First Test - Aus v South Africa 2018


First Test - Aus v South Africa 2018

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Decentric
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It starts on Thursday night.
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I'm not quite sure what the likely Oz team is?

As usual when we play test series away from home, apart from The Ashes, there has been little media coverage of the build up. Yet the First Test starts tonight.



Decentric
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One interesting phenomenon in the program preceding the Test, is that Rabada doesn’t have the top speed of Starc and Cummins, but his average speed is quicker than any Aussie.

The three Aussies have the same average speed.

After five overs Oz are 0 - 15. As I speak Philander has dismissed Bancroft with a pitched up outswinger.
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Where are the spectators in Durban?
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Really poor match awareness form AB there. First ball of the 50th over he takes a single Maharaj gets out next ball. First ball of the 53rd over let’s Rabada run a two and Rabada gets out next ball. Needed to protect his tail far more there.

ARNIE= LEGEND

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RedKat - 3 Mar 2018 12:49 PM
Really poor match awareness form AB there. First ball of the 50th over he takes a single Maharaj gets out next ball. First ball of the 53rd over let’s Rabada run a two and Rabada gets out next ball. Needed to protect his tail far more there.

Giving Maharaj the strike is not that bad a decision, he can bat a bit, but he certainly should be protecting Rabada from Starc.
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After watching all the failure on the Subcontinent, I can’t get over how good Australia looks in South Africa in this Test.

I’ve seen a lot of cricket in SA where Subcontinental teams struggle.

The crowds are pathetic compared to Aus, England and India.
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Usman is struggling against left arm finger spinner, Maharaj. Bancroft looks shaky against the impressive Rabada. Having said this, on a pitch with little seam and swing, SA have not played against as good an attack as the current Aussie attack.

Usman yet again out to spin overseas.
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Australia are 9-213 in the  second dig. SA are 402 behind.

I've watched quite a few other  nations play SA on Fox. I can't remember them ever being in trouble or losing at home to any other cricket nation. Yet Australia looks so comfortable in SA, when we are something like the worst team in the world playing on the subcontinent. Apart from last year's series against India when we pushed India to the limit.


The trouble  is our specialist batting still looks shaky outside Smith and Warner. One pleasing thing is Shaun Marsh is starting to be a more consistent batsman at test level. Paine seems to make consistent useful runs and is often  involved in some telling partnerships, whilst Starc and Cummins make really useful, swashbuckling late order runs.

Mitch Marsh has been more impressive in recent tests, but I still worry about his footwork.


The big difference is even though I think SA are a better batting side than us, they've never,  ever had to face an attack of the quality of Lyon (the 2017 - 18 version of GOAT), Starc, Hazlewood and Cummins. Previously SA's most torrid new ball adversaries, according to them, was  Mitch Johnston/ Ryan Harris. With Australia's current  attack they have four bowlers of roughly the same potency.



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If I must - 3 Mar 2018 2:12 PM
RedKat - 3 Mar 2018 12:49 PM

Giving Maharaj the strike is not that bad a decision, he can bat a bit, but he certainly should be protecting Rabada from Starc.



I missed the Starc  second spell after his first was poor by his own standards.
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This Aussie attack in the Second Innings is simply relentless.

Even though he hasn’t taken a wicket, Lyon is putting them under so much pressure ball after ball , with flight, spin, bounce and accuracy.

Cummins is bowling very fast and with excellent line and length. Hazlewood has also bowled very accurately. The South A commentators are blown out with the Aussie attack, which has taken the focus away from our fragile top six.
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One has to credit Markram for how well he has batted against such a potent attack.
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It was a good win by Aus away from home.

However, our batting still looks fragile, but because of our potent attack it hasn't been a focus.

Bancroft still leans his head over to his right side when facing deliveries, as opposed to looking down the pitch. For mine Renshaw has a far better defence, even if he has temporarily lost his attacking strokes. Renshaw frequently batted time on the Suncontinent in trying conditions.

Usman is a dilemma. He often looks good, until he inexplicably gets out. It must be from poor concentration. Usman  also struggles against quality spin. Maharaj is the best South African finger spinner for some time. I know Usman has a batting average of 45, but he has a much higher average  in Australia than overseas.

Shaun Marsh may finally be displaying the innate talent he has in Test cricket. Mitch still looks cumbersome with his footwork at times. 

Warner is a provocative idiot and far too immature and hot headed for vice captain. Tim Paine should be given the role immediately, as he is  an astute vice captain for Tasmania and has also led the state admirably.

Apart from Starc's reverse swing exploits with the old ball, Rabada may have been the best pace bowler in the game, but he didn't enjoy  the support from his fellow bowlers that all the Aussies enjoyed.

Three young South African excelled under pressure - Markram, De Bruyn and De Kock. Very few batting line ups could have withstood the sustained early pressure from the Australian attack early and well into the Innings. Eventually, Markram and De Bruyn blunted it.

I think SA's batting looks more potent than ours.This series is very much alive. SA may have outplayed Australia on days three and four of the Test, but couldn't catch up from being comprehensively outplayed by Aus in the first two days.

Australia's current attack has to be one of the most potent in the history of Test cricket, if they keep bowling like they currently are. Similar collective quality to McGrath, Gillespie, Lee and Warne.

Also, Paine is the missing link Aus have needed as a higher quality gloveman. He is capable of taking wickets from chances barely there, through difficult stumpings and catches that can change the course of the game.
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3 Months Ago by Decentric
grazorblade
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It's amazing the record we have in South Africa given the quality of their team

It will also be amazing if the marsh brothers come good
Great victory
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The Marshes have finally if they keep this form up solved our middle order batting problems, however Bancroft and Khawaja both aren't good enough. Two very weak links at the top order accompanied by Warner who while gets a decent amount of runs can't bat time. That is 3 top order batsmen who barring a miracle will all be out at some point in the second session at best.
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Even though we've won the First Test decisively, we were probably outplayed on the last two full days  of  the Test. 

I would not be surprised to see still see SA win 2-1 , or 3-1.

Any injury to any one of Aus's three front line quicks means a big drop off in the replacement bowler.

Usman, Bancroft, and even Mitch Marsh in the second innings, haven't convinced consistently at Test level - yet.
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Being 1 nil up means South Africa are a couple of bad sessions away from giving us the trophy

Famous last words in India but still
GO


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