Australia tour of SA 2014

mrzdt

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Well done to South Africa. I wondered after the first Test if they still had that hunger to be number 1. Lot of character shown by the boys. Watching Steyn bowl is a privilege. He is miles the best bowler of the last few years.

I always thought the Aussies were going to be in trouble when they are under pressure. South Africa clearly has the better bowling attack but Australia do have the second best attack in the world. I feel Australia can compete in the bowling department but not in the batting department.

Rogers just scored a hundred but to me he is not a world class opener. Warner has as far as I know never scored a century outside Australia. So he is not really a match winner for South Africa. I do not know Doolan that well but he was clearly struggling against SA. Marsh had some good fortune in the first Test but I do not think he has ability to consistently produce the goods. Looking at his first class average I don't think SA is worried about him. Clarke is a good batsman but not in good form recently. I remember on previous tours he was the biggest thorn in our side but now I am not that worried. Smith is a good batsman and in good form but I am not convinced he has a technique to score 100+ often enough. Haddin has been exposed by Steyn now.

England's bowling attack may have been good a few years ago but Swann, Anderson and Broad are nowhere near South Africa's bowlers. The good bowling attack of South Africa has exposed the weakness in the Aussie lineup.
 

Lebanna

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Can anyone in PE let us know if its raining today? ;)
 

asprin

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^ Wonder what Australia might be feeling like if it's raining cats and dogs today.
 

mrzdt

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Just to further my point on the batting. I have drawn a comparison between the 2 batting lineups.

SA batting and (ranking) (not necessarily in batting order)

1. Graeme Smith (13)
2. A. Petersen (37) / D Elgar (77)
3. F du Plessis (29)
4. H. Amla (2)
5. De Villiers (1)
6. Duminy (45)
7. De Kock (129)

Australia

1. C Rogers (16)
2. D Warner (10)
3. Doolan (95)
4. S Marsh (74)
5. M Clarke (9)
6. S Smith (17)
7. B Haddin (35)

1. G Smith (ave: 48) vs C Rogers (ave: 38). Rogers scored 5,4,1, and 107 in the series so far and Smith 9,10,4 and 14. Rogers may be in better form but Smith has the better average and I would pick him over Rogers any day.

2. Warner vs Elgar/Petersen, I am not going to try and even compare them as I think Warner is superior to both of them. However Elgar is still at the start of his career and did look good. Petersen is clearly not in the same class as Warner. Warner has an away average of 32 which tells me he is a home track bully.

3. Amla vs Doolan. Nr 2 vs nr 95. Maybe not fair to compare them as Doolan is still new to Test Cricket. Amla is well established and he wins this one hands down.

4. F du Plessis vs S Marsh. (29 vs 74) Faf is greatly improving and has some memorable feats in Test cricket. I don't know Marsh that well. When comparing averages Faf has 52 and Marsh 33. They have played more or less the same amount of Test cricket but Faf has achieved more and that is why I rate him better than Marsh. Some of the Aussies that I have spoken to also do not rate Marsh very highly. I struggle to understand why he is in the Test team.

5. Clarke vs De Villiers. Clarke was number 1 but he is no longer that force he was previously. De Villiers on the other hand just seems to be in good form forever. He is the current number 1 and he is by some margin. De Villiers takes this one.

6. De Kock vs Smith; De Kock just started his international career and he already scored 4 ODI centuries while Smith has none. I will lean towards Smith just because he has a few more years experience.

7. Duminy vs Haddin, Haddin has more experience but I believe Duminy to be the better batsman. Their averages are around the same but I will lean to Duminy as I believe he has the better technique.

So 2 and 6 go to Aus while the rest to SA. And I believe SA win by some margin in the ones they win. The only superiority that Aus have is the attacking opener in Warner. SA don't quite have that but they have more batsman than can occupy the crease for longer and score more consistently. Amla and De Villiers are really in a class of their own.
 

War

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Any of the AUS fans were a bit worried about Harris? Not saying his legs which the physio have done an amazing job to get him playing 7 tests in a row now - but i haven't seen him so down on pace probably since the 2010/11 Ashes.
 

sifter132

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So 2 and 6 go to Aus while the rest to SA. And I believe SA win by some margin in the ones they win. The only superiority that Aus have is the attacking opener in Warner. SA don't quite have that but they have more batsman than can occupy the crease for longer and score more consistently. Amla and De Villiers are really in a class of their own.

The other way to do it is to ask: how many Australian batsmen would make the SA team? If you select the side using the ICC ratings, then Clarke and Warner would be in there and either Smith/Rogers depending if you wanted to bat Rogers out of position (G.Smith, Warner, Amla, ABDV, Clarke, S.Smith/Rogers, ???). Suddenly Australia aren't looking too bad with this method. So it's 3 Aussies in that top 6, and you would probably pick Watson at #7 to offer that 5th bowling option, even though Rogers and Faf are a little higher on the ratings chart.

Or if you make a combined batting team by runs in the series so far, then Australia does OK there too. You end up with Warner, Doolan/Rogers (Doolan more runs, Rogers in proper position), Amla, Marsh, ABDV, S.Smith, Duminy. 4 Aussies in that lineup, although you could certainly argue for Elgar to open. Rogers has only a few more runs in 2 more innings.

Looking at it with completely Aussie-biased glasses on...if they could only get de Villiers and Amla out cheaply, there is no one there that should scare them. Looking at it from SA perspective I would say similar. I wouldn't be scared of anyone bar Clarke, and he is pushing too hard, feeling for runs right now.

Any of the AUS fans were a bit worried about Harris? Not saying his legs which the physio have done an amazing job to get him playing 7 tests in a row now - but i haven't seen him so down on pace probably since the 2010/11 Ashes.

Just checked the Hawkeye data for speeds and it's interesting. ALL the Aussie bowlers were slower in PE, while the SA bowlers were about the same as their Centurion speeds. Harris was averaging about 2.5mph less than Centurion, Siddle a bit over 2mph slower and Johnson around 1.5mph less. Just a case of being in the field a long time? Hard to tell on the graph - partly I'd say, but still cause for concern, yes. Siddle and Harris would want to be bowling sharply in the nets this week to keep their spots safe and ward off talk of fatigue and rest.
 
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mrzdt

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Looking at it with completely Aussie-biased glasses on...if they could only get de Villiers and Amla out cheaply, there is no one there that should scare them. Looking at it from SA perspective I would say similar. I wouldn't be scared of anyone bar Clarke, and he is pushing too hard, feeling for runs right now.

Looking at it with completely Saffa-biased glasses on... We are not that worried about Clarke. His highest score in his last 11 innings is 24. He does not appear to be in good form. Warner does not go on to score big runs when he has played himself in. The rest, with all due respect not much to talk about and can't compare them to Hayden, Ponting, Waugh and co.
 

sifter132

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I will certainly agree there are no Hayden's or Ponting's hiding anywhere in there...:D Although I will urge you to look past Clarke's stats. If he finds his rhythm (which could be anytime), he'll pump out runs as well as anyone in Test cricket. And he has history vs South Africa. Just look at the Cape Town Test in 2011 - 151 of the best runs you'll ever see, and then he pummelled this same pace trio when they came to Aus in 2012. They should at least be a little concerned by what he could do. Likewise for Australia and Graeme Smith - don't want to write him off just because he hasn't score for a few innings.
 

Lebanna

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Interestingly, after the first test Australia were all talk of how they didn't need Watson and now after losing just one test he is suddenly a crucial cog in their team.
 

Spickery

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What a 2nd session that was!

Morne Morkel bowled a ferocious spell of short pitched bowling at Michael Clarke. Clarke got hit several times and copped some nasty bruises. To his credit though, he kept fighting and is not out on 22 at Tea. Hopefully after Tea Clarke will have had time to think about how he is going to combat the short ball and I think the best way to do that is to play some shots, rather than letting the ball hit him.

David Warner continues his fantastic form scoring 121 not out at Tea. He has had patience in his innings but is punishing the bad balls. Hopefully he can keep going and get a really big score.

Australia are currently in a good position. With Dayle Steyn off the field with a hamstring strain Australia should look to capitalise and pile on the runs. They should be able to reach a lead of 300 by the end of today's play. The pitch is in excellent condition for lots of runs to be scored by the team batting first.
 

aussie1st

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That was one of the better 100s I've seen by Warner, dont remember him giving a chance before the 100 and just played sensibly.
 

NathanScott45

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The resurgence of Aussie Grit. No silver spoon, no respite, just pure mental resolve. Never thought to expect that of a Julio, well Pup, those bruises are medals.
 

Left_Hander

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Great day for Australia. Warner is pumping out the runs. He makes it look so easy when he is in form. A typically uncharacteristic innings from Clarke where he grinds and looks in trouble. I hope he gets his hundred, he deserves it. Always happy to see Smith score runs too.

For the sake of the game, I hope Steyn can continue to bowl. Australia look dominant from this point of the game.
 

IceAgeComing

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I would like to thank Willow TV for not geoblocking their stream even though for the last few hours all its been showing is rain falling and awful music...
 

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