ESPNcricinfo Weekly: Are South Africa the greatest?

Firdose Moonda looks at whether the South Africa Test side is the greatest of all time and ahead to the T20 series. (00:00)

Producer: Jenni Rutherford

February 27, 2013

Posted by   on (February 28, 2013, 16:31 GMT)

at the moment south africa are a very good side . but if they beat pakistan in test series in uae then they are a excellent side even close to 2000's oz team. there chances are remote in uae against pakistan.

Posted by   on (February 27, 2013, 15:55 GMT)

haha.. south africa . the all time best, it dos'nt stand a chance against the aus of 2000-05, or the west indies, of the late 1970,s nd 80,s . .And talking abt the presnt scenario the other teams do not even stands a chance to compete this SA team .devilliers, steyn best batsman nd best bowler of the world at present.

Posted by BradmanBestEver on (February 27, 2013, 14:18 GMT)

Nowhere near the best of all time - they have one "great" batsman (Kallis), one "great" quick bowler (Steyn) and one possibly-in-the-future "great" quick bowler (Philander).

The best batsman of all time by a country mile plus some (Bradman) eats all the SA batsman for breakfast, as he does to any other batsman before or since. So once Bradman is in the team it is elevated to an awfully high level, such that you need extremely good toher players to make up the difference.

Posted by inefekt on (February 27, 2013, 13:53 GMT)

It's an insult to suggest this current SAF team, while very good, is anywhere near what the recent Aussie team was. Let's look at the matchups. I'm using the Aussie side that beat Eng in 07 : Hayden vs Smith - Hayden takes this one Petersen vs Langer - Langer without doubt Ponting vs Amla - Amla is a brilliant batsman but he's no Ponting Clarke vs DeVilliers - Clarke wasn't at his peak at the time so lets call this a draw Martyn vs DuPlessis - despite his great start to test cricket I'm giving this to Marto Hussey vs Elgar - wow, no contest here, Huss easily Gilly vs ??? - should it be ABDV here? whoever it is they aren't beating Gilly Peterson vs Warne - do I even need to bother? Lee vs Philander - Philander Clark vs Morkel - close but I'll go with Clark McGrath vs Steyn - such a close one but how can you go past McGrath?

So clearly the Aussie side is better. The argument then is whether that Aussie side is better than the great Windies side of the 80's or the Invincibles.

Posted by   on (February 27, 2013, 13:19 GMT)

Is this a joke? lets take this to serious chat.

Posted by bobbo2 on (February 27, 2013, 12:43 GMT)

No. They are good but Australia are weak, England were a bit of a mess when they played and NZ and Pakistan are not that strong right now. SA are very good but I think the Australian team of a few years back would beat them. And I would like to see another series with England.

Posted by PFEL on (February 27, 2013, 12:17 GMT)

IS it asking if they are the best South African team of all time, or the best team from any country? If it's the former, i'd say maybe, if it's the latter, i would laugh.

Posted by bonaku on (February 27, 2013, 7:50 GMT)

Too early to call.... so wait and see. I think they need a world class spinner.

Posted by Phrediac on (February 27, 2013, 6:47 GMT)

No - as Firdose rightly says. I would still place them behind the 69/70 side - there are too many holes i.e. opener(s), all rounders - the 69/70 side had Goddard, Barlow, Lance and batting at 9(!) a man named Procter who has 48 first class hundreds and who would later that year hit six consecutive first class centuries. (9(!)) Add to that the only two South African batsmen I could rate above Kallis an Amla. Firdose also seems to lack a knowledge of earlier teams - Australia had a great run with a great team from 1934 to 1948 at one stage losing one match in thirteen years. I would have loved to see the current team against the English team of the first test of the 1902 ashes - now that was a balanced team.

Posted by deathstarbd on (February 27, 2013, 6:37 GMT)

NO WAY. HOW CAN THEY BE? Just 18 months ago they lost to Australia in their home soil. And look, They have whitewahsed just Pakistan; one of the weakest test teams recently. This question should not be arised even, i think. This South Africa team is nowhere near a greatest test team. I would say, the SA team under Cornje who whitewashed India in 1996/7 in SA was stronger than this team.

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