Trott's dependability key for England
England's Test side, to use an Australian phrase, is travelling pretty well at the moment; the bowling is in rude health and the fielding is as impressive as it's ever been.
But coach Andy Flower knows the batting is an area that could certainly be improved. It was very much the weak link during the drawn winter series in South Africa, before four consecutive matches against Bangladesh helped massage some individual averages a bit.
However, England's two most recent Tests - notwithstanding helpful conditions for a proficient Pakistan bowling unit - have produced fairly modest scores of 354, 262-9, 251 and 118-1.
Nevertheless, the official rankings make for interesting reading: England have three bowlers in the top 10 in the world, but their best batsman, Kevin Pietersen, comes in at 20. And with this winter's Ashes series looming, that's a sobering statistic.
It would be unfair to categorise England's batsmen as flaky operators, however. Indeed, if you had to pick a cricketer to redo your pointing you could surely rely on Jonathan Trott to do a professional job.
Increasingly resembling the Mr Dependable every team craves for, Trott returns to The Oval - where he produced one of the most impressive debut performances by an England cricketer - for Wednesday's third Test against Pakistan.
"The last time I sat in this room it was a lot fuller," was his first observation when asked to reflect on a year in which he has produced 923 runs in 11 Tests.
The ride began with 41 and 119 against Australia, took in a bumpy winter in his native South Africa, and has now given way to a strong summer. There was a double-century against Bangladesh at Lord's, and two gritty half-centuries against Pakistan at Edgbaston.
Noted for his introspective style at the crease, Trott is a more effusive talker, even though he was not keen to involve himself in responding to Ricky Ponting's assertions that England could be in for another 5-0 whitewash this winter.
Preparing for his debut last year outside the intense bubble of the 2009 Ashes was a blessing, he feels.
"What helped me, in hindsight, was coming in and not having played the four games previously," he says.
"I was fresh, but the rest of the side... after the fifth game they were all so tired after what had happened at Headingley [Australia winning convincingly to set up a decider]. It was an emotional rollercoaster. But me not having played against them and they not having seen me, it just worked out.
"Feeling your way into a team is like feeling your way into a new job. Finding your role in the dressing room is important.
"Andy Flower and Andrew Strauss are really good at pulling a new player in and putting their arm around them. It's not about throwing them in at the deep end and asking them to find their feet. It's more 'here you are, you're good enough to play so take your chance.'
"I felt really welcomed at Headingley when I was added to the squad as there was a doubt over Andrew Flintoff's fitness. I had a drink with Flower and Strauss, and when I got my chance in the fifth Test what happened a week or two weeks earlier really helped me feel settled."
If Pietersen warded off some critics with a chancy 80 at Edgbaston, the vultures are now hovering over Alastair Cook, whose opening position could become Trott's should the Essex man's struggles continue - especially with Ian Bell poised to return to fitness before Brisbane comes along.
Trott says: "We all know Alastair. When he and Andrew Strauss are at the crease I feel very secure and feel I could be taking my pads off again at lunchtime. I look to Alastair as a batting partner and someone who can help me, and I hope he feels he can do the same. With regards to the team, he'll be fine."
England supporters will hope Trott is proved correct, and that England's faith in Cook is justified during these last two summer Tests in London.
In that case, Trott's Warwickshire buddy Bell, who has been in and out of the national side so often, may once again be left to sweat on his Ashes involvement.