South Africa v England, 1st Test, Centurion December 21, 2009

Trott hits back at slow-coach jibes

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Jonathan Trott won't be changing the way he bats despite riling the South Africans with the slow nature of his preparations for each delivery. During the final day of the first Test in Centurion, Graeme Smith became increasingly annoyed by Trott's mannerisms, and the umpires told the England batsman to make sure he was ready for the bowler.

Trott had previously been warned about his pace of play in the one-day series, and on a number of occasions during his 69 on Sunday the South African bowlers had to abort their run-ups. However, Trott doesn't see what all the fuss is about and won't be making any concessions during the second Test at Durban.

"I've never really had any complaints before," he said. "It's one of those things, I do to get myself prepared and make sure I'm in the right frame of mind to help contribute to the England side.

"I don't play cricket to get under people's skin. I play cricket to be effective and I have my things I do to get myself ready for battle. Maybe it can mess with their over-rate or whatever, but it's just what I do and I won't be changing it.

"It's what's got me to this position to be able to play for England and it's an exciting time. I won't be trying to do anything different to what I know best."

Trott's 212-ball 69 was a vital contribution in England's bid to save the first Test and he shared in a stand of 145 with Kevin Pietersen. The partnership ended when Pietersen charged up the pitch for a non-existent single, leaving Trott with no option but to watch helplessly at the non-striker's end, but he still apologised to his team-mate.

"I said to Kev, 'sorry, it was a misunderstanding'. He said 'no problem' and we look forward to batting again together in the future."

However, the real drama started when Trott was breathtakingly caught at third slip by AB de Villiers off a nasty delivery from Friedel de Wet to set in a motion a dramatic collapse of 5 for 13 that almost cost England the Test.

"I was watching on TV, and it's quite hard because there's a bit of a delay by about 10 seconds, so you actually hear the roar while you're waiting for the ball to be bowled," Trott said. "If there's no roar, you know it's a dot ball.

"I was sitting out the back with Graeme Swann while I was icing my finger and it was a bit nerve-wracking towards the end. But it was a great effort by the guys to pull through and for Paul Collingwood and Graham Onions to get us out of a spot of bother and keep the series level at nil-nil."

Trott's first innings had ended with an ugly swipe against his good friend Paul Harris, who later said the pair were friends off the field but not on it. They were sentiments echoed by Trott. "I know a few of the guys who I played at school with and against," he said.

"But this is Test match cricket, something you've always strived to do and want to do to the best of your ability. So whenever you cross that line, it's back to business, trying to gain any advantage you can and win every game you can for England."

England's last-ditch escape meant that Trott's first Test in his country of birth ended with positive memories and he can't wait for the battle to be rejoined on Boxing Day. "I've worked so hard towards it, you always wonder what it will feel like if one day you have the opportunity to play a Test match back in South Africa," he said. "I gave it my all and enjoyed the whole experience and look forward to a few more, I hope."

Andrew McGlashan is assistant editor of Cricinfo