Durban Test: Exasperated Proteas abuse 'slow coach' Trott

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Durban (S. Africa), Dec. 28 (ANI): South African cricketers led by their skipper Graeme Smith indulged in on-field abuse of England middle-order batsman Jonathan Trott for taking too long to prepare between balls.

Even team-mate Graeme Swann admitted that Trott's method has driven him to distraction plenty of times in the past.

Trott was 17 not out as England finished a curtailed second day of the Second Test with 103-1 in reply to South Africa's 343 all out.

Andrew Strauss made a blazing half-century from 49 balls before being bowled, while Alastair Cook will resume this morning with 31.

Trott's slow coach approach angered the South Africans during the ODI series and First Test but their fury reached new levels here.

Wicketkeeper Mark Boucher and several fielders were throwing up their arms in exasperation before Trott had even faced a ball.

The England No 3 scratched his crease with his studs three times, wandered around, re-took his guard and generally delayed proceedings.

The Sun quoted South African AB de Villiers as saying: "It is very frustrating and something Graeme Smith is dealing with and the umpires are aware of. All our bowlers have little rhythms so it is particularly frustrating for them."

"It's a tactic that might get him into trouble if he keeps doing it. Graeme is talking to the umpires and talking to Trotty as well - that's talking to him on the field. It might be one of his tactics but I think we will use it to our advantage," he added.

The crowd also heckled Trott, who has vowed not to speed up as he needs to be prepared mentally and physically before he takes strike.

Spinner Swann said: "It's just Trotty, it's how he bats, how he goes about things. He has a very organised game plan. I can probably understand South Africa's frustrations because I've stood at slip for Notts in the past calling him every name under the sun. Not everyone bats at the same tempo. Some of us get ready very quickly, some take their time."

Strauss' attacking innings showed he is clearly determined to finish his epic, Ashes-winning year with one final leap towards glory.

Earlier, Dale Steyn and Makhaya Ntini put on 58 for South Africa's last wicket but, in their real job as purveyors of the new cherry, they failed.

Steyn looked short of a gallop following his recent hamstring injury while Ntini, who played his 100th Test in Centurion, is close to a spent force.

Strauss tore into them with drives, pulls and cuts. Ntini was removed from the firing line after bowling three overs for 25.

Such was Strauss' aggression, he reached 50 out of 59-0. He was then given out lbw but a review showed an inside edge.

There was also an inside edge when a ball from Morne Morkel clattered into Strauss' stumps and he was out for 54.

Cook will be relieved by his effort as he has not scored a half-century in nine innings since Lord's against Australia in July. (ANI)

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