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Boxing Day Cricket : Aus vs Proteas

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PaarlBok

Rod McCall (65)
This one the big one. The Proteas past record not look good on the MCG and a Mount Everest climb for them to get a win here. The past record look like this

PROTEAS? TEST RECORD AT THE MCG

1993: Match drawn
Australia 342/7 dec (Mark Taylor 170, Mark Waugh 84); South Africa 258/3 (Hansie Cronje 71, Andrew Hudson 64 retired, Kepler Wessels 63*)

1997: Match drawn
Australia 309 (Ricky Ponting 105, Steve Waugh 96) and 257 (Paul Reiffel 79, Mark Taylor 59); South Africa 186 (Gary Kirsten 83) and 273/7 (Jacques Kallis 101, Hansie Cronje 70)

2001: Australia won by 9 wickets
South Africa 277 (Neil McKenzie 67) and 219 (Jacques Kallis 99); Australia 487 (Matthew Hayden 138, Steve Waugh 90, Justin Langer 85) and 10/1

2005: Australia won by 184 runs
Australia 355 (Ricky Ponting 117, Michael Hussey 122) and 321/7 dec (Matthew Hayden 137, Andrew Symonds 72) beat South Africa 311 (Herschelle Gibbs 94) and 181

Will be interesting to see if Ashwell Prince get past his fitness one and one thing we can be sure of: The Aussies will fight hard back in this one.
 

Pfitzy

Jason Little (69)
Duminy in so I assume Prince out?

Ponting gets a ton - about time he played with a bit of authority and a lack of idiocy, but jeez Steyn was unlucky not to pick him up before lunch. Hussey looks well out of touch...
 
D

Donsteppa

Guest
After taking much glee in the demise of Ponting's team in Perth (mainly due to a strong and possibly irrational hatred of Ponting, Symonds, and Hayden), I'm (almost) keen to see the series revet to 1-all in Melbourne. Both these sides are closely matched and it's great to see test cricket being played to a high standard and this competitively - would set-up one heck of a third test in Sydney.
 

PaarlBok

Rod McCall (65)
The Aussies well on top in day one and a great ton by Ponting. Our lot will have their work cut out if we want them to score below 400 in the first innings. Day 1 belong to them and some sensible batting. This wacking and bassing 4 to 5 runs a over can count against you in test cricket. Its about occupying the crease.
 

mark_s

Chilla Wilson (44)
I gotta disagree Paarlbok. No way the Aussies are well on top. At best its evenly balanced, but if the proteas can break through early on day 2 then I think they will be in the drivers seat. This is a 400+ pitch and the outfield will speed up on days 2 and 3.

Another good effort by the Proteas, they never let the Aussies really get away from them and are playing hard but fair cricket. I am looking forward to going to watch them at the SCG next week.

As for our team, too many passengers at this stage and I almost threw up when I heard there was only one selection change from Perth. We have had the same problems for sometime now, not getting enough good partnerships together batting wise (despite some good individual performaances) and not being able to take 20 wickets in a match.

Hayden and Symonds should both be on last warnings for the second innings of this test as there are inform replacements ready and waiting. I will be quite upset if Hayden scratches out an unconvincing score of 50+ in the second innings only to have all and sundry declare him to be "back". Why do they keep picking Symonds to play when he is out of form and injured? Is it because he lost so much money through Storm financial and needs the match fees? Hussey's form is also quite disconcerting at present, but I think 2 changes is enough in one test and he is not necessairly poast his used by date yet.

I will make an early prediction that Siddle's straight up and own bowling will once again be ineffective at the MCG and we will wonder why he is in the team when Hillfenhaus and Bollinger are taking wickets all of the place in the SS. Lee will have moments where he looks dangerous but will continue to lack the wicket taking ball. I hope I am wrong - but my feeling is that we need new selectors before this Aus team can really refresh itself and overcome the retirements of the last 2-3 years.
 

PaarlBok

Rod McCall (65)
OK Mark surely our lot are now on the backfoot but never count them out. They'll have to fight hard in this one to get back but this is test cricket and suppose to be like this. Hope you enjoy the SCG Boet. :thumb
 

Pfitzy

Jason Little (69)
mark_s said:
I will make an early prediction that Siddle's straight up and own bowling will once again be ineffective at the MCG and we will wonder why he is in the team when Hillfenhaus and Bollinger are taking wickets all of the place in the SS. Lee will have moments where he looks dangerous but will continue to lack the wicket taking ball. I hope I am wrong - but my feeling is that we need new selectors before this Aus team can really refresh itself and overcome the retirements of the last 2-3 years.

Well I'm happy to admit I was in the same boat as you on Siddle, but jeez the young ranga turned up spitting fire yesterday! Faster than Lee, and a damn sight more accurate to boot. Those deliveries to take Mackenzie and de Villiers were right out of the McGrath textbook, but 15km/h faster each time! Lee was somewhat unlucky not to bag a wicket with the new ball, but his later work in the afternoon shows he's not fully fit - he can't seem to come back and rocket in over 145 in the afternoon sessions for some reason.

Siddle was the man yesterday though.

The Proteas don't typically have a wagging tail but Duminy looks class so could add a respectable (and face-saving) amount to the overnight total. As long as Harris can stick with him, because Steyn and Ntini aren't the best defensive batsmen. They avoided the follow-on which must have been the first goal when Kallis and then Smith got out.

Interesting that Smith got taken going for the wide cover drive again. That's a tactic that hopefully Ponting stored in his memory banks for the remaining three innings of this tour. However given he was too stupid to bring Hauritz on when Morkel was at the crease, I doubt it.
 

Pfitzy

Jason Little (69)
Well, I hope our selectors and captain are prepared to fall on their swords (and ours) for their piss-poor ideas on who to put in a team. Symonds is not batting well and is too injured to bowl apparently. Ponting's bowling changes are puzzling to say the least, and the lack of spirit and accuracy by our pace men (minus a crocked Lee) needs looking at. For Ponting to drop that chance was also unforgiveable.
 

mark_s

Chilla Wilson (44)
Well, were at the halfway mark of the series and the proteas have made history twice already. THe best we can do in this test is bat for the next day and half or so to force a draw. No chance of us winning a bowler down but the Proteas are every chance of wrapping this series up if they bowl well on a flat deck.

I really feel like the Aus game is falling apart and the proteas are looking more like the Aus team of recent years than we are. Alot of today was embarrassing, our feilding (inclduing keeping) and bowling are looking sloppy. OUr selection mistakes have been laid out for all to see in the last two tests, hopefully the selectors will learn for the SCG but I really doubt it.

Take nothing away from the PRoteas though, they are contesting every ball and are a strong team across the board.
 

PaarlBok

Rod McCall (65)
Duminy from my valleys or should I say Cape Town. Must add that our traditional Afrikaans & coloured school made some inroads in the game of cricket these days. In the past the souties dominate the sport but not anymore. These days Paarl Gym will beat the likes of Wynbergs, (Kallis) &Rondebosch & Bishops (Gibbs) these days. Boland also beat WeePee at the Craven Week cricket compo and all of our lot plays under Boland.
 

PaarlBok

Rod McCall (65)
The Boer generetics will deliver locks and tall quickies like Morkel, Nel & Steyn and the coloured lot will give you the batsman and good fielders. A deadly combination for the future !
 

Pfitzy

Jason Little (69)
Great innings by Duminy. The track didn't offer the bowlers a lot but they really failed to take any chances offered through a combination of inaccuracy, stupid tactics, and lack of fielding support. Not to mention a game plan. Sure we missed a few outside edges, but good teams get those.
 

mark_s

Chilla Wilson (44)
I think Peter Roebuck's article today is spot on (and its rare that I agree with him 100% - I have even written a complaint letter to him in the past). My personal view is that there are atleast 3 players who need an immediate "rest": Hayden, Lee and Symonds. Let them recover theri injuries and reproove their form in the Sheffield shield. There are readily available options for all 3 right now (Rogers/Hughes for Hayden, Bollinger/Hillfenhaus (or maybe even Tait) for Lee and Watson for Symonds). Longer term, the selectors should be trying to identify who is going to be our next keeper and who will replace Pointing and Hussey so that they are ready in say 2 years time. Then of course there is a question of who is our next long term spinner, this is the one concession I would make to the current selectors as there is no clear candidate at present.

Anyway, the pitch is good enough for our batmen to save the match if they are good enough.


Gloom and Duminy
Peter Roebuck
December 29, 2008

NOTHING in 40 years of watching cricket prepared your correspondent for the events that unfolded at the MCG yesterday. Nothing in the recent patchy performances of the national team prepared an incredulous crowd for the calamity they witnessed.

Put it this way: in the first five hours of play, the cream of the country's cricketers managed to take a single wicket, and that caught near the boundary. In two staggering sessions, the solitary breakthrough was made by a duffer whose offerings were not given their due. Along the way, the Australians dropped several catches, one of them embarrassingly, conceded more fives than the Queensland Reds, pursued tame tactics and so utterly failed to impress supporters that even the most loyal watched in stunned silence. Others were not so tolerant.

For Australia, it was not merely a bad day - it was a cricketing disaster. And it started before a ball had been bowled with the news that Brett Lee had a hoof sore enough to require a trip to the hospital. Lee had been a shadow of his former self and cannot expect to hold his place. To make matters worse, Andrew Symonds was not fit to bowl, or so it seemed until he was suddenly introduced 10 minutes before tea, whereupon he produced a long stint of gentle off-breaks.

Meanwhile, Shane Watson roamed the outfield. Bear in mind, Symonds is an all-rounder. Athletic fielding and outswingers are part of his attraction. His inclusion was an insult to other contenders and a blunder that ought to cause the chairman of selectors to consider his position. Australia must decide whether it wants a vibrant team or an old boys' club.

Notwithstanding these handicaps, Australia's approach was inexplicable. Far from going for the jugular in the opening hour, Ricky Ponting gave his fast men a few overs each then withdrew them and tried his spinners and occasionals. At the start of the day, the second new ball was 17 overs away - but Australia were willing to wait for it. Supposedly inept tailenders were at the crease. It was time to strike, not sit back; a time for hostility and aggressive fields. Mitchell Johnson is fit and Peter Siddle can charge in all day. Australia had dominated the match but were behind in the series. It was a time for action.

Having set off on the wrong foot, the Australians never recovered their stride. As usual, Ponting pushed his field back at the earliest opportunity. It is hard to convince a batsman that his end is nigh when four men have been dispatched to protect the boundary. It is difficult to persuade a bowler that he is unplayable when a defensive field has been set. Australia lack fury. Part of the reason the Australian captain takes, or grasses, diving catches at second slip is that a third is regarded as redundant. When an edge flew between gloveman and wide slip, it was no more than the Australians deserved. Far from moving in for the kill, they waited for the patient to die.

Nor did Ponting show much sign of imagination in his field placements or bowling changes. He did not try his wrist spinner nor move his bowlers around in search of a wicket. His team began without the required urgency and, before long, looked nonplussed. The outlook infected the fieldsmen and could be sensed by an increasingly agitated crowd. Australia did not create an air of expectancy.

And so, insufficiently challenged, the visiting batsmen whittled away at Australia's apparently impregnable position. At the start, the visitors seemed doomed, 196 adrift with three wickets in hand. Gradually, the gap was reduced to 170, 150, and every step of the way spectators assumed a wicket was imminent. After all, the record books insisted it could not last. Not that anyone looked like getting out. Paul Harris departed at 251, caught at retreating mid-on. It is not so long ago that Australia's leg trap was located closer to the bat. The hosts were still a mile in front, but the mood had changed.

Next came the partnership that shocked one nation and stirred another. Already, J.P. Duminy's skills had been recognised and his temperament tested. Even so, his contribution was astonishing for its maturity, resilience and patience. He rallied his side not with daredevilry but with intent and technique. Startling in its conception, calm of manner and precise in its execution, his innings was a revelation. Not once did he forget about the needs of his side or lose his composure. His drives past mid-on were clinically played and his tickles to leg were craftily constructed. And he showed faith in his partners, trusting them to keep up their end. It was a monumental hand.

Dale Steyn also surpassed himself. Struck on the hands on several occasions as the tireless pacemen were briefly given their heads, the former bunny stood his ground and produced an innings of the utmost application, even managing to unfurl some sumptuous straight drives. Stout-hearted and defiant, it was the innings of a lifetime. Imagine the incredulity of his countrymen as they woke at dawn to hear that after four hours, their team was still batting and that a youngster from Strandfontein in the Cape and a paceman from Phalaborwa in the remote north had added 180 runs.

It was all a reminder of an old truism. One man's ecstasy can be another's agony.
 

Pfitzy

Jason Little (69)
Yeah Roebuck occasionally rubs me the wrong way but that article was spot on. Ponting was bereft of original ideas when he took the captaincy but now he has been put under pressure he's been shown up even more.
 

cyclopath

Stirling Mortlock (74)
Staff member
I made the same comment to a mate this morning re Roebuck - he normally shits me to tears, but agree he hit the mark.
Yesterday, the Australian approach to the game embarrassed me as much as the SA application to it impressed.
Ponting ONLY has a good captaincy record due to the team he inherited, and the piss poor opposition they often faced. Not now. With India, SA and probably England challenging, they need clever leadership. He does not provide it. Obviously on this Test's form, he should stay as a batsman, but the Aus selectors have never been good at changing leaders. It would not be pretty if they forced the issue.
I would think about resting Hussey too - I really like him, but his current form is woeful, and perhaps some State time would help him to recapture it - we do not have the luxury of carrying him. Maybe D Hussey to have a go?
I would play Bollinger in Sydney (his record in recent years there is awesome), Rogers or Hughes, and if they really want an all-rounder Watson (although he is far from convincing in my book). I would prefer 6 proper batsmen, Haddin and 4 proper bowlers.
 

Lindommer

Steve Williams (59)
Roebuck: don't (and won't) read his articles on principle. He's a remittance man of the worst type and his opinion and company should never be countenanced.

Why we tolerate him on radio and in print I'll never know.
 

cyclopath

Stirling Mortlock (74)
Staff member
I know what you mean, Lindo.
As for the Aus bowlers, what a lot of tripe they are chucking down this afternoon. Line? Length? Absolute rubbish, and Lee with his too often seen no-ball / wicket combo typifies it! :angryfire:
The sooner this farce is over the better.
 

RugbyReg

Rocky Elsom (76)
Staff member
Well done Sth Africa. We are totally outclassed again.

My team for the SCG

1 Shaun Marsh
2 Simon Katich
3 Ricky Ponting
4 Michael Clarke
5 Mike Hussey
6 Shane Watson
7 Brad Haddin
8 Mitchell Johnson
9 Jason Krezja
10 Ben Hilfenhaus
11 Doug Bollinger

Would consider openning with Mike Hussey to have his brother in the team and I think it could be the challenge Mike needs to click him back into gear. Alternatively I would consider him at 6 with Watson at 5. As it stands I have swapped him with Clarke.

A rookie attack but who cares? Still not convinced about Siddle. Bollinger for sure at the SCG and Hilfenhaus (assuming they continue to ignore Bracken) for greater ball movement.

Krezja v Hauritz is an each way bet really. Krazy seems more of a test player though.

It would also be Ricky's last test as skipper with Pup taking over.
 
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