Monday, March 02, 2009

Rumours of demise greatly exaggerated etc.

Australia. South Africa. First Test. A victory by 162 runs. Three debutants. One scores a century in the first innings. One scores 75 in the second dig after an embarrassing duck in the first. The third returns match figures of 56-16-126-3. And a fast bowler, Mitchell Johnson, who frankly, has scared me more as a batsman than anything else, (at Perth and Mohali), got close to a ton, and to solving Australia's all-rounder problem (not that I think it wasn't a fake one to begin with).

South Africa could still win this series but I think the dancing over the Aussie corpse needs to stop, largely because it has been dragged away and resurrected.

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Blogger Gaurav Sethi said...

it was too good to last.

im surprised they took so long to clean their act. prefer debutants to deadwood anyday.

2:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

At last some good solid cricket from Ponting's men - his bowlers are to be congratulated on the rewards reaped through their mental and physical travails. Siddle bowls with the heart of Merv Hughes, McDonald with the brain of Steve Waugh, and not enough can be said about Johnson. Perhaps it is time for Brett Lee to focus on his musical 'career'.

One commentator (perhaps Mark Nicholas...) posits that it was easier for the Australians to perform away from the cauldron of examination they faced at home this past summer from the Australian press, fans and public.

Regardless it's always good to beat South Africa. Disappointing though to see yet another great Test Match so poorly attended.

4:24 AM  
Blogger Jaunty Quicksand said...

Just as the tales of Australia's demise were premature, I think tales of their resurrection are premature, too. South Africa seemed to be back in the timid phase that plagued them in previous Test series against the Aussies. A timidity they shed when they toured Australia.

No batsman (bar Graeme Smith) looked to take the bowling on, preferring instead to crawl along at a pace that fed into Australia's hands. By letting Australia hang around they let go of all the initiative they had built up after that seismic series Down Under.

I share your sentiments about Mitchell Johnson's batting. He bats in such straight lines, it is intimidating that he is a tail-ender. I hope they leave him there and not tinker with his head and make him "concentrate on his batting" or start using the tag of an all-rounder. But having said that, as a bowler, a bowler whose stock wicket-taking ball (the one bowled wide of the off-stump) depends upon a batsman's weakness does not inspire confidence in me.

Let me put it in another way. I may well eat my words, but I sense that Johnson is more likely to have a Brett Lee or Andrew Flintoff like career (a five-for here and there but no dominating bowling performances that take over a Test match) than an incisive Hadlee or Marshall type career. Unless, of course he learns to swing/bring the ball into the right-hander.

I predict a 1-1 scoreline heading into the Third Test...

5:32 PM  

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