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Denly's versatility could earn him Test spot - Trott

By Opta
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Galle, Nov 5: Joe Denly's all-round capabilities could see him given a chance in England's first Test with Sri Lanka in Galle, according to Jonathan Trott.

Denly is one of three players vying for a spot at the top of England's order following the retirement of Alastair Cook, with Keaton Jennings and Rory Burns also in the frame.

Jennings partnered Cook during the previous series with India and, despite struggling for runs, he is expected by many to hold on to his spot given he has some experience of opening in Tests.

Burns has been strongly touted as being Jennings' partner after topping the scoring charts in the County Championship, the Surrey batsman finishing the season with 1359 runs to his name – 270 more than anyone else.

But Trott believes Denly's abilities as a leg-spinner could edge him into one of those spots when the opening match of the series gets underway on Tuesday, with the number three berth also representing a potential way in for the Kent man.

"It's going be a huge change, everyone is so used to seeing him go out there and almost be a reliable source of runs," Trott told Omnisport.

"Now it's a case of finding the right combination to go with. You look at great sides and they have always had great opening partnerships. At the moment England are searching for that.

"I saw Denly play and was very impressed with him.

"I think he's come full circle having had a taste of international cricket with England years ago, and now I think he is a well-rounded player who is comfortable in his own skin.

"And with the ball as well he is very effective. He offers a great option for England.

"It all depends if they want that extra option of spin with regards to Denly. I think Burns is a very fine player, it all depends on the combinations they go with in terms of seam and spin."

England's batting order remains unclear heading into the opening match, with Moeen Ali having moved up to three at the end of the India series.

Trott does not believe that is the all-rounder's best position, though, suggesting Moeen should come in after Joe Root at five.

"Mo obviously had a go at it and did really well," he added. "We saw him knuckle down in the Test series and bat for a long period of time, soak up pressure which I think certainly helps the lower order.

"Technically he is very good and he seemed to show a lot of patience on wickets during the summer that were very seamer friendly and played really well.

" I would put Mo from five downwards. He is a very good player, a very attacking player who plays his shots.

Jonathan Trott was celebrating Matt & Julie Bourne being crowned Hardys Heartbeat of the Club 2018.

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    Story first published: Monday, November 5, 2018, 17:10 [IST]
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