Sunday, 8 March 2009

Durban Demolition

The "green Mamba" pitch at Durban strikes again and its venom is clearly getting stronger as the days click over.

Australia's lower order folded at 352, a score that at any other time would be considered the bare minimum to defend and stay competitive. With all the talk of Johnson now pushing all-rounder status, a duck seemed to burst that bubble and one could not help but wonder if some of the hype had gone to his head... then he was given the ball!

Johnson, showing that he is now well entrenched as an international cricketing superstar, battered South Africa into a bloody pulp! With able assistance from McDonald, and another super tight and constrictive bowling effort from Siddle, Australia truly appear to have the bowling formula and combinations required now to take twenty wickets. Of course a front line spinner is the one key element missing, but unless Hilfenhaus takes it up another notch his position may well be used as the interchange bench. As previously stated, clearly it is desirable to give him as much test experience as possible when England will offer him the best conditions for his talents.

Where as in the Sydney test with Smith missing due to his hand injury Australia felt they had a real chance, his absence again (thanks to a 151km/h Johnson missile) looks unlikely to be the decisive factor in a match where more Australian batsman compiled some sort of score than South Africans. Hussey must consider his 50 a career saver given his recent test form. McKenzie just doesn't do enough regularly and one can't help but wonder how he keeps his spot when RSA cricket looks so good now!

Still, given the momentous turn-arounds all summer between these sides, only a fool would write South Africa off at this (or any!) stage. With two days to go, it once again seems likely that the competitive nature and skills of these teams will provide a full five days of test cricket.


  1. Outside Sledge downthewicket9 March 2009 at 7:48 am

    Until they prove me wrong, South Africa are a bunch of talented under-achievers who, after climbing their Everest have fallen off the North Face.
    Could it be that this team who have thrashed most of the rest of the teams in world cricket (not hard at the moment), been competetive against India in India (no mean feat) were working towards the hardest test in cricket; beating Australia in Australia, and now that they have done so (although the score in the 6 test series is 2-2 with the Durban test out of their reach) have found that there is not enough motivation to keep winning? This is the view of the most pre-eminent student of the game that never played.
    South Africa have been found out, they have pulled a heart muscle, comprehensively beaten over the first 3 days of the 5th test blaming the weather and deteriorating deck, whilst Australia have been digging in, finding talent, backing their guts and finding a way.
    Like the beaten champion rising from the canvas before he has been counted out, saying "I'm not done yet and neither is your job, lets box on" only to find that his enemy has reached his peak only wanting to knock the champ to the canvas.....well this is TEST cricket you lily livered sons of the Veldt, put your bloody fists up and fight! You have the talent but we are starting to think you lack the stamina and the ticker....gonna try prove us wrong?
    Lets hope so...

    Then were gonna punch your lights out.

    And your next England.

  2. todays winner of Play of the day (POTD) I will be awarding this throughout the year and the contributor to score the most will get something special from me at the end of the 09/10 Australian season. Bonus points for attracting other contributors.

    great comment Sledgey, all true too!

    RSA can really say nothing: every aspect of their game has been bested!

    And 'cause i hate saying "i told you so" the turn around for Australia is clearly due to the infusion of fresh, hungry for success, talent.

    Hughes: WOW.
    Siddle: cleaned up that tail end to add wickets to his already tight tally.

    the one thing i really appreciate with the score card in this test is the traditional nature of the Aus scorecard.
    it is great when bowlers make lots of runs, and part time bowlers get wickets; but this time the card is top-heavy with runs, and the bowling card is top heavy with wickets, perfect! evryone is doing the job that they are there for.

    i know the original purpose is to analyse faults with selection, bureaucracy and management, but when everything is coming together as it is:
    1) we get good results
    2) we can spend time basking in the glory of the results and spend less time bitching.

    ...a sprig of wattle in my hand!