a dose of reality. "It is important to have a sense of reality, seeing what Trotty has gone through has given people a bit of that," he told reporters ahead of the second Test in Adelaide, starting Thursday.
"It was a tough defeat in Brisbane but someone else was having it a lot worse than what we were having. Trotty understands and we all understand that he has got a long journey back and we wish him all the luck in the world.
"It's horrible seeing what he's gone through, obviously in the last two to three weeks on this tour and then throughout his career he has struggled at certain times and I think he's showed a huge amount of character to perform as he has done for England."
Cook said it was "important that we give him a little time and space away from the game and the pressures of playing international cricket and we can see how he comes back".
"We would love to have him back but he's got to make sure he's ready and let's make sure we don't put any time pressure on him."
The England captain said it would be difficult to fill Trott's batting position at number three for the rest of the series. "It's a tough position to fill. He was outstanding for us at number three and he gave a lot of amazing contributions, so it's a big hole to fill and someone will have to stand up and fill that role, it's a crucial position," Cook said.
Trott batted at first wicket down in 73 of his 87 Test innings, averaging 45.72 in that position.
"I clearly haven't had to fight the same stuff as Trotty has had. I appreciate that I'm lucky in that sense. It can get tough. Anyone who says they haven't been affected by sledging is lying. Something will always be said or done that will distract you for that split second and you'll listen to it, but the skill of it is how you handle the next ball."