South Africa in Australia 2012-13

Du Plessis, Morkel's maturity biggest gains for SA

South Africa's marks out of ten, for the Test series against Australia

Firdose Moonda

December 4, 2012

Comments: 59 | Text size: A | A

Hashim Amla (377 runs at 62.83)

Hashim Amla was on 99 at stumps, Australia v South Africa, 3rd Test, 2nd day, Perth, December 1, 2012
Hashim Amla's assault on the second day in Perth shifted the momentum of the game in favour of South Africa © Getty Images
Two sides of Hashim Amla were on display in this series: the one who can survive a series of streaky shots and chances and still score a century and the one who incorporates flair and flamboyance to achieve the same thing. Amla's hundred in Brisbane helped South Africa build a foundation in the match but it was his innings in Perth that took the series away from Australia. In a frenzied second afternoon, his scoring rate was at times above seven an over as he and Graeme Smith batted the morale out of Australia's attack. He fell four short of a double-ton and will end the year as second on the run charts behind Michael Clarke, but he has a Test mace to go with it, unlike the Australian.

Faf du Plessis (293 runs at 146.50)

For the second successive tour, a South African debutant has been the catalyst for creating history. Du Plessis showed immense presence of mind when he batted out more than four sessions against a talkative Australian side to save the Adelaide Test. There, he also became the first South African to score a half-century and a hundred on debut. With South Africa again in trouble in Perth, du Plessis knuckled down to post 78 and his knock was the reason the team had a first-innings lead. Beyond a solid technique, it was his temperament that stood tall. When South Africa held their post-match fines' meeting, du Plessis was named their man of the series because of the impact he had. Few would disagree.

Graeme Smith (255 runs at 42.50, 10 catches)

Likely to be judged South Africa's best captain, Smith led the team to a second successive series win in Australia by example. His only hundred came in Adelaide, after South Africa had conceded 550, and the recovery by du Plessis in the match saved Smith's record of always winning after scoring a century. He also contributed a meaty 84 in Perth in a towering stand with Amla. His slip catching was unmatched as he pouched wickets from all angles and there was only one instance in which he let one through, with the ball going between him and Jacques Kallis. While the numbers speak of his ability to perform, the trophy tells the story of his work as captain. Smith continues to inspire the team to new heights. Having taken them to No.1 in the world, he also played a significant role in defending the crown.

Morne Morkel (14 wickets at 28.50)

The highest wicket-taker of the series, South Africa's most loved big baby has grown up. Morkel's control was better than ever before, his cleverness in the using the short ball and varying his lengths was seen, and he was rewarded in every match. Despite taking wickets off no-balls in Brisbane, he was South Africa's best bowler there and in Adelaide, where he was also the most economical in the second innings. He was overshadowed by Dale Steyn in Perth but still displayed exemplary ability to make batsmen feel awkward. It seems that Morkel now understands his own capabilities better, and they were aptly displayed on conditions that suited him.

7.5 Jacques Kallis (339 runs at 56.50, 2 wickets at 24.50, 5 catches)

In the shadows of Ricky Ponting's retirement, talk has drifted to Kallis and the legacy he will leave when one day he too plays his last. Widely acknowledged as being among the best batsmen and all-rounders in the world, Kallis proved his worth in Australia again. His century in Brisbane was the perfect complement to Amla's, and his 58 and 46 in Adelaide was the stuff of legend. Battling a hamstring strain, Kallis did his bit to save the match even while clearly in pain. It was also in that match that his worth as a bowler was underlined. He turned around the South African effort with two wickets before pulling up. Kallis could not bowl in Perth and only scored 39 runs, but without him South Africa may not have gone to Perth with a chance to win the series.

AB de Villiers (276 runs at 55.20, 8 catches, 1 stumping)

He left it late but when AB de Villiers returned as the batsmen we knew, it was spectacular. After struggling with the bat in Brisbane, he showed signs that he was coming back in Adelaide when he partnered du Plessis in an epic match-saving effort. For 220 balls, de Villiers showed enormous restraint as he concentrated on safety first. By the next Test in Perth, he was ready to explode, and once he had found his front foot again, he did. His innings was a fireworks display of reverse paddles and cheeky cuts but it is worth remembering that it came after the least amount of overs spent in the field. De Villiers' keeping has also been considered adequate and he upped that a gear too. He was nifty behind the stumps, efficient in his catching and pulled off the stumping that dismissed Michael Clarke in Perth.

Dale Steyn (12 wickets at 30.83)

Dale Steyn gestures after claiming Michael Hussey's wicket, Australia v South Africa, 3rd Test, Perth, 4th day, December 3, 2012
Dale Steyn saved his best for the final Test © AFP
Having provided an entrée with a fiery spell in the warm-up match at the SCG, Steyn served cold food until Perth. He did not get his pace up and did not have the success he normally does as the go-to man. He was aggressive in the lead-up to the final Test and took it out on the field. On the second morning, Steyn decimated the Australian top-order to turn the match and the series South Africa's way. He found swing, and bowled with speeds in the early 140s throughout, and when Steyn builds up a head of steam that hot, batsmen can only fear. He saved the best for the last and ended the series one wicket short of 300.

Alviro Petersen (200 runs at 33.33, 1 catch)

The lowest scorer in the top six, Petersen did not have a defining innings on the tour, although he looked well set for one twice. His 64 in Brisbane was a glimpse into his promise which ended in a soft dismissal, and his 54 in Adelaide was cut short by a needless run-out. The quality is evident but the ability to convert affected him in this series. He also took a stunning catch on the boundary to deliver one of the best entries in the scorebook, c Petersen b Peterson.

Robin Peterson (6 wickets at 28.50)

Having thought he would do nothing but carry drinks on this tour, Robin Peterson was surprised with a Test recall. It came after four years on the fringe, and it showed a more mature player who has obviously benefitted from the experience of being around the side. He contributed sensibly with the bat in the first innings in Perth and claimed three wickets in each innings with the ball. Some of the time, that was based on luck. Peterson was expensive, but he had the runs at his disposal to be, and showed his lack of fear in flighting the ball. His game-plan of drawing Michael Clarke forward paid off and he also accounted for Ricky Ponting's last dismissal as a Test batsman.

Vernon Philander (4 wickets at 49.75)

Philander had to wait until the Perth Test to get his first wicket of the series. In Brisbane, he was as ordinary as the rest of the attack, and the second highest no-ball offender. It looked as though batsmen were learning to leave him better and his usual fourth-stump channel was not working. A back injury kept him out of Adelaide but he returned to Perth to find swing and create havoc with Steyn on the second morning. Both Ponting and Shane Watson were added to his tally of big scalps in that innings, and he had an impact with the new ball in the second innings too. It's been a long time coming, but this series was the gliding back to earth for Philander.

Rory Kleinveldt (4 wickets at 60.75, 1 catch)

As part of a four-pronged pace attack in Brisbane, Kleinveldt was the weak link on debut. He was nervous and it showed. He overstepped 12 times and was wasteful due to an over-reliance on the short ball. He would not have played in Adelaide if not for Philander's injury and proved an opportunity for him to give a better account of himself. Kleinveldt took the first three Australian wickets and demonstrated his ability to extract bounce and produce seam movement.

Jacques Rudolph (74 runs at 18.50)

Having struggled to settle in at the top of the order a year ago, Rudolph is now battling to do the same in the middle order. A technical fault is stunting his progress as he struggled with offspin in this series. He was out all four times to Nathan Lyon in the first two Tests, to take his tally to seven in the last eight innings. Rudolph was dropped for the Perth match.

Dean Elgar (1 match, 0 runs, 1 catch)

In the match after du Plessis debuted for South Africa, Elgar was handed his first cap. He could not have had a more contrasting maiden appearance. He was worked over by Mitchell Johnson in the first innings by three pitched-up deliveries and then fell to the pull shot off the short ball and trapped lbw by the same bowler in the second, having been barraged with bouncers on that occasion. His only mark on the game was the catch he took at deep square leg to dismiss Ed Cowan, a well-judged one taken over his head.

Imran Tahir (1 match, 0 wickets, 260 runs)

It's not often that at the culmination of a series, a player has performed so poorly that he does not deserve a rating at all. It's probably even rarer that a player on the winning side has to endure this embarrassment. But, for Tahir, there is no escaping it. He was amateur in the only Test he played in Adelaide, persisting with the full toss and short ball even though he got tonked. To make it worse, he overstepped seven times and took a wicket with one of them. Tahir was sent home early in the hope that he would be able to do soul searching and restore confidence. After a showing like that, he may need to.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Chris_Howard on (December 6, 2012, 8:58 GMT)

Hate these player rankings when they are done by different correspondents. Firdose was a tougher marker than Daniel Brettig on the Aussies. Australia (and I am Australian) benefitted from two flat tracks and were made to look better than we are. RSA was able to show its true self in Perth when the pitch was much fairer. It allowed good batsmen to make runs and good bowlers to take wickets. It's also forgotten that in Brisbane RSA only had 10 players, and in Adelaide 9 or 10, tho Australia did have 10 also for the last couple of days to make it a little more even. RSA are a lot better than Australia than this series indicates. And these ratings dont' reflect that at all.

Posted by Erebus26 on (December 6, 2012, 0:56 GMT)

Although a few guys stood out this was more of a team effort by SA. Australia on the other hand seemed too reliant on Clarke and Hussey in this series to get them in competitive positions. I think the Proteas should say goodbye to Jacques Rudolph although they'll probably bring back JP Duminy, who to me hasn't really been a consistent performer at test level. Elgar should be given another crack in the future but I think it's time to say goodbye to the ebullient Imran Tahir. Still I don't think Peterson is the answer going forward...

Posted by   on (December 5, 2012, 22:54 GMT)

How the hell is Rudolph given a 3? What did he do in any of the games? Phillander bowled well in great areas and got key wickets but was given a 5? What a crock

Posted by   on (December 5, 2012, 21:05 GMT)

Biff aka Smith has rare leadership qualities.Amla a different man has the makings of a skipper.SA is no 1 carpe diem.A spinner needs to be nurtured and an allrounder developed.Well done SAfers

Posted by __PK on (December 5, 2012, 20:16 GMT)

I love these articles, but they seriously need a recalibration. How does Philander get a 5 (a pass mark) for 4 wickets at 50? Similarly Kleinveldt almost passed with 4 at 60. And DeVilliers gets a 7 for only two innings of note?

Posted by chris54 on (December 5, 2012, 15:23 GMT)

" Widely acknowledged as being among the best batsmen and all-rounders in the world, Kallis proved his worth in Australia again." Perhaps in a desire to combat the constant over-hype we see on a daily basis, Firdose Moonda comes up with the understatement of the year.

Posted by Ozzy505 on (December 5, 2012, 11:23 GMT)

@SixFourOut & legfinedeep - I have to agree with both of you. Faf had probably the most perfect first 2 matches ever & if he can work on his bowling to become a more consistent bowler, he would make himself undroppable. I've never been a fan of Kallis, but I have to give the man his due: he was probably the difference between the two teams & lastly Biff is truly the catalyst for this team to hit their straps - in 2008 he led from the front to guide his team to back-to-back away series wins over Eng & Aus just to repeat it 4 yours later. Well done SA Best test team in the world!

Posted by Zak- on (December 5, 2012, 8:36 GMT)

Rudolph should get a 0 as well, as should Elgar. If those 2 are never selected again it would be a great benefit. As good as finding someone great like Faf is finding out who is just wasting space, and we have been shown very clearly that these 2 are just that. If the selectors can just get over it and stop selecting Rudolph it would be great.

Posted by Greatest_Game on (December 5, 2012, 6:57 GMT)

@Gily4ever. Amla was horrible in the first test?? Horrible?? He scored a century - is that horrible?? Smith pounded out a run-a-ball 84 in the 3rd test, & took 5 catches. Is that horrible too? What are your criteria for horrible?

Posted by   on (December 5, 2012, 3:38 GMT)

Smith is the Steve Waugh of the 2000s, iron will and brute power dominating his opponents. Faf looks to be a superb prospect and once Duminy is back, Rudolph will struggle to keep his place. Out of the fast bowlers, 3 select themselves - and Petersons emergence will mean the end of Paul Harris's career. I dont see Imran Tahir playing too much as well. AB is awesome but how longer will he keep wickets and bat at No 6? He is the inheritor of Gilly's mantle.

Posted by Buggsy on (December 5, 2012, 2:56 GMT)

Marks look pretty good, though Steyn is probably a 6. Devastating in Perth, woeful in Brisbane and Adelaide.

Posted by landl47 on (December 5, 2012, 2:37 GMT)

Faf was man of the series for me- without him SA would have lost at Adelaide and might well have lost at Perth. If he'd gone early SA might have been skittled and given the psychological advantage to Aus. Amla played well, but I have to say that I've never seen anyone have a luckier year than he has. He must have been dropped at least a dozen times in tests this year and edged numerous times past leg stump or just wide of the slips. A great batsman to watch, but I'll be amazed if he gets the same breaks next year. Rudolph didn't have a good series, but if Quiney gets a 3 for scoring 9 runs in 3 innings, how can Rudolph only get 3 for averaging 18.5? Smith and Kallis showed their usual toughness and de Villiers managed to stay healthy and play one brilliant innings. SA was lucky to win the series, but great teams make their own luck.

Posted by   on (December 5, 2012, 2:15 GMT)

kallis deserve more points than given here. He batted with lot of pain and scored match saving half century in 2nd test's 1st innings, and also batted for some time in 2nd innings too with little pain.

Posted by SixFourOut on (December 5, 2012, 0:44 GMT)

What? Kallis scored and average of 56.5 runs - Surely any average over 50 is a nine? Plus he got wickets, plus catches and he batted through an injury? The man deserves a nine for allround performance.

Posted by legfinedeep on (December 5, 2012, 0:17 GMT)

Dude, if Faf is not a 10, then I don't know what is. Could any team anywhere ask or expect any more from a debutant. He exceeded all expectations.

As for AB, he is about the most unselfish player you can find and ALWAYS bats according to the context of the team situation. NOT for milestones, 100s, run accumulation etc. He also deserves a higher score here, since overall run tally does not entirely reflect the significance of his contribution. I would take an AB rearguard 40 anyday over, say, a Tendulkar 100 losing effort against a minnow.

Posted by   on (December 4, 2012, 23:02 GMT)

Tahir was over hyped and at his age it is very unlikely he will make a comeback

Posted by Kolpak1989 on (December 4, 2012, 22:00 GMT)

Tactically Smith is not the best captain going (Clarke, Jayawardene and AB are all better) but he does do a fantastic job of leading by example and he tends to win games through sheer weight of determination. Smith of 2011-12 reminds me a bit of Ponting of 2006-7.

Posted by Meety on (December 4, 2012, 21:02 GMT)

I think people have to realise that the marks are for the series, someone like Faf who was brilliant, only played 2 Tests. It's not worth getting worked up over the scores, I would really only say that I think Morkel should of been a 9, with about 5 Saffas on 8.5.

Posted by Kirstenfan on (December 4, 2012, 20:57 GMT)

Honestly, Faf should have 9.5, Kallis should have 9, Amla 9, AB 8.5, Morkel 8, Smith 8, Steyn 7.5

Alviro 6, Philander

Kleinveldt 3, Rudolph 3, JP 1, Elgar 1, Tahir 0

Posted by Kirstenfan on (December 4, 2012, 20:41 GMT)

Firdose - you didn't give JP a rating, he should probably get at least a 2 for injuring himself so Faf could get into the team. But you've always had a soft spot for JP over Faf right...and you used to be such a big Tahir fan, what happened?

Posted by MaruthuDelft on (December 4, 2012, 20:16 GMT)

Faff -10, Kallis, Smith and Amla - 9, De Villiers, Steyn and Morkel -8.

Posted by SICHO on (December 4, 2012, 18:45 GMT)

@Rojayao: last time I checked Smith is the successful captain of two in this series. Captain 'Mr Perfect' Clarke was clueless and nearly chewed all of his finger nails when Amla and Smith were doing their nets practice, sorry I meant batting in a match. Besides, the only reason why Oz were "close" to winning was because of Clarke and Hussey, you take them out its more of a Bangladesh type of scorecard. At Perth the crippled Oz batting line-up was exposed, of which some of us expected it sooner or later.

Posted by   on (December 4, 2012, 18:19 GMT)

Graeme Smith is cricket's most influential captain since Clive Lloyd.Consider how young he was thrust into captaincy,the politics of S.A,the Klusener issue,the supposed issues with certain senior players,the tailend of Polly's career,a young,inexperienced team,his image being portrayed as "arrogant" initially,the expectations thrust upon him before he even played tests,opening the batting,S.A's reputation as "chokers",etc.

He has fulfilled every expectation and is a born leader of men.His work is not done yet.S.A showed their ability in the Perth test with one of the strongest batting line ups in test history.More performances are needed like this to obliterate fine teams like India,England and The Aussies-the next phase has begun wherein this S.A team will look to dominate.

Posted by InsideHedge on (December 4, 2012, 16:04 GMT)

A zero for Tahir is cruel, sending him home EARLY is even worse. Most folks are unaware that he was sent home early from the England tour too - originally, he was part of the ODI squad but left at the end of the Test series.

Had he stayed in the country, he could have played a little county cricket for either Warwickshire or Somerset who took on Ian Blackwell and Abdur Rehman respectively. I fear for his international career, I don't see a way back given his age. However, his success in England says a lot about the competence of English county players against spin. Even in the recent 2nd Test (in India), only Cook and Pietersen were in command, the latter can still have his nightmares against left-arm spin.

Posted by   on (December 4, 2012, 15:52 GMT)

South Africa need to get Roelef Van Der Merwe ago in the test team. He bowls tidily and flights the ball and shows more agression and a desire to get wickets. Van der merwe can bat too but that may need a little work on.

Posted by thirdmanboundary on (December 4, 2012, 14:54 GMT)

Great ratings, Firdose. And thanks for all your charismatic, articulate, engaging and informative posts across the duration of the series. As I live abroad, your constant presence played a huge part of my pleasure in this great triumph. So I'm sure I speak for many on cricinfo: I huge thank you. I'm with you though in thinking that abd as keeper remains a mistake. That's the only downside of his great perth innnings: the team will probably persist with this error. I'd much rather see him relieved of that responsibility and have Thami or Quinton in there. Otherwise, when JP is fit and Kallis fit enough to contribute 8 or 10 overs, we'll have a heck of a team. Imagine: a team with JP and Faf batting at 6 and 7. And followed by Robbie and Vernon, our long-tail fears will evaporate.

Posted by   on (December 4, 2012, 14:44 GMT)

Remember Warne took 0/152 on debut!!Tahir will be back!!

Posted by YashMaster on (December 4, 2012, 14:09 GMT)

Agree with some of the comments - Faf should be a 10, easy!

This would be the best SA team I reckon - Smith, Alviro, Amla, Kallis, AB (wk), Duminy, Faf, Robin P, Philander, Steyn, Morkel

When Kallis retires, bring in a wicketkeeper who bats real aggressive (think Gilchrist) and let AB field instead.

Then, it would be - Smith, Alviro, Amla, AB, wicketkeepr (De Kok?, Tsolekile?), Duminy, Faf, Robin P, Philander, Steyn, Morkel

We got a winning team right there. Backup spinner can be Tahir. Backup fast bowlers can be Tsotsobe, Parnell, Kleinveldt.

Posted by   on (December 4, 2012, 14:01 GMT)

Let's be truthful here, ponting deserved a zero. He did nothing in this series, should have retired after his better ininings against india. STILL A LEGEND!

Posted by Haleos on (December 4, 2012, 13:58 GMT)

cricinfo should ask authors from opposition to rate the players. Firdose shuld have done for Oz. That would have shown what the real points were.

Posted by   on (December 4, 2012, 13:56 GMT)

Would have given Kallis 8.5 (sheer guts to help save Adelaide basically helped win series), and also Morkel 0.5 extra for being there at the end in Adelaide. R Petersen also deserves quite a bit more - his batting helped turn Perth around and six wickets at Perth is pretty creditable. Otherwise, agree with the analysis

Posted by Haleos on (December 4, 2012, 13:56 GMT)

tahir was probably -5 as that turned the match.

Posted by SurlyCynic on (December 4, 2012, 13:50 GMT)

Mahjut: I certainly don't question Alviro's place in the team, he's there for the long term. But I feel he gave his wicket away after getting starts and a 33 average as a batsman is about a 6 ranking. Would have rated Smith at 7 or 7.5 as an opener averaging in the 40s, but his partnership with Amla was one of the best I've seen and helped destroy the Aussies in Perth, together with superb slip catching 8 is reasonable.

AB kept immaculately, 69 runs for one dismissal in Brisbane, marathon innings to help save the game in Adelaide, huge run-a-ball century in Perth to snuff out any hope the Aussies had. Hard to see why his average of 55 isn't deserving of 8 or 8.5.

Posted by BellCurve on (December 4, 2012, 13:20 GMT)

Amla 9 and Kallis 7.5. Really? Perhaps we were not following the same series.

Posted by StaalBurgher on (December 4, 2012, 13:18 GMT)

The most interesting future development for me is how Peterson goes when he has fewer runs. He cen be economical as seen in ODIs. I tend to be critical of him but perhaps these wickets show that he is quite wily even if he will not be a prolific wicket taker. At least he bats a bit which is something Harris (bless him...) couldn't.

Posted by RoJayao on (December 4, 2012, 13:00 GMT)

Oh that comment about Smith the captain, both in the article and comments, is laughable and embarrassing! He does lead with some good example, but the same can be said of his senior batsmen as well. Smith the tactician is feeble, unimaginative and far too reliant on the individual brilliance of his star studded team. When the brilliance is blunted, as in Brisbane, Adelaide and the first innings of Perth, Smith proved that he has no plan B and South Africa suddenly look anything but number 1. On a positive note though he did win many friends I'd imagine with his generous treatment and words to Ricky Ponting which showed a lot of class, and that's part of being a captain too I guess. One more thing, as good as Amla was, Faf definitely did deserve a 10. He was THE reason SA didn't lose in Adelaide and the difference in SA getting 226 and not 150 in Perth. By my count he's saved SA from at least a 1-all result and maybe even a 2-nil loss! And all from a debutante!

Posted by   on (December 4, 2012, 12:11 GMT)

Tahir should be a minus something. He not only didnt perform, he underperformed to an extent that his side almost lost the match due to those two sessions of absolute massacre.

Posted by SICHO on (December 4, 2012, 12:05 GMT)

Gilly4ever: were you watching the same Test as me or am I the one confused? Amla scored 104 and 38 in the 1st Test and was "horrible"? You gotta be kidding me. Anyway, these are very good ratings. However, Du Plessis, AB and Robbie P deserve more.

Posted by Markdal on (December 4, 2012, 12:02 GMT)

Graeme Smith grabbed me as a staunch supporter on SA's last tour here, when he went in to bat with a broken hand. The guy is a fantastic captain, a tough-as-nails competitor, a top-class batsman, and as he's shown on this tour, a remarkable human being as well.

Posted by highveldhillbilly on (December 4, 2012, 11:54 GMT)

Tahir should have got a negative score, I think -10 sounds about right as he was absolutely the opposite of perfect. Elgar should get 0, you don't get a point for a catch. Probably the worst debut I've ever seen with the bat. Both side had plenty of passengers (Rudolph, Pointing, Tahir, Elgar, Quinley, Kleinveld, Watson)

Posted by TommytuckerSaffa on (December 4, 2012, 11:52 GMT)

I also think the bowlers have been harshly scored here if you take into consideration that the Aussies dished up absolute ROADS in the first 2 tests.

Posted by TommytuckerSaffa on (December 4, 2012, 11:51 GMT)

These scores are outrageous.

Faff is easily a 10 - what else can you do as a debutant???!!!! Scores a ton and bats for 2 days with aussie bowls at him and surrounded by 5 close catchers !!! Gets the all important draw to setup the Win, totally exhausts aussies best bowlers so they are fatigued for the final test !!!

Robin Petersen 5.5 this has to be a joke, bowled Wade while he was blasing away and the delivery to get Clarke stumped is about as good as it gets. very harsh.

AB only gets a 7 for keeping beautifully (said by none other than himself - Healy) and averages 55 !!!. Easily an 8 at least !

Posted by   on (December 4, 2012, 11:45 GMT)

While Clarke won the man of the series, but Faf's 3 innings were the most effective and important innings of the series as well as Amla's 197 in Perth. Well done Faf and you are here to stay ...

Posted by big_al_81 on (December 4, 2012, 11:44 GMT)

How, how, HOW can even one of SA's own supporters like Firdose Moonda seriously give Kallis only 7.5 - just look at the stats (for this series, which are a great reflection of his staggering career) and the difference he makes to this side. When he was able to bowl he was the best SA had in their very ordinary series with the ball. Kallis is so under the radar, you've called him one of the world's best all-rounders - one of? He's the best there's been, SA's best cricketer ever and one of the all-time greats. SA got away with a bit of daylight robbery because Oz aren't that good at the moment and apart from Kallis, Smith and du Plessis, there are a few over-inflated marks here - Tahir's included ;-)

Posted by mahjut on (December 4, 2012, 11:29 GMT)

@SurlyCynic ... you criticise the rating of AB in comparison to Alviro - but Alviro, as opener (and generally everyone's pet worry in the line-up), took the shine off each time when the batting was hardest. AB - who may be deserving of a 7.5 - did often bat when the going was good. I have loads of respect for Biff but you might have questioned his 8 (a whole point ahead of AB) - if you felt the overwhelming desire to question. Imran, Imran, Imran ... I have defended this guy on these message boards against every criticism leveled at him but 0 rating i absolutely fair and with Robin Peterson showing some ability with the ball and JP (who's a tidy bowler) likely to replace Elgar asap ... it's hard to see Tahir playing for SA again. His chance has come and gone! Alviro has established himself, JP was in really good touch before injury (+ can bowl) so i'd expect to see him return, and Faf will be given another go. Biggest losers this tour; Elgar, Rudolph and Tahir

Posted by DaveFish on (December 4, 2012, 11:11 GMT)

Give AB a 10 & Robin played better than 5.5 taking crucial wickets and scored a few in the first inn (only played 1 game) and took his oppertunity to keep the spot.

Posted by zaman2012 on (December 4, 2012, 11:08 GMT)

A glaring mistake. Smith never lost a test when he scored a century. The article says he always won.

Posted by   on (December 4, 2012, 11:07 GMT)

Agree with Edd. Robin Petersen's role with the ball was crucial to our victory in the last test, as was his 1st innings batting display. 5.5 is very harsh, especially since he seems to have given us a good spinning option that can both attack and defend well. 7.

Posted by Ozcricketwriter on (December 4, 2012, 10:54 GMT)

Wow hard to believe that Imran Tahir, who at least scored some runs, was ranked lower than Rob Quiney, who managed a grand total of 9 runs in 3 innings, or Bruce Elgar, who didn't score a single run in his 2 innings. Rory Kleinveldt was very lucky to get such a high rating and both Graeme Smith and Hashim Amla's ratings are highly inflated - Amla was horrible in the first test and Smith was horrible in all but the first test.

Posted by   on (December 4, 2012, 10:43 GMT)

With Amla, Yes we can. The man seems to be getting better and better. Like Kallis, he is a consistent performer. Morkel, Smith and Dale all played well and I feel Plessis deserves a higher rating. His knock in the 2nd test was crucial.

Posted by SurlyCynic on (December 4, 2012, 10:36 GMT)

Alviro averages 33 and gets 6.5. AB averages 55, keeps brilliantly, and gets 7!!! I can only assume this ranking is because you don't want to praise AB too much while he's keeper.

Posted by SurlyCynic on (December 4, 2012, 10:26 GMT)

AB kept brilliantly, averaged 55, and gets a 7? Strange. He didn't 'struggle' with the bat in Brisbane, he got out for 40 in the first innings when accelerating the run rate for a declaration and then made 28* in the 2nd knock. He faced 220 balls in Adelaide to help save the test. I think he did his job perfectly, always putting the team first. This rating seems to be another example of the campaign to force him to stop keeping. Praise where it's due.

Posted by rohanbala on (December 4, 2012, 10:18 GMT)

The result would have been different if Rudolph, Dean Elgar and Imran Tahir had played in all the 3 tests against the Australians.

Posted by JustOUT on (December 4, 2012, 10:08 GMT)

What a great record G.Smith is having.. When he scores a century in a test match, SA never lost the match and the series. And again this series provide as a perfect example of this. He scored a 100 in Adelaide and SA drawn the match and in Perth they went to WIN.. Something unique i hope. Not even gr8 batsmen/Captains like Ponting, Waugh have this record. Sachin will be in the opposite league.. LOL!!!

Posted by ZiggyMarley on (December 4, 2012, 10:07 GMT)

Decent ratings, but Faf deserves a 10 as a debutant and simply because he did as much as can be expected. He was averaging 266 going into the last innings when he was simply required to extend the lead. Kallis, for batting through the pain barrier and making crucial contributions throughout, an 8.5. Philander and Peterson's runs in the first innings of Perth are also quite underrated. Elgar should join Tahir on 0, Rudolph 2, Kleinveldt 3, in spite of that late burst in Adelaide.

Posted by   on (December 4, 2012, 10:05 GMT)

Kudos to Amla. The man is a batting genius, who seems to thrive under pressure and perform well consistently in different playing conditions. Looking forward to the series between NZ and South Africa. BC will need to play really well even to compete with this strong South African side.

Posted by   on (December 4, 2012, 10:00 GMT)

5.5 is a bit harsh on Robin Peterson, he bowled very well in Perth and also made an important contribution with the bat in the first innings to get SA past 200, when they could nave been skittled for 120 odd.

Agree with Tahir's 0, don't think I've seen a test spinner bowl that badly since Ian Salisbury was playing for England.

Oh and Faf du Plessis should get 10, amazing maturity for a bloke playing his first two tests.

Posted by   on (December 4, 2012, 9:56 GMT)

Personally, I think that both SA and Oz are evenly matched as a team. But SA batting and bowling all came together at the right time in the 3rd match, which allowed them to win the series. With player like Amla, Kallis, Villiers etc, this SA side will continue to dominate other teams in coming years. All the best.

Posted by   on (December 4, 2012, 9:51 GMT)

Good ratings, esp. how Morkel was SA's best bowler. He was great in the first two tests when most bowlers struggled. And if Du Plessis can go well on sub-continental turners, he will be an absolute star. SA still needs a top-notch spinner.

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Tour Results
Australia v South Africa at Perth - Nov 30-Dec 3, 2012
South Africa won by 309 runs
Australia v South Africa at Adelaide - Nov 22-26, 2012
Match drawn
Australia v South Africa at Brisbane - Nov 9-13, 2012
Match drawn
Australia A v Sth Africans at Sydney - Nov 2-4, 2012
Match drawn
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