South Africa in Australia 2012-13 October 29, 2012

Road warriors defend imposing record

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When Allan Border went almost four years without a Test century between 1988 and 1992, the phrase "not since Faisalabad" became an increasingly weary staple for radio commentators and touring correspondents. South Africa's Test tourists in Australia are similarly accompanied by the words "not since Colombo", but for altogether more auspicious reasons.

Six long years have passed since the South Africans were last beaten in a series away from home, a 2-0 reverse in Sri Lanka in 2006. To quantify this achievement, it must be noted that in more than a decade of dominance between 1995 and 2008, the longest stretch of years Australia could manage between Test series defeats on the road was four, between 2001 and 2005.

Given the garlands laid out for that Australian side, the South Africans deserve a certain level of reverence for their ability to keep confounding opponents in their own territory, most recently England during the northern summer. They may not be the Invincibles, but the squad that arrived in Australia on Sunday can most definitely be termed the Road Warriors.

Their captain, Graeme Smith, believes the team's ability to prosper overseas developed out of maturity and stability. In keeping a team together, the players learned to work with each other, becoming friends as well as team-mates, and going past any sense of fear or uncertainty about the unknowns of foreign climes to develop a sense of confidence and anticipation about any and every challenge that might be presented, whether it be a sharply turning pitch in Kanpur or the green-tinged seamer that is likely to greet them in Brisbane next week.

"We started to get a team together that could adapt to conditions," Smith said. "The maturity of the team in terms of growing as we've gone on ... and the players are settled and able to adapt to conditions not only on the pitch but off the field. All the different challenges that you face on a tour now, I think we're able to meet them. I think the team handles being away from home in a good space and in a mature way.

"It's about understanding how you're going to be successful in the environment that you're playing. We've got a few experienced guys around now that have toured a fair bit and hopefully we use that experience well. Certainly I think it's the challenge that we look forward to, of winning in someone else's backyard. It's a tough thing to do and I think that challenge is something that excites us."

That excitement was never more palpable than during South Africa's last visit to Australia in 2008-09. Helmed by the captain/coach duo of Smith and Mickey Arthur, the tourists wriggled out of dire positions in each of the first two Tests to secure a dramatic series victory, inflicting Australia's first defeat at home since the West Indies in 1993. Those memories provide Smith with confidence about the matches ahead.

"To beat Australia in those stadiums and those environments is something that I don't think South Africans had dreamt of for a very long time," Smith said. "For us to be able to achieve that and be there in those moments was incredible. It probably took us a little bit of time to recover from those highs but since that return leg from Australia we've been pretty steady and consistent in our performances and maybe that was the stepping stone for the success that we've had.

"Winning here four years ago is something that you know you've done before. Certainly it does help in the self-belief factor knowing that you've overcome a hurdle before. I think the achievements the team has put together the last few years, with England just gone by, we obviously do arrive here with a self-belief that we can perform well."

While Arthur now mentors the opposition, South Africa have in Gary Kirsten a calm character and a calming influence, happy to inherit a team that was already well advanced in its quest to build a record that will stand alongside those of other great teams. His challenge is to go one better than Arthur had done, by keeping South Africa at No. 1 in the ICC's rankings for a sustained period. That quest, and the maintenance of such an imposing record overseas, are both at stake over these three Tests in Australia.

"It's a well set team, it's a well balanced team, there's a lot of experience in it and I think they are hardened Test cricketers in the team so they're familiar with the different conditions that they're confronted with," Kirsten said. "I was particularly proud of the guys the way they went about our business in England. There were some pressure moments throughout that series and we responded well to that."

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on November 1, 2012, 14:53 GMT

    @Grant King If you say that top order batsmen have no difficulty facing raw pace and lee took mainly all his wickets of tailenders. i would suggest you to watch some of the videos of fast bowling of brett lee and tell me how many of them were top order batsmen and how many of them were lower order. And mind u..combining both test and ODI's brett lee has got sachin tendulkar out the most no. of times equalling with chaminda vaas n shaun pollock. The day Brett Lee retired from international cricket many cricketers gave him tributes and one of them was a really interesting one. Paul Collingwood tweeted "A lot of batsmen around the world will have a very peaceful sleep tonight"

  • on November 1, 2012, 13:32 GMT

    ScottStevo you believe all ausies are better than the rest. Steyn has been the top quick bowler for how many years now. He has taken wickets all over the world. Yes in India also. And i'm glad you are under estimating philander. Hope your batsmen do the same. Only time will tell what the result will be. Lets rather wait and see what philander has to offer.

  • ScottStevo on November 1, 2012, 10:46 GMT

    ...and personally, he suffered a lot due to the success of the bowlers around him. Mainly due to ridiulcously aggressive field settings. At Lee's pace, just about anything half decently timed raced to the fences and edges flew long distances, most top edges going all the way over the ropes! He was the bowler that always looked threatening and yet his figures looked disappointing. I'm sure we've all seen it before, bowlers troubling batsmen and beating the outside edge all day and walk away wicketless only for some part timer to throw down a few half volleys and full tosses and pick up a few wickets. You wouldn't say that guy bowled better, but the stat record will say he did. I hear your argument, over the course of a career this would even itself out...Maybe so, not so when you've got McGrath, Warne, Gillespie, S Clark taking as many as they did... You may look at his stats and claim he wasn't 'a great', but I can assure you, after watching almost all of his test matches, he was.

  • ScottStevo on November 1, 2012, 10:39 GMT

    Saffie1987, I don't know what you're talking about but Steyn does NOT have a better average than McGrath. Obviously you fall under the "Steyn is the greatest ever" category of those who are recent viewers of the sport...Nevertheless, it's never good rant if you not totally obvlivious to the facts! And again, no, Steyn will never be as good as McGrath and Philander, you must be joking...He started well and is a good stump to stump guy, somewhat similar to McGrath, except he lacks the height and thus bounce that McGrath got. When the decks aren't lively, he'll struggle as a medium pacer...

    Back to Lee, he was great. He started with 42 wickets in 7 tests and then hit injury concerns (fair play to Steyn, he's been managed brilliantly in this respect) which never left. Also, to add to my point re McGrath and co., post their retirements B Lee averaged 21 - better than Steyn's average. Also, I fear that Lee's figures don't always give the full picture of how well he bowled....

  • Saffie1987 on November 1, 2012, 1:34 GMT

    @ ScotSteve: I dunno what you are talking about mate, but Steyn is on course of getting more wickets than Mcgrath and has a better strikerate and average Than Mcgrath! You are probably one of thise " Die-Hard Mcgrath Fans" who will always feel that Mcgrath is the best and no one will overhaul him! Well i have got news for you Scottiestevie, Not only will Steyn end up as a greater bowler than Mcgrath, Vernon Philander will also end up being better than Glen Mcgrath! I know dude, the thruth hurts, but those are the facts!

  • on October 31, 2012, 15:06 GMT

    ScottStevo Lee's test average is 42plus in aus and 27plus in SA against SA. Lets rather leave it there. 310 wickets in tests. Steyn 287 in 57 tests. Ntini also took more, and pollock. Brett lee was not that great.

  • ScottStevo on October 31, 2012, 9:39 GMT

    @Phat-Boy, Brett Lee was a fantastic test bowler and is certainly a great quick. Dale Steyn is also a great quick and rest assured, he'd be quite happy to finish his career across all formats being comparable to Brett Lee...Steyn's test record will always look a lot better than Lee's as Steyn hasn't ever had McGrath (who Steyn will never be as good as) and Warne taking all of the wickets from the other end...!

    To the facebook poster, Brett Lee was quick enough to rile even the best of batsmen. Don't get me wrong, these guys are pretty good at facing this sort of pace, but Lee was a yard or two quicker than most, and that fraction of second was more than enough...A quick search on youtube and you'll see what I mean.

  • on October 31, 2012, 9:37 GMT

    Ojasv Taneja we are talking about test cricket. Where the batsmen don't have to play wide deliveries and keep up with the run rate. They can play you out and wait for the bad ball.

  • on October 31, 2012, 7:20 GMT

    @Phat-Boy Let me make some things clear. dale steyn in many interviews has said that he considered brett lee as his role model. Brett lee has been one of the finest fast bowlers in the history of the game and specially if you consider the injuries and setbacks he has had over his career which affected his test career. Both lee and steyn are great fast bowlers but lee was much much quicker than steyn, may be that is why he had so many injuries during his career. But in order to get somthing, one has to sacrifise something as well. Brett lee is the fastest bowler to take 250, 300 and 350 wickets in ODI's.

  • on October 31, 2012, 6:50 GMT

    yes brett lee bowled very fast, but is that the thing that ensure you get wickets. Maybe the tail but the top order guys are more than capeble to face 160plus deliveries. Yes australia have 3 140km/h bowlers but do that give you the wickets. Line and lenght and movement and swing and consistancy is what gets you the most wickets. Please write off SA in this series. It's better to fight as the underdog. Lets hope this series is a close afair.

  • on November 1, 2012, 14:53 GMT

    @Grant King If you say that top order batsmen have no difficulty facing raw pace and lee took mainly all his wickets of tailenders. i would suggest you to watch some of the videos of fast bowling of brett lee and tell me how many of them were top order batsmen and how many of them were lower order. And mind u..combining both test and ODI's brett lee has got sachin tendulkar out the most no. of times equalling with chaminda vaas n shaun pollock. The day Brett Lee retired from international cricket many cricketers gave him tributes and one of them was a really interesting one. Paul Collingwood tweeted "A lot of batsmen around the world will have a very peaceful sleep tonight"

  • on November 1, 2012, 13:32 GMT

    ScottStevo you believe all ausies are better than the rest. Steyn has been the top quick bowler for how many years now. He has taken wickets all over the world. Yes in India also. And i'm glad you are under estimating philander. Hope your batsmen do the same. Only time will tell what the result will be. Lets rather wait and see what philander has to offer.

  • ScottStevo on November 1, 2012, 10:46 GMT

    ...and personally, he suffered a lot due to the success of the bowlers around him. Mainly due to ridiulcously aggressive field settings. At Lee's pace, just about anything half decently timed raced to the fences and edges flew long distances, most top edges going all the way over the ropes! He was the bowler that always looked threatening and yet his figures looked disappointing. I'm sure we've all seen it before, bowlers troubling batsmen and beating the outside edge all day and walk away wicketless only for some part timer to throw down a few half volleys and full tosses and pick up a few wickets. You wouldn't say that guy bowled better, but the stat record will say he did. I hear your argument, over the course of a career this would even itself out...Maybe so, not so when you've got McGrath, Warne, Gillespie, S Clark taking as many as they did... You may look at his stats and claim he wasn't 'a great', but I can assure you, after watching almost all of his test matches, he was.

  • ScottStevo on November 1, 2012, 10:39 GMT

    Saffie1987, I don't know what you're talking about but Steyn does NOT have a better average than McGrath. Obviously you fall under the "Steyn is the greatest ever" category of those who are recent viewers of the sport...Nevertheless, it's never good rant if you not totally obvlivious to the facts! And again, no, Steyn will never be as good as McGrath and Philander, you must be joking...He started well and is a good stump to stump guy, somewhat similar to McGrath, except he lacks the height and thus bounce that McGrath got. When the decks aren't lively, he'll struggle as a medium pacer...

    Back to Lee, he was great. He started with 42 wickets in 7 tests and then hit injury concerns (fair play to Steyn, he's been managed brilliantly in this respect) which never left. Also, to add to my point re McGrath and co., post their retirements B Lee averaged 21 - better than Steyn's average. Also, I fear that Lee's figures don't always give the full picture of how well he bowled....

  • Saffie1987 on November 1, 2012, 1:34 GMT

    @ ScotSteve: I dunno what you are talking about mate, but Steyn is on course of getting more wickets than Mcgrath and has a better strikerate and average Than Mcgrath! You are probably one of thise " Die-Hard Mcgrath Fans" who will always feel that Mcgrath is the best and no one will overhaul him! Well i have got news for you Scottiestevie, Not only will Steyn end up as a greater bowler than Mcgrath, Vernon Philander will also end up being better than Glen Mcgrath! I know dude, the thruth hurts, but those are the facts!

  • on October 31, 2012, 15:06 GMT

    ScottStevo Lee's test average is 42plus in aus and 27plus in SA against SA. Lets rather leave it there. 310 wickets in tests. Steyn 287 in 57 tests. Ntini also took more, and pollock. Brett lee was not that great.

  • ScottStevo on October 31, 2012, 9:39 GMT

    @Phat-Boy, Brett Lee was a fantastic test bowler and is certainly a great quick. Dale Steyn is also a great quick and rest assured, he'd be quite happy to finish his career across all formats being comparable to Brett Lee...Steyn's test record will always look a lot better than Lee's as Steyn hasn't ever had McGrath (who Steyn will never be as good as) and Warne taking all of the wickets from the other end...!

    To the facebook poster, Brett Lee was quick enough to rile even the best of batsmen. Don't get me wrong, these guys are pretty good at facing this sort of pace, but Lee was a yard or two quicker than most, and that fraction of second was more than enough...A quick search on youtube and you'll see what I mean.

  • on October 31, 2012, 9:37 GMT

    Ojasv Taneja we are talking about test cricket. Where the batsmen don't have to play wide deliveries and keep up with the run rate. They can play you out and wait for the bad ball.

  • on October 31, 2012, 7:20 GMT

    @Phat-Boy Let me make some things clear. dale steyn in many interviews has said that he considered brett lee as his role model. Brett lee has been one of the finest fast bowlers in the history of the game and specially if you consider the injuries and setbacks he has had over his career which affected his test career. Both lee and steyn are great fast bowlers but lee was much much quicker than steyn, may be that is why he had so many injuries during his career. But in order to get somthing, one has to sacrifise something as well. Brett lee is the fastest bowler to take 250, 300 and 350 wickets in ODI's.

  • on October 31, 2012, 6:50 GMT

    yes brett lee bowled very fast, but is that the thing that ensure you get wickets. Maybe the tail but the top order guys are more than capeble to face 160plus deliveries. Yes australia have 3 140km/h bowlers but do that give you the wickets. Line and lenght and movement and swing and consistancy is what gets you the most wickets. Please write off SA in this series. It's better to fight as the underdog. Lets hope this series is a close afair.

  • Phat-Boy on October 31, 2012, 2:58 GMT

    LOL @ anyone calling Brett Lee a great quick. In ODIs? Maybe. In Tests, where it counts? Hardly. A very serviceable back-up to the greats he bowled alongside and a player who gave his all every time he bowled. That was Brett Lee. He's not even in Steyn's hemisphere as a Test bowler and I think you'd struggle to find anyone who disagrees.

  • Bonehead_maz on October 30, 2012, 21:29 GMT

    I am looking forward to this series and expect results in at least 2 of the 3 matches. On paper of course South Africa is a much better team than Australia. Sides that are good on paper however should win more than one game in a row occasionally? This is a home test series for Australia and no matter how unskillful the players may be they will not roll over. South Africa still seem to me to have a near amazing ability to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. In the end I expect will be a contest mainly decided by that lack of consistent killer instinct Vs Australia's lack of solid batting. I am especially looking forward to watching Philander bowl live for first time, as he reminds me a great deal of Mo Asif, who apart from having other issues, I thought a very very good bowler. I do believe the recent world push to have 3 x 140K+ bowlers more than a little silly. I expect after we see what Philander can do, we will hopefully recognise what a good bowler Hazlewood is.

  • ScottStevo on October 30, 2012, 14:31 GMT

    TommyTuckerSaffa, Brett Lee was by far the faster of the 2 and I don't think that he'd be wishing anytime soon to change his career for anybody's...and Brett Lee certainly was a great quick. I think you'll find that Tahir is a rookie and will most likely take very few wickets and is certainly no better than any random spinner that any world side would choose in their starting line up. How did he go in England just recently? Looked pretty ordinary to me and bowls at least 2, being nice, complete trash deliveries per over. I don't think that any team will be fearful of his contributions...except maybe SA. it's typical of SA. Every time they come to Aus they start with the big talk (one of G Smith's earlier failings as a capt), most times going home with their tails between their legs...They've got a better side now and Aus have a weaker side, but don't be fooled into thinking you're going to just turn up and win this series.

  • on October 30, 2012, 11:00 GMT

    Jonesy2 - Punter is that you?

  • Romanticstud on October 30, 2012, 10:51 GMT

    Australia have a difficult task ahead of them ... but Michael Clarke is the one man that can win this for them with the bat ... Cummins with the ball ... I think SA have got their work cut out for them as they will miss Boucher as a keeper ... AB has a lot to do if he keeps too ... Smith, Amla, Kallis, De Villiers, Duminy ... have all got batting experience in Australia ... don't forget about Steyn ... he has the best armoury in the fast bowling world today ... but then Watson as an allrounder has proved himself a worthy batsman/bowler and has been known to rattle South Africa ... remember Cape Town ... Philander is untried in Australia and might find some of the pitches hard going ... But the difference will be who makes runs in the top 6 on either side with the bat ... Kallis has 2 100s in 11 tests @ 43.78 ... Amla has yet to score a 100 @ 51.8 average ... the rest of those played in the top 6 up to 2009 in the current squad have 1 each ... Ponting has 5 100s @ 58.79 vs SA in Aus.

  • TommytuckerSaffa on October 30, 2012, 5:24 GMT

    @jonsey: A few ammendments you should make to your post. Brett Lee wishes he was half the bowler Steyn is. Steyn has dominated that no.1 spot for a number years now, please dont compare a good quick to a great quick. Adelaide might throw up some spinning issues but SA have a legspinner in Tahir and OZ have a pie chucker in Lyons, so not sure what your point is there. Players like AB, Amla and KAllis are exceptionally good at playing spin, just ask Indian Fans. Your only vaild point is the injury concens to AB, I think they should play a specialist keeper and let him bat albeit weaking the batting in the process.

  • I-Like-Cricket on October 30, 2012, 5:24 GMT

    @Meety - Not too sure mate. Pakistan's team around 95 would definitely merit a spot up there

  • Meety on October 30, 2012, 3:23 GMT

    @dicky_boy on (October 29 2012, 08:57 AM GMT) - "...we are the strongest home team ever in cricketing history..." - you were referring to India? If so - LOL! The best Indian team of all time would be lucky to make the top twenty Test teams of all time - which would be dominated by Oz, Eng & WI - with one VERY good entrant from Sth Africa!

  • thruthecovers on October 29, 2012, 20:52 GMT

    @Reececonrad Don't bother. They're just being the typical over-confident bunch who refuse to believe their glory dasy are past them and clutching to the idea of a 2nd coming! Remember before the 1992 WC? How their fans belittled SA and its team. Being a 3rd world country with 3rd rate players? How did that turn out for them? lol Re Philander...all his naysayers seem to remember is "green tracks", therefore he was lucky to get the wickets and start to Test cricket he did. So why didn't Steyn or Morkel do the same? Or 1 of the the other bowlers in the opposition? Philander is line and length personafied and makes a batsman play 5 out of the 6 balls. He has batsmen in trouble with just a hint of movement available (which should be your stock standard Test pitch anywhere in the world) Don't worry, let's just wait and see him do a McGrath on the Aussies! It will be so funny watching the likes of jonesy squirm then

  • thruthecovers on October 29, 2012, 20:33 GMT

    De Javu with all the over-confident Aussies on here. Doesn't they sound just like landl47 and the rest of the barmy army posse before the ENG series? Some people never learn, I guess. The way I see it, SA have only 3 important wickets to get...Ponting, Hussey and Clarke! That's not to say that Warner, Watson and the others won't bat well. Just that Aus' runs will most likely come from these 3. SA, on the otherhand, have Smith (contrary to marcio, jonesy et al's believe, when Smith score big SA win...end of), Amla, Kallis and de Villiers. You could almost add Duminy to that quartet (given his exploits the last time) but in fairness lets put him with the other possibles ie Petersen and Rudolph. What sets the SA bowling attack apart from Aus is what they achieved in that 1st Test in ENG. Or Nagpur when last they toured India. The new ball will be key in this series for both sides, but will Aus be able to come back if it doesnt work and expected to work hard for their wickets?

  • Reececonrad on October 29, 2012, 19:24 GMT

    @Jonesy2 tell me how is england a weak side when they beat the Aussies 3-1 AT HOME and 2-1 in the ashes, tell me how is Vernon Philander unproven, where do you get that we don't have a good spinner look at the pitches played on he has played on seamer friendly conditions. How is Kallis not a threat so his 270 test wickets were flukes he just didn't bowl that much as he was carrying an injury during the tests. look at the averages between the teams, 5 players in the south african average between 57 and 42 with the bat and two who average 37. In the Aussie team there is 4 Aussie players average between 52 and 42, so the batting line ups aren't comparable as well as the spinners, the big test will be between the quicks. Best hopes to Graeme and the boys and the Aussies, just had to get my point out there.

  • klempie on October 29, 2012, 17:03 GMT

    @jonesy - As put by the unebullient Amy Farrah Fowler; Steyn eats Lee for breakfast and defecates Peter Siddle.

  • on October 29, 2012, 14:46 GMT

    The difference in the past between these two teams were shane warne and gilly. Lyon is not a spinner. our club cricketers is better than him. The team who bats best is going to take the series as both bowling units is very good. to write off the other bowlers like morkel and philander like jonesy2 does is the work of a fool. You are doing the same the English did before the test series in england. Our tail scored more runs than theirs and they were the better batters according to them. This are going to be a tight series with good cricket between two of the best teams. Don't forget philander played his first series against Australia and did well. We scored 414 to win a test the last time in australia and 300plus the next test. To say we can't play spin and we have done so well in the sub continent is just funny.

  • AB_DeVilliers on October 29, 2012, 13:46 GMT

    @Moppa, correct, I was indeed referring to that series and forgot that it took place Feb 2009. Regardless, 3 months away from 4 years without losing a series.

  • Caino94 on October 29, 2012, 13:34 GMT

    When you look at the sides the batting stocks are pretty even really Smith vs Warner (Smith more experience and grit so obviously a standout but Warner can tear you apart if you get lengths wrong) Petersen vs Cowan (Two relatively new batsmen, both will contribute in different parts of the series Watson vs Rudolph (Both can make starts and good on their day, Watson has the extra option with his bowling) Ponting vs Kallis (legends of the game, both in the top 5 for test runs) Clarke vs Amla (two best batsmen in the world at the moment, if one of these fire it will go pretty close to a series win for their countries) Hussey vs DeVilliers (two terrific batsmen, Hussey is Austraia's Mr.Cricket and AB's skill and slick footwork, both great in the field) Duminy/Tsokeile vs Wade/Haddin (I would call this pretty even match, all can be damaging with the bat) However its the bowling that will decide the series and South Africa are standouts prediction: "im gonna be a fence sitter: 1-1"

  • Moppa on October 29, 2012, 11:02 GMT

    @Muneeb_Dawood, I think you mean 2009 (Aust beat South Africa 2-1 in early 2009 in South Africa).

  • othello22 on October 29, 2012, 10:58 GMT

    @RednWhiteArmy - Walk in the park? Kinda like the one they had in England earlier this year?

  • Jesinthan on October 29, 2012, 9:54 GMT

    Jonesy2 get them stones out of your head. Sure you can support your team but to boastfully say that they're better without the games actually starting is a recipe for disaster. Chances are you will be weeping back here eating your humble pie for all we know. Expect the unexpected. Australia may surprising do very well in the Tests, but for all odds it would not be surprising if South Africa win the series. They smashed the same England side which batted your team out of the game three times.

  • RednWhiteArmy on October 29, 2012, 9:20 GMT

    This will be a walk in the park for south africa

  • eGVishal on October 29, 2012, 9:15 GMT

    I just hope AB does not keep. He is too valuable player to risk injury. And a very good batsman to merit and demolish a side.

  • dicky_boy on October 29, 2012, 8:57 GMT

    haha praspunter lol atleast we are the strongest home team ever in cricketing history , and we won series in eng, drew in sa and aus in the past 10 years, almost beat sa in sa in 2010 , the pitches were never doctors , sa won one test on green track

  • CricketMaan on October 29, 2012, 8:35 GMT

    Two big series in the horizon!! In both cases home teams are favourites, but SA and Eng can upset home teams. Its the Aussies adn Eng that have prepared so well for the series playing domestic cricket. A lot of both SA and Ind players have been part of CLT20, so intresting to see how they both start against players that are now ready for 5 days test wiht ample preparation.

  • AB_DeVilliers on October 29, 2012, 8:29 GMT

    Haven't lost any series since 2008...and counting. Don't think this AUS team has the batting to put us under enough pressure...but then I could be wrong! If SA win this one, then the number 1 ranking could be theirs for a while (can't see NZ or PAK beating us at home). C'mon boyzzz!

  • jonesy2 on October 29, 2012, 8:22 GMT

    obviously home ground advantage to australia but i forgot perhaps the biggest advantage is mickey arthur, he knows the south africans inside out and that should have a huge impact on the series.

  • jonesy2 on October 29, 2012, 8:19 GMT

    but their strengths that they can count on are amla at 3, who along with michael clarke, is the best batsman in the world. and dale steyn who is the best bowler in the world. unknowns are how smith and kallis go. all in all this should be a brilliant series between 2 sides who on paper if you go by their players best capabilities, are extremely evenly matched with the only blatant edge being to australia in the spin department which is lovely to be able to say because its been a little while since that has been the case

  • jonesy2 on October 29, 2012, 8:14 GMT

    yeah but the only series they have won recently is against a remarkably weak england side. unless SA have improved a lot since last years drawn series, they should lose here in aus. they are a very good side but hugely overrated. have a huge issue in the spin department and that alone could cost them the adelaide match, they have the best fast bowler since brett lee played his last test yet steyns back up is the incredibly inconsistent morne morkel and the largely unproven vernon philander albeit his start to his career has been unbelievable. kallis is no longer a threat with the ball and if they need him to be a threat then that will correlate with them being in an unfavourable situation. ab de villiers is not 100% and you can rest assured that that is down to him having been wicketkeeping, his batting will be significantly compromised if he does take the gloves thats provided he even takes the field. their lower order is unproven and suspect.

  • on October 29, 2012, 8:12 GMT

    One hell of a contest this will be... excited !!!!

  • PrasPunter on October 29, 2012, 7:56 GMT

    absolutely true about SA's record away from home. Haven't lost a series against Eng in Eng for quite some time, something that Aus hasn't achieved. They came close to winning one in india twice , only to see the indians eventually doctoring the wickets to level the series. Cant wait for Nov 9 anyway. Go Aus !!

  • on October 29, 2012, 7:46 GMT

    Come on Proteas its going to be tough but I think you can do it

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  • on October 29, 2012, 7:46 GMT

    Come on Proteas its going to be tough but I think you can do it

  • PrasPunter on October 29, 2012, 7:56 GMT

    absolutely true about SA's record away from home. Haven't lost a series against Eng in Eng for quite some time, something that Aus hasn't achieved. They came close to winning one in india twice , only to see the indians eventually doctoring the wickets to level the series. Cant wait for Nov 9 anyway. Go Aus !!

  • on October 29, 2012, 8:12 GMT

    One hell of a contest this will be... excited !!!!

  • jonesy2 on October 29, 2012, 8:14 GMT

    yeah but the only series they have won recently is against a remarkably weak england side. unless SA have improved a lot since last years drawn series, they should lose here in aus. they are a very good side but hugely overrated. have a huge issue in the spin department and that alone could cost them the adelaide match, they have the best fast bowler since brett lee played his last test yet steyns back up is the incredibly inconsistent morne morkel and the largely unproven vernon philander albeit his start to his career has been unbelievable. kallis is no longer a threat with the ball and if they need him to be a threat then that will correlate with them being in an unfavourable situation. ab de villiers is not 100% and you can rest assured that that is down to him having been wicketkeeping, his batting will be significantly compromised if he does take the gloves thats provided he even takes the field. their lower order is unproven and suspect.

  • jonesy2 on October 29, 2012, 8:19 GMT

    but their strengths that they can count on are amla at 3, who along with michael clarke, is the best batsman in the world. and dale steyn who is the best bowler in the world. unknowns are how smith and kallis go. all in all this should be a brilliant series between 2 sides who on paper if you go by their players best capabilities, are extremely evenly matched with the only blatant edge being to australia in the spin department which is lovely to be able to say because its been a little while since that has been the case

  • jonesy2 on October 29, 2012, 8:22 GMT

    obviously home ground advantage to australia but i forgot perhaps the biggest advantage is mickey arthur, he knows the south africans inside out and that should have a huge impact on the series.

  • AB_DeVilliers on October 29, 2012, 8:29 GMT

    Haven't lost any series since 2008...and counting. Don't think this AUS team has the batting to put us under enough pressure...but then I could be wrong! If SA win this one, then the number 1 ranking could be theirs for a while (can't see NZ or PAK beating us at home). C'mon boyzzz!

  • CricketMaan on October 29, 2012, 8:35 GMT

    Two big series in the horizon!! In both cases home teams are favourites, but SA and Eng can upset home teams. Its the Aussies adn Eng that have prepared so well for the series playing domestic cricket. A lot of both SA and Ind players have been part of CLT20, so intresting to see how they both start against players that are now ready for 5 days test wiht ample preparation.

  • dicky_boy on October 29, 2012, 8:57 GMT

    haha praspunter lol atleast we are the strongest home team ever in cricketing history , and we won series in eng, drew in sa and aus in the past 10 years, almost beat sa in sa in 2010 , the pitches were never doctors , sa won one test on green track

  • eGVishal on October 29, 2012, 9:15 GMT

    I just hope AB does not keep. He is too valuable player to risk injury. And a very good batsman to merit and demolish a side.