Slow Trott driving us all crazy – AB

Category : News

This venue may once have hosted the infamous ‘Timeless Test’ but nowadays Durban is a place where there’s too little time for a Test and Jonathan Trott’s scratching about is not helping matters, at least South Africa think so.

Graeme Smith’s demeanour as Trott took guard on Sunday spoke volumes. The South African captain folded his arms ever more tightly round his chest, his teeth clenched ever tighter. Even the normally serene Jacques Kallis waved his arms in amazement at the length of time it took Trott to prepare himself when he got down to the other end.

“It is pretty frustrating,” AB de Villiers admitted later. “It’s something Smithy’s dealing with and the umpires are aware of it. All our bowlers have little things to get them into their run-ups and it’s frustrating to them.”

Trott’s preparation at the crease involves asking for his guard, and then scratching it out about 40cm in front of him, taking a look around at the field, adjusting his pads – both on top and below, then checking the straps – another look around the field, a check that his helmet is on properly, a look around for his mum in the crowd? Okay well maybe not that last bit, but you get the idea. It is long and the South Africans have expressed their frustration to the umpires.

“It’s a tactic that might get him into trouble soon,” De Villiers added. “It’s not nice for the bowlers because it disturbs their rhythm. Dale’s (Steyn) been talking to the umpires and Graeme’s talking to Trotty as well. I think it’s a tactic.”

Smith’s conversations are presumably not of the friendly variety, De Villiers saying it’s been happening on the field. Graeme Swann’s only too glad others are getting annoyed with Trott’s pec-uliar – and lengthy – preparations before he bats. “He’s been doing it to me on the county circuit for years,” said Swann. “It’s just Trotty and the way he goes about things. He’s very organised and has a clear game plan. I can understand South Africa’s frustration because I’ve been dealing with it for years, so it’s quite nice to see it happen to someone else for a change.”

South Africa’s mood on Sunday wasn’t helped by their own poor performance with the ball particularly in the 14 overs they had at the England openers before tea. Both Andrew Strauss and Alistair Cook were given an easy ride – on the back foot mostly – as South Africa’s quicks dropped the ball far too short. Strauss raced to a run-a-ball fifty, half of which Swann missed because he was in the shower.

“Mickey (coach Mickey Arthur) did come pretty hard, especially about the basics, saying we were not executing those very well. We were definitely too short so we’ve got to try and get the lengths a bit fuller. I won’t go into detail but there were a few harsh words said in the break,” De Villiers confirmed. The ringing in their ears clearly did the trick for after the interval South Africa’s lengths were much fuller and the change paid dividends with Strauss’s dismissal.

Source: IOL.co.za – December 28, 2009 / STUART HESS

De Villiers: Coach is not happy

Category : News

AB de Villiers, the South African batsman, feels the second Test will be decided by play on the pitch rather than the weather.

De Villiers, who scored fifty as South Africa were bowled out for 343 before England closed on 103 for one, said: “There’s a good chance of a result. We’d like to get a nice lead but I think there will be turn and the spinners will come into play on days four and five. It’s one of those wickets where they’ll always be something in it for the bowlers if you can get into good areas with intensity.

“You’ll always create chances if you can keep the run-rate down. There’s a bit of bounce and it’s always nibbling about, even with the older ball.”

England ended the second day 240 runs behind, with bad light stopping play prematurely, after Andrew Strauss’ fluent 54 had got the visitors off to a flier.

And de Villiers admitted that his coach Mickey Arthur was less than happy with the way the Proteas bowled.

“Mickey came at us very hard and said we were not executing the basics very well,” he said “We bowled too short so we’ll get the lengths a bit fuller but there were a few harsh words said.”

Strauss was bowled by Morne Morkel but Graeme Swann suggested that his captain’s innings turned the match back in England’s favour.

“It was great to see him play shots from the first over,” said Swann who took four wickets. “We did not sit down and say ‘let’s go all guns blazing’ but it was important we did that because we’ve wrestled back the initiative that South Africa had taken from us.”

And Swann has backed Alastair Cook (31 not out) to continue the fine start to England’s reply, saying: “Cooky’s been solid in this innings … he looks back in form.”

Source: The National – December 27, 2008 / IAN BAKER

Amla and de Villiers boost SA in first Test

Category : News, Photo

AB-de-Villiers-001Hashim Amla and AB de Villiers shared a century partnership and regained the initiative for South Africa on the fourth day of the first Test against England at SuperSport Park on Saturday.

South Africa were 182 for five at tea, an overall lead of 244.

Each of England’s fast bowlers claimed a wicket as South Africa lost three wickets for 37 runs at the start of the day after resuming on nine for one.

But Amla (76 not out) and De Villiers (64) put on 119 for the fifth wicket with some enterprising batting.

James Anderson struck in the third over of the day when nightwatchman Paul Harris was bowled off his thigh pad for 11.

South African captain Graeme Smith never looked comfortable against accurate bowling by Anderson and Graham Onions on a pitch of unpredictable bounce and he fell to Onions five overs later when he pushed forward defensively and was bowled off an inside edge for 12.

First innings century maker Jacques Kallis made only four before he pulled Stuart Broad to Alastair Cook on the square leg boundary.

Amla and De Villiers both survived unsuccessful calls for review by the television umpire after leg before wicket appeals by off-spinner Graeme Swann and Onions were turned down. It meant that England had used up both their options for reviews during the innings.

De Villiers in particular made light of tricky batting conditions as the pair posted a century partnership off 164 balls.

De Villiers made his runs off 101 balls with six fours and a six before he was caught by a diving Ian Bell at short cover when he drove uppishly at Broad.

Source: AFP – December 19, 2009

AB is SA’s sportsman of 2009

Category : News

Cricketer AB de Villiers has been voted South Africa’s sports star for 2009.

He beat off Bafana Bafana midfield hero Steven Pienaar as well as the Springbok trio of John Smit, Heinrich Brussow and Morne Steyn.

In a tight poll, 26% of Times LIVE readers went for De Villiers – one of the stars of the Proteas’ historic Test series victory Down Under. Smit got 20% of the vote, Pienaar 19% and Brussow and Steyn 18% each.

Other sports stars who didn’t even make the final vote included 800m world champions Caster Semenya and Mbulaeni Mulaudzi, as well as swimming ace Cameron van der Burgh.

Source: Times Live – December 15, 2009 / STAFF REPORTERS