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A Game Apart


London Evening Standard



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Monday, 28 December 2009

Trott strolls off, few tears shed... and the Natal Mercury picks up my blog

JONATHAN TROTT, fast gaining a reputation as the slowest batsman in Test cricket, added just a single before he shuffled off cricket's mortal coil on the third morning of the second Test in Durban today.
Even the Barmy Army will shed few tears for the controversial Cape Town-born England batsman (right), who fell in the excellent Morne Morkel's first over after England had added just one run to their overnight 103-1, chasing South Africa's 343.
With the sun out in Durban after yesterday's gloom - the entire day was played under floodlights - Trott was caught behind for 18 off 31 balls by Mark Boucher and he departs with this second Test on a knife-edge.
And who better for England to call on than Pietermaritzburg-born "local" Kevin Pietersen, who immediately dispatched the half-fit Jacques Kallis for four at his old provincial ground. Alastair Cook, taking an age to find his form on this tour, remains stubbornly at the other end.

Trott, who took guard three of four times this morning and scratched a hole in the crease deep enough to replace some of the inland gold mines, had been the subject of some debate overnight.

South African batsman AB De Villiers said his team have had just about enough of the time-consuming fidgeting at the crease. And the crowd were growing angry about it too.

Team-mate Graeme Swann grinned: "It's not something he's been working on. I can understand South Africa's frustrations. I've called him all sorts of names for Nottinghamshire over the years. He's done it every year against me when I've played against him. It's nice to see somebody else getting angry about it!

"It's just Trotty; it's how he bats, how he goes about things. He's got a very organised and very clear gameplan. It's part of cricket. Not everyone bats at the same tempo. The crowd have noticed it but I think it may be something to do with where he was born as well."

De Villiers said: "Our captain Graeme Smith is dealing with it, and the umpires are aware of that. All our bowlers have got little rhythms in their run-ups and it's frustrating to them.

"Graeme is talking to the umpires and to Trotty as well. He's listening, but I think it's a tactic. We'll try and use it to our advantage tomorrow.

"It's a tactic that might get him into trouble soon if he carries on doing it."

With Pietersen batting at a reasonable rate... and finding the boundary, few tears will be shed for Trott's demise this morning.

And at that juncture of the east and south stands here, the Barmy Army are settling in with Jimmy Saville - real name Vic Flower - apparently fully recovered from the Boxing Day assault mentioned here yesterday. The Natal Mercury, the local morning paper I worked for from 1980 to 1983 - were on the phone three times yesterday about the story and ran it on their front page today.

Who needs newspapers when you've got my blog! That said, I'm off to the beach. It's hot!

Labels: ab de villiers, frustration, , , , , slow


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good work by Mr.Collins.

28 December 2009 10:20  
Blogger Neal Collins said...

Not today, just been to Umhlanga, packed, hot, windy... I'm told the airport north of Durban at Le Mercy is nearly ready, opening early in March... been to the Moses Madhiba Stadium, plenty of people taking the cablecar over the arch there. Guess I'd better get back to the cricket!

28 December 2009 11:15  

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