Australia v South Africa, 1st Test, Brisbane, 4th day

World's best attack brought down to earth

There will be days when a pitch has nothing in it, South Africa are out of ideas and a Michael Clarke is hard to remove. And they will need to know what to do on those days - something they did not know today

Firdose Moonda at the Gabba

November 12, 2012

Comments: 62 | Text size: A | A

Graeme Smith makes a rare appearance at the bowling crease, Australia v South Africa, first Test, day four, Brisbane, November 12, 2012
At one stage Graeme Smith had to bowl himself to Ed Cowan as he approached a century © Getty Images
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The last time South Africa's attack failed to take a single wicket in a day's play, Dale Steyn was new and Jacques Rudolph was still able to bowl. That was six years ago in Colombo when Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene had a partnership of 624 runs and scored 357 on the second day. That was also the last series South Africa lost on the road.

Brisbane 2012 may not cause them to plunge to those depths but it was a coming down to earth for the attack that has been labelled the best in the world. With only a run-out to show for their toil, the four-pronged pace attack and sometimes comical part-time spinners conceded 376 runs today.

An attack that had everything from fizz and bang to snap, crackle and pop were flatter than a bottle of cold-drink left open in the sun. They had no assistance from the surface or the air but a pack with ample variation - even though they were missing their frontline spin option - was expected to do a little more. After all, even on the lifeless tracks in the United Arab Emirates, Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel shared 12 wickets between them in two Tests in 2010 against Pakistan.

At the Gabba, too, they showed ability with quick wickets on the third day. Then, something changed. "When we had Australia 40 for 3, we were being maybe a little bit greedy mentally, thinking it could be 80 or 90 for 5 overnight," bowling coach Allan Donald said whimsically.

South Africa's lapses showed as Ed Cowan and Michael Clarke got away from them in the final hour of play on day two and it became obvious that they may need a holding bowler - which the injured JP Duminy was supposed to be.

By morning they had tightened and managed to create some chances. Morne Morkel beat Cowan's bat a few times, Clarke got a leading edge off Vernon Philander which went over point and a top edge off Rory Kleinveldt which eluded mid-on. The lengths were fuller, especially Kleinveldt's, but they were not consistently better.

"The biggest test for us here would be the test of length and mixing your pace," Donald admitted. "It hasn't really done anything off the seam." For that reason, one of Philander's main weapons was taken out of contention. Often, he bowled too straight and down the wrong line as he was tested on the flattest pitch his year-old Test career has seen so far.

Philander has yet to take a wicket on the tour so far, having also failed to breakthrough in the warm-up match in Sydney and will expect a close scrutiny given his remarkable rise. Donald believes this Australian line-up is putting Philander to his sternest examination so far. "He knew at some stage that he was going to run into something like this and you'd be silly not to think that. I thought Australia did their homework well against him and came out their crease a bit more to nullify the lbws. Ed Cowan, especially got more of a stride into him."

But Donald was careful not to lay blame in one corner. "Sometimes, you're going to have to get those days when you are going to toil. That's why it's a team. Because when someone is having a tough day, the others have to pitch in."

That was probably where South Africa's attack let itself down the most. As a unit, they did not create and sustain pressure by blocking off an end as they have so often done. At one stage Graeme Smith had to bowl himself to Cowan as he approached a century. With the batsman under pressure, Smith may have preferred to use a quick but with the new ball looming and no other bowling options, he had to rest them and lose out on an opportunity where he could have attacked.

When Cowan was dropped on 123 after what seemed a misunderstanding in the deep between Steyn and Rudolph, South Africa genuinely lost their way. Bowling became a routine function rather than an act of intent and they gave away runs at a high rate. Donald said the frustration of trying to make something happen was a contributor.

"We slowly cracked into their channels again," Donald said. "Last night, we just got too tight into their legs and too straight and opened up both sides of the wicket. Sometimes when you create a period of pressure, you tend to look for things and then the runs start to come. That's the cat-and-mouse game of Test cricket. We could have got a little bit more creative in the sense of aggression and in using our bouncer a little bit better."

Where South Africa also erred embarrassingly was with their extras. They bowled 22 no-balls of which Kleinveldt sent down 11, Philander eight and Morkel two - both of which would have been wickets - and for that Donald had no answer. "There are no excuses for that. We police that very hard at training," he said. It's not that we have to tell these guys who are professionals that they need to get their feet behind the line. What's worrying is that in the last five or six months, the number of no-balls has been building per innings. We need to get that right." South Africa bowled 26 no-balls against England at the Oval in July in a match where they were also dominated, for a while, by the opposition batsmen.

While South Africa as a team have made great strides in overcoming the mental hurdles of the past, evidence that they are not completely over the line exists in cases like this. Their bowlers have grown used to success and reward, sometimes instantly. The days of toil like Colombo 2006 are considered so far gone that Steyn once remarked that his "life has moved on from there."

Remembering them once in a while, though, may be useful, if only because the memory stings. There will be other days when a pitch has nothing in it and South Africa are out of ideas. There will be other days when a Sangakkara or a Clarke has more than just the upper hand over them. And they will need to know what to do on those days - something they did not know today.

Clarke sympathised with South Africa's much-vaunted attack and even joked that he would not know how they could have done things differently. "When we bowled, we also found it quite tough to take ten wickets. I've got no tips for South Africa, I'm sorry," he said with a laugh.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by crh8971 on (November 12, 2012, 23:58 GMT)

Watching the first fews overs on day 5 it actually looks as though the pitch has a bit in it. A bit quicker, some variable bounce, a bit of swing and some seem. It could be on!l

Posted by crh8971 on (November 12, 2012, 23:45 GMT)

I think it is important to remember that preparing a cricket pitch is not an exact science. They are living things after all. It is important to remember that Australia has never in my memory (30 years) prepared a pitch to order for the home team. in Australia the state associations get the gate revenue from the tests and manage the grounds. They are always pushing the curators to try and prepare 5 day pitches and this necessitates that at least a couple of days will be very good for batting. Sometimes, but very rarely in Australia, this means the pitch will be too good and will not produce a result. The tradition of the GABBA test strips is that on day one they are slow but can offer some lateral movement, on day two and three the pitch quickens up and can be great to bat on and then on day four and five cracks start to open up, foot marks develop and you get variable bounce coming into play. Losing a whole day to rain when the pitch had to stay covered has slowed this process.

Posted by dunger.bob on (November 12, 2012, 23:35 GMT)

Can anyone explain to me why Australia would deliberately conjure up a flat track when their strength is in their fast bowling. It makes no sense whatsoever, just like many of the comments here. .. if you think they did it to avoid defeat then I really do feel sorry for you. The Aussies don't shy away from the hard yards and if you think otherwise you really don't know us at all.

Posted by Chris_P on (November 12, 2012, 21:47 GMT)

@Nuxxy. Well said mate. The Boks bowled poorly to Cowan & Clarke & they cashed in big time. Are they a weak or bad bowling side? No way. They just lost their direction & couldn't pick up their game. It happens in cricket from time to time. They are more than capable of bouncing back, they are still, regardless of this match, the premier pace attack in world cricket.The no ball issue, along with our bowlers doing the same is one of my frustrating issues.

Posted by Nuxxy on (November 12, 2012, 20:17 GMT)

I'm a South African and I'm willing to call it...SA bowled badly, and Oz batted well. SA need to pull up their socks.

I'm just glad we finally we get to see two teams really challenge each other. This match is likely a draw (because of rain), but looking forward to the rest of the series.

Posted by tinkertinker on (November 12, 2012, 19:51 GMT)

Bring on the green decks, SA give us green decks everytime we tour there and we haven't lost in SA since the 1960's.

Posted by   on (November 12, 2012, 19:25 GMT)

SA just didn't take their chances. Steyn.... OMG. The drop and the missed run out, the wickets on no balls, I couldn't believe what I was seeing. I understand focus drops after long periods of little happening, and fatigue sets in, but it was just a little embarrassing at times. The pitch deserves 40% of the blame, but having Duminy out of the lineup is probably another 30% of the reason why yesterday was SO poor.

I think SA was very very alarmed when Duminy went down, as he was supposed to be the spin option, esp. against AUS' left handers, in the absence of Tahir, giving the other bowlers a chance to recuperate.

Philander, Kallis and Kleinveldt were all very average, and that definitely has to change.

Posted by bumsonseats on (November 12, 2012, 18:24 GMT)

it has not helped that the saffars have had a man missing and that man is also the only spinner picked. that said they did not select the leggie that was in the squad. the lost of the 2nd day did not help them as it changed the way they were wanting to play the test which was score 600 and take it from there. the saffars are not ones for changing mid term as they do like to stick to a plan. i expect it to be a draw but the aussies will try and push for a win. the pace bowling of the saffars was poor. but the aussies did not bowl well. when the saffars look at some of the shots they played off lyons to get wickets. amla out to a shocker but he should have used the referal and his partner may have given him more imput, even steyne was using it before the umpire put his finger up. the saffars should not complain of dropped catches etc. amla was dropped so often in their tour of eng you would think they had bet on him to be top scorer

Posted by Agila on (November 12, 2012, 18:13 GMT)

While the Aussies batted better in the first Innings, Its an overstatement that some of the Aussie fans are already talking victory!

Posted by SpadeaSpade on (November 12, 2012, 17:47 GMT)

WHy does everyone jump the gun so early in a 5 day test match some of the comments after day 1 were boarding on ridiculous. While everyone is still having a go a the flat track, I'd like to remind all that the game isn't over and its not that hard to see SA being placed under some pressure if they loose a couple of early wickets.

Posted by OzWally on (November 12, 2012, 17:34 GMT)

For all those call this an Aussie prepared flat track - pay attention. Gabba pitches are always good batting tracks on days 2 & 3 then as the sun dries them out, cracks open and batting becomes harder in days 4 & 5, usually producing a result. When the day was lost to rain, we're a day short in play and the pitch hasn't been able to dry out as much. If it was Oz up by 30+ runs with 2 days to play (not 1), think of the possibilities.

Posted by Beertjie on (November 12, 2012, 17:12 GMT)

South Africa are too afraid to pick Tahir because he may leak runs. Why then not pick Peterson for Adelaide. That in itself is evidence of their negative mindset, so I agree with @Arrow011 - get over the issue with the pitch. Oz will only get more confident and if they can keep SA bowlers in the field for long enough in Adelaide, they might reap the rewards at the WACA.

Posted by Shan156 on (November 12, 2012, 17:01 GMT)

What is all this talk about lifeless pitch? This is the same pitch that the Aussies took 9 wickets, isn't it? If it is so lifeless, how come the Saffers scored only 450. ok, don't give the excuse of Duminy not batting. C'mon, the Saffas didn't take a single wicket the whole day. It has been 447 runs since they did. That is pretty poor by any standards, lifeless pitch or not. The point is, they are not the greatest bowling attack ever, not even the greatest SA attack ever as someone pointed out. And, what is this talk about Cowan out on 47. Last I checked, you can only be run out off a no-ball. So, as long as Cowan was not run out, he was not out. Who asked Morkel to overstep? All these excuses cannot cover the fact that the Saffa attack yesterday was ordinary. They may still get better over the series but they have to do it with just Steyn and Morkel. The Saffa prodigy - Philander - will hardly be able to buy a wicket all series. Watch out.

Posted by mikey76 on (November 12, 2012, 16:55 GMT)

Funny to see the Aussies talking up victory possibilities. Yes they batted well but they still need to take ten wickets with a raw inexperienced quick, backed by two medium pace trundlers and a club spinner. This will be a draw then SA will no doubt go on to win series. They have more quality in all areas except at 5 and 6. It will be interesting to see if Steyn can match James Anderson's performance 2 winters ago.

Posted by Shan156 on (November 12, 2012, 16:52 GMT)

Well played Australia, especially Michael Clarke, Ed Cowan, and Michael Hussey. What happened to the self-proclaimed greatest team ever (SA), the greatest captain ever (Smith), the greatest coach ever (Kirsten), and the greatest bowler ever (Philander) to set foot on this planet? This test proved that the Saffers are not as great as they are made out to be and the guy they called the Saffa McGrath (due apologies sent to Glenda for, inadvertently, mentioning him in the same sentence as this mediocre bowler) is a very ordinary bowler who just happened to have his purple patch in the first year of his career. Can't wait to see the Saffas brought back down to earth as a team.

Posted by Mitcher on (November 12, 2012, 16:38 GMT)

Pretty sure we've dealt comfortably with SA in SA for a good 2 decades on their bouncy wickets.

Posted by topeleven on (November 12, 2012, 16:29 GMT)

Bemused by the way Smith set his fields to clark and cowan. Also SA's main asset fielding was very poor several run out chances and half chances were too costly. The Innings of Cowan was flamboyant and Clarke's was supreme.....

Posted by Kentheavenonearth on (November 12, 2012, 16:06 GMT)

The MCG's lifeless too. Aussie batting tracks are boring and Indian dustbowls may be 'a challenge', but deep down everyone knows that the most exciting place to play and watch Test cricket is England. No hiding place for flat-track bullies. I was disappointed that de Villiers didn't show us real pedigree last Test summer(unlike teammate Amla) but guess who did on the other side when it mattered, yet again ? Clue: ENGLISH mum.

Posted by   on (November 12, 2012, 15:52 GMT)

If the same pitch was used in India, people would say its a flat track...lol.

Posted by valvolux on (November 12, 2012, 15:35 GMT)

Australia haven't produced this wicket to favour them. Australia's strength at home is to put some juice in the pitch for our bowlers to trouble batsmen who aren't use to the pace and bounce, and our batsmens ability to play pace and bounce more effectively. This pitch has surprised everyone. The only Australian pitch that can be described as batsmen friendly (flat) is Adelaide, which unfortunately comes next. Australia's last 2 tours of south Africa were on bowlers paridises and we won more tests overall. This is just an even match up. The two form batsmen in world cricket opposing sides and the two form bowling attacks. This ain't england where conditions change from session to session and it aint india, where batsmen get out through falling asleep at the crease due to mundane pitches and negative bowling....this is two form teams who right now haven't found a way to beat each other.

Posted by   on (November 12, 2012, 15:25 GMT)

HEY....what about ...great batsman...I can only follow via this site.. so what about saying that the batsman played well...

Posted by Gazooligan on (November 12, 2012, 15:23 GMT)

My father always told me that good tradesmen don't blame their tools. The type of pitch (and ball) aside we still have two teams, ranked #1 and #3 doing battle, so with world class cricketers playing in the same environment all things end up relatively equal. Batsmen nearly getting out equates to nothing. Luck will always play a part it's just easier to identify some aspects of luck than others, but with 22 guys playing two innings over as many as five days luck should also even out to a large degree. This is what makes test cricket the unique wonder it is. Roll on day five, and tests two and three of the series!!

Posted by   on (November 12, 2012, 15:17 GMT)

A BAD DAY AND BAD LUCK. DUST BOWL PITCH AND NO ASSISTANCE TO BOWLERS AND NO SPINNER TO WORRY. WHATEVER SAID AND DONE CLARKE BATTING IS MAJESTIC. HE HAS FLATFOOTED APPROACH AND WELL ADVANCED IN BATTING KESAVKOUNDINYA

Posted by Arrow011 on (November 12, 2012, 14:38 GMT)

What the hell is Pitch, Pitch, Pitch always in comments? If you are international class face it. World over you cannot carry your South African pitches.

Posted by Dale_Pain on (November 12, 2012, 14:37 GMT)

I think it is a little unfair to judge an attack (positively or negatively) on 1 day of test cricket. The elected holding spinner injured a flat pitch, some foot-faults, one or two unlucky moments, and an off day have all come together at once. Perhaps it is best to judge this attack over the course of the last couple of years. Maybe we will judge it differently looking back in two years time, but I suspect that more often than not they will perform admirably..

Posted by   on (November 12, 2012, 14:37 GMT)

RP "6pack on (November 12 2012, 14:05 PM GMT)

Maybe this is an Australian dustbowl? A dead wicket?? When batsmen pile on the runs in the sub-continent...those pitches are instantly termed thus... so perhaps we should do the same in this instance... just food for thought. " well said

Posted by mudhabir on (November 12, 2012, 14:29 GMT)

This was expected.With no frontline spinner and Rory( in debut ) didnt provide the holding role which surely was his role in this game.As a result Steyn and Morkel were not given the short bursts which they were provided recently.Adding to that all ,the pitch didnt have any juice in it.One bad day doesn't mean that this is not the best bowling attack in the world.They surely are the best and they will prove it in the coming matches.

Posted by   on (November 12, 2012, 14:20 GMT)

disgusting performance so far , but i'm sure the SA bowling attack will make a strong comeback during the latter Tests. A little more aggression and intent is needed!

Posted by   on (November 12, 2012, 14:19 GMT)

Aussies are scared against South African bowling attack thats why they made dead wickets

Posted by jonesy2 on (November 12, 2012, 14:19 GMT)

SA are going to be up against it because in adelaide nathan lyon will put australia in with a huge advantage, 5 wicket haul last year against much better players of spin

Posted by jonesy2 on (November 12, 2012, 14:17 GMT)

just refer to everything i said before the series started i think you will find i predicted something very similar to what has happened except i thought steyn would be much much better. but to sum up, philander medium pace who is ineffective on non seaming greetops, morkel is incredibly inconsistent with his line and lengths and is easy to leave on bounce if he does get a dangerous length, and they dont have a dangerous spinner capable of getting bags of wickets especially in the second innings' which is vital for a spinner to be worth anything in test cricket

Posted by shrastogi on (November 12, 2012, 14:17 GMT)

I dont think I would call the South African attack as the best in world as one definitely needs a classy spinner in the side though they have formidable pace attack. Now when this pace attack goes wicketless in Australia it doesnt show those half fit Indian medium pacers (one express bowler was just too raw) in poor light as Indians consistently got breakthroughs at top in the last tour to Australia. It only showed how poorly Indian batsmen batted.But whether it is proteas or anyother team this sort of bowling wouldnt win you anything though SA needs only to draw the series to maintain their no 1 position. I wasnt expecting aussie batting to be this good and Gabba track to be so lifeless. Is fear of proteas attack prompted aussies to tinker with the nature of pitch is something we would never know ? Aussies have decent pace attack in home conditions but if Amla had used DRS and Duminy wasnt injured we may have seen a huge total inspite of the bowling. So will it be a boring series ?

Posted by kangaroussy on (November 12, 2012, 14:12 GMT)

@sachin_equal_to_bradman it probably wasn't necessary to tell us that you were Indian! I think we all expected that this track would be seam-friendly, certainly SAF did, by leaving out a specialist spinner.

Posted by bigwonder on (November 12, 2012, 14:09 GMT)

Clarke and Co are such a flat track bullies. Ooops, this used to be opposite. Seriously, ACB erred in creating a flat track test pitch when 99% of the world was expecting a more balanced pitch with results. I guess this was one of the trick in dossier that was not published by the media.

Posted by 6pack on (November 12, 2012, 14:05 GMT)

Maybe this is an Australian dustbowl? A dead wicket?? When batsmen pile on the runs in the sub-continent...those pitches are instantly termed thus... so perhaps we should do the same in this instance... just food for thought.

Posted by Dashat on (November 12, 2012, 13:55 GMT)

What is everyone talking about the pitch for? If we had not lost a days play over rain this match would surely had a result. A 5th day result which is a perfect pitch for everyone. Saffas would have struggled following on 150 behind late on 4th day day in this case.

Posted by Uppercut07 on (November 12, 2012, 13:48 GMT)

so last time SA toured SL they lost 2-0, and recently SL won their 1st test in SA. Interesting.... And recently i jokingly asked here on cricinfo whether SL bowling attack is better than SA's? and some pple really took it hard and DISMISSED balantly! Hmm very interesting indeed!

Posted by Nick636 on (November 12, 2012, 13:34 GMT)

@ David Brumby

To dismiss our bowlers after one poor innings is a bit premature and naive to be completely honest.

This pitch started flat and dead, Australia proved that as well. Unfortunately, it seems to be getting worse and worse. With the withdrawal of Duminy, we also had our legs taken out under us. We have very little in way of options. The quicks looked DEAD TIRED by the second session today, and it's expected due to not having other bowlers to rely on.

@ dunger.bob

ALL the quicks are off their regular pace. The Aussie quicks were slow too. Even Steyn was sitting in the constant 130's. Philander often sticks well over the 140 mark.

Posted by Arrow011 on (November 12, 2012, 13:31 GMT)

It is a shame to call South Africa as having the best bowling line up in the world, without an international class spinner how can they be best? They are too one dimensional, only pace. South African spinners are a worthless lot, no wonder Imran Tahir a foreigner even recently was straight away selected in the main team, even he is nowhere near any international class spinner. This is what you pay when you keep bowling pace all the time.

Posted by Arrow011 on (November 12, 2012, 13:24 GMT)

Even before the South Africans came to Australia I predicted 3-0 win for Aussies & even now I maintain the same. The best thing happened for Safricans in this test is the 1 day lost to rain else they would have been steamrolled by now. From now the South African performance will go downhill, they will lose the next 2 tests more badly. Good Luck Aussies & Micheal Clarke.

Posted by   on (November 12, 2012, 13:23 GMT)

sachin_NOT_equal_to_bradman: Maybe India should take Sri Lanka as an example on how they prepare their pitches like in Pallekele or Hambamtota :D

Posted by   on (November 12, 2012, 13:21 GMT)

Its clearly the pitch can't blame the bowlers probably wrong to host a test match at the Gabba. Interesting enough, it would be ideal if Cricinfo could one day produce an article on the types pitches that Cricket is played in the world and why it is important for both batsman and bowlers because many fans only understand the basics.

Posted by 07sanjeewakaru on (November 12, 2012, 13:15 GMT)

No attack will complete until it have a good spin bowler.

Posted by Hammond on (November 12, 2012, 12:56 GMT)

I think what this also shows is the inferiority of the kookaburra (for a bowler) over the dukes. People always talk about the pitch but no-one ever mentions the type of ball.

Posted by   on (November 12, 2012, 12:55 GMT)

Lewis_of_Macksville. I feel sorry for your children given your inability to give any praise even when some is due. In regards to Cowan being out at 47 - a no ball is an illegal delivery anywhere in the cricket world, so it's not out. He was in the 120's when dropped. No grey area here. He deserved his ton. Stop being such a Cowan-hater.

Posted by rahulcricket007 on (November 12, 2012, 12:50 GMT)

opened tv on 11 am in india . see the score 405/4 . first thought came my mind that may be rain has come so that 's why they are showing highlights of last year 's tour india .

Posted by   on (November 12, 2012, 12:35 GMT)

One bad day in a lifeless pitch and saf-bashers woke up and began to say this bowling attack is not good!! Just wait for upcoming tests :).

Posted by Edwards_Anderson on (November 12, 2012, 12:32 GMT)

Cricket Australia's strategy is to prepare flat dull pitches in the hope they can draw the series as they know SA's bowling attack is too good. This might help players such as Cowan get centuries but it won't get us ready for the Ashes where the POMs will have juicy decks ready for us. Its a real shame because Australian pitches usually have life and boune which make for good seires, that would explain the low crowds in these matches.

Posted by Clan_McLachlan on (November 12, 2012, 12:23 GMT)

Every overseas tour for the last three years has seen the hosts roll out the flattest pitches possible for visiting South Africans. This is no accident. Expect two more of the same in the next two Tests.

Posted by Unomaas on (November 12, 2012, 12:23 GMT)

First of all...this article is a hard pill to swallow if you a Saffa supporter :P But swallow we will :P. Can't guarantee that some Saffa's won't scream and go hysterical while doing it!

This is where a spinner like Tahir is so valuable. He might bowl rubbish and leak runs, but you get the feeling that something might happen with every ball he bowls. He's either gonna get smacked around for boundaries or produce wicket taking deliveries.That killer instinct is something that Saffa's traditionally and instinctively don't have but which Tahir naturally has. That was what was missing at the Gabba today. The ability to produce something from nothing! Steyn has it but it doesn't always come off. He first needs to get pumped up! If we could maybe have one of the Aussies say something unflatering about his mum, I think that might do it :P. Morkel and Philander don't have it.

Bad day at the office for the boys but still work to be done. We must get 10 wickets to negate psycological edge!

Posted by ravikb on (November 12, 2012, 12:05 GMT)

Amir, Asif, Umar Gul and Saeed Ajmal? How many test matches have they won for their team? Hardly any. I have seen people boasting about Ajmal? Has he performed consistenly overseas so far in his career? No. Then we can't call him the best spinner in the world. Let him prove and we can call him that!

Posted by sachin_equal_to_bradman on (November 12, 2012, 11:56 GMT)

Hi, am an indian.Congrats mr.clarke for a nice and classy innings.But am really suprised tat even in a country like aus were tracks help fast bowlers are also producing FLAT TRACKS lik this. In india we prepare flat tracks since it has been our tradition. We indians enjoy watching good bowling attacks bowling on good bowling pitches were greats lik STYN are a treat to watch....Pls go u r traditional way aussies!!! The whole world wants to see two very good bowling sides tussle against each other were fast bowlers dominate!!! As an indian its impossible to see such bowlers and bowling tracks in india...

Posted by   on (November 12, 2012, 11:51 GMT)

People are making MUCH more of this than they should right now. Yes heads did drop in the final session and the Proteas have to own that, but let's talk at the end of the series before burying Steyn and co. This pitch was nowhere near the quality of result-friendly pitches ordinarily offered down under.

Posted by xrocks on (November 12, 2012, 11:51 GMT)

Strange to see Gabba behaving like an Adelaide pitch..no juice in the pitch..

Posted by   on (November 12, 2012, 11:48 GMT)

SA Bowling attack has always been over rated. They are nowhere near the class of some previous teams in history. Not even as good as some of their own past attacks. Today just proves it

Posted by d_the_b on (November 12, 2012, 11:35 GMT)

Looks like Saturday's rain may have robbed a team of victory, but I'm not sure which one anymore.

Posted by LillianThomson on (November 12, 2012, 11:34 GMT)

World's best attack? I think I'd rather have Amir, Asif, Umar Gul and Saeed Ajmal, wouldn't you? Two of them may have got themselves banned, but no-one can deny that they formed the best bowling attack in the world.

Posted by Buggsy on (November 12, 2012, 11:28 GMT)

Things will only get worse for South Africa in Adelaide, where I think Kleinveldt will be the first casualty. I'm tipping a hard fought Aussie win there, but in Perth I fear Steyn and co will wreck our top order with an innings defeat.

Posted by   on (November 12, 2012, 11:24 GMT)

A tough wicket to bowl on for sure. Im sure if Smith knew how many runs Australia would pile on, South Africa would not have thrown their wickets away so easily in that first innings. The sad thing is that the Adelaide oval is usually a batters paradise won by spinners which neither side has an abundance of. We may have to wait until Perth before we find ourselves a winner. All this is further proof that this should be 5 match series.

Posted by dunger.bob on (November 12, 2012, 11:23 GMT)

Medium pace seamers tend to struggle in Australia and thats what Philander appears to be. While they can still be economical, they have to work a lot harder for their wickets for some reason down here. Off spinners are much the same.. This is my first look at Steyn and Morkel for a long time and they both really look the goods. They were both a bit unlucky today (particularly Morkel) and could have opened us up if things had run a bit more their way. There's no doubt Steyn and Morkel are the real deal but I think the others have a bit to prove in Australia. .. any chance of playing your leggie in Adelaide ? the injury to Duminy will force the selectors hand surely. I don't think its wise to go into Adelaide with G. Smith as your front-line spinner.

Posted by Edwards_Anderson on (November 12, 2012, 11:21 GMT)

Cowan was out on 47 and dropped as well at third man, on a lifeless pitch any other attack would have been bought down, it had nothing to do with good batting.

Posted by RoJayao on (November 12, 2012, 11:09 GMT)

Even the great Australia of 2001 had their Eden Gardens! Sometimes the pitch is so flat it doesn't matter who is bowling. This is one of those. Still the Saffers did wave the white flag a bit that last session.

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South Africa won by 309 runs
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