South Africa v Australia, 1st Test, Cape Town, 2nd day November 10, 2011

Where's the mental toughness?

Australia's batsmen cannot blame the pitch for their lowest total in 109 years. And there are men in this team who will not have impressed the new selection panel
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When he was appointed Australia's assistant coach in May, Justin Langer spoke of the blurred line between technical and mental flaws. Experienced batsmen, he said, have the techniques to score runs, so when they struggle, it is often the result of a cluttered mind.

"That's what mental toughness is about," he said at the time, "having 100% attention on the next ball bowled to you."

The batsmen of both teams displayed the attention-spans of two-year-olds at Newlands. Twenty-three wickets fell in a heap, and all four innings were featured in a single day.

Instead of mental toughness, the batsmen suffered a collective nervous breakdown. To be dismissed for 47 is bad enough, but the Australians were lucky not to record the lowest Test total of all time. The record is 26; at one point they were 21 for 9.

On days like this, statistics are fascinating but often misleading. A fan waking up on Friday morning in Australia could check the scores, see that Australia's disaster followed South Africa being dismissed for 96 and assume the pitch was a mess. It wasn't. The chaos was in the batsmen's minds.

And there are men in the Australian line-up who could not afford such a display on the day a new selection panel was assembled. John Inverarity's group will look at Brad Haddin's dismissals in both innings of this Test and wonder what value he offers the team.

It is a valid question. After play, Michael Clarke described the shot selection of the entire Australian top order as "disgraceful". He did not single out any individuals, but anyone watching the match could see that Haddin's dismissal was the worst of a bad bunch.

At 18 for 5, he was the last of the recognised batsmen. Instead of concentration he chose conflagration, blazing away to the leg side and trying to smash Vernon Philander over off. He edged behind for a duck. He had also thrown his wicket away in the first innings.

Haddin is 34 and has been in poor form since the end of the World Cup. His likely successor, Tim Paine, is injured, but Matthew Wade is piling up runs for Victoria in the Sheffield Shield. If Haddin's days are not numbered, they will be soon.

Ricky Ponting is another man whose fate the new selectors might need to reassess. Like Haddin, he was not done in by excessive seam, but by poor judgment. For the second time in the match, he walked across his stumps, missed a straight ball and was lbw. He has not made a Test century in nearly two years, and Usman Khawaja is ready for Test cricket.

Michael Hussey recklessly flashed at a ball he should have left, but his form makes him one of the least vulnerable batsmen in the side. Still, he let the side down on this occasion.

Inverarity's panel might not have the final say on the team's batting order, but they may also be concerned about Shane Watson continuing to open the batting. He bowled wonderfully in South Africa's first innings, swinging the ball and collecting 5 for 17. Immediately when the innings finished he came out to bat, and failed to put bat on a straight ball.

The presence of Shaun Marsh in the squad means the team has a ready-made replacement opener. Marsh batted at No. 10 in this innings due to his bad back, and he was lbw to a ball that kept low. Under normal circumstances, he has been one of the most level-headed men in the batting order. Australia missed him enormously No. 3 this time.

Marsh was one of the few men who could blame the pitch for his dismissal. Clarke fell to a delivery that seamed sharply, as did Phillip Hughes and Ryan Harris. The rest convinced themselves batting would be difficult and made it so.

Of course, struggling to handle good seam and swing bowling is as much a concern as poor judgment. At Headingley last year against Pakistan and at the MCG on Boxing Day against England, Australia were dismissed for less than 100, failing to adjust to the difficult conditions.

By Langer's reckoning, that makes it a mental problem. It is one that needs to be rectified; the Australians will face quality movers of the ball like James Anderson and Dale Steyn many times in the coming years. As Clarke showed in the first innings, there are ways to survive.

Not that South Africa were a great deal better in their first innings. Watson and Harris bowled good, full lengths and shaped the ball just enough to cause trouble. After the openers, none of their batsmen reached double figures. The ball was moving in the air and off the seam, but not so much as to be unplayable.

In 2009, these teams competed in a Test series that would decide which of them occupied the No.1 ranking. On today's evidence, neither side is near that level now.

The lunacy that led to 12 wickets falling in the second session of the day was all the more unfathomable after spectators were allowed on the ground during the lunch break. They viewed the roped-off pitch and there were no big cracks, no major grassy spots and no indication of the carnage that was to come.

The surface was not easy to bat on but nor was it unplayable. Graeme Smith worked hard in both innings, and Clarke was outstanding on the first day, not to mention the fact that Australia's last pair, Nathan Lyon and Peter Siddle, doubled the team's score with their stand.

As each wicket fell, the reaction around the ground was one of disbelief. Surely the pitch isn't that bad? It wasn't, but the batting was.

And some of the Australian culprits will nervously await their first chat with Inverarity.

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY mathewjohn2176 on | November 13, 2011, 3:01 GMT

    @5wombats,you forgot that ENGLAND are a laughing stock in India for almost two decades.Forget about one series,England not winning in any single odi in India.First win one odi,then let's talk about winning the series.LOL

  • POSTED BY 5wombats on | November 12, 2011, 15:56 GMT

    @dariuscorny - once again the RIDICULOUS EXCUSES; In England "India without their at least 8 players"...@dariuscorny - NAME THEM - NAME THOSE 8 MISSING PLAYERS - NAME THEM....Go on... And most laughable of all..."due to some bad luck India was halted and they were denied 1-2 victories in England". NAME THOSE TEST MATCHES IN ENGLAND WHERE INDIA WERE DENIED VICTORY - NAME THE TEST MATCHES - go on.... STOP KIDDING YOURSELF @dariuscorny - india were a laughing stock in England in the Summer. india were nowhere even close to forcing a draw in ANY of the Test matches. "due to some bad luck"...LOL...

  • POSTED BY on | November 12, 2011, 13:15 GMT

    Why did Nathan Lyon even play? Could've given him an extended run for variety in the attack. Hope he doesn't turn into a passenger in the team for this series.

  • POSTED BY on | November 12, 2011, 13:13 GMT

    It was a brilliant performance in the 2nd innings from SA, and a really bad performance from Aus. The culprits, first inline batsman with the pathetic choice of shots and bowling ineffective barring watson (who is supposed to be an allrounder). Next step, Johnson and Siddle might have to go and to strengthen the batting Haddin might have to be replaced (continuous failures)

  • POSTED BY on | November 12, 2011, 12:01 GMT

    @ wombats- ok India certainly were/are not the number one team..and certainly they dont/dint deserve it...neither does ENGLAND!!... apart from beating a morally deprived aussie team in their own backyard u literally got nothin..!! besides u r yet to travel to the subcontinent (to play tests) wid the numero uno status...so give it some time and ull b back on earth...we Indians got nothin to boast about apart the recent 5-0 whipping we gave u last month..

  • POSTED BY 1st_april on | November 12, 2011, 11:34 GMT

    @rahulcricket007 another LOL moment.....SA *fought back* from 6/130 against India in the 3rd test...there was no luck involved...accept it...India overseas success is mainly because of umpiring mistakes against the hosts....that why BCCI doesn't want to use UDRS...

  • POSTED BY on | November 12, 2011, 7:21 GMT

    @RandyOZ...I second you on Katich and Siddle. Siddle does not seem to be different from Mitch. Both are in the team due to their 'once upon a time' image thing. That is perhaps more true about Mitch not Siddle though. Katich is one of the finest players in such conditions. He is much better than Haddin any day. Australian selectors really need to some serious thinking. They should also not overburden Watson in such test matches.

  • POSTED BY screamingeagle on | November 12, 2011, 6:09 GMT

    This tour if anything would help India when they tour Aus next. lol.

  • POSTED BY timmyw on | November 12, 2011, 5:01 GMT

    @RandyOZ - Nope, you aren't the only one. Siddle and Johnson really both have to go. I would love to see an attack that had at least two guys that could move it through the air. We have Watson, but one strike bowler with pace and air movement with accuracy would float my boat. Any of those guys you mentioned would be nice. Cutting would be nice as well, although I disagree strongly with Cummins.

  • POSTED BY RandyOZ on | November 12, 2011, 4:06 GMT

    Everyone has commented on Jono, so i'll leave him out, but am I the only one questioning Siddles spot in the side? I know he is a trier but Watto bowled way better. Siddle was absolutely toothless, as he has been since the first test at the Gabba. Can some explain how he is still in the side? Is he immune like Haddin, North, Jono, etc? We seem to have a lot of immune players in the side yet players like Katich get dumped after performing well. What happened to the Argus review? Replace Jono and Siddle with any two of the following: Cummins, George, Coulter-Nile, Hazlewood, Butterworth, Pattinson, Starc, M. Marsh! PLEASE!!

  • POSTED BY mathewjohn2176 on | November 13, 2011, 3:01 GMT

    @5wombats,you forgot that ENGLAND are a laughing stock in India for almost two decades.Forget about one series,England not winning in any single odi in India.First win one odi,then let's talk about winning the series.LOL

  • POSTED BY 5wombats on | November 12, 2011, 15:56 GMT

    @dariuscorny - once again the RIDICULOUS EXCUSES; In England "India without their at least 8 players"...@dariuscorny - NAME THEM - NAME THOSE 8 MISSING PLAYERS - NAME THEM....Go on... And most laughable of all..."due to some bad luck India was halted and they were denied 1-2 victories in England". NAME THOSE TEST MATCHES IN ENGLAND WHERE INDIA WERE DENIED VICTORY - NAME THE TEST MATCHES - go on.... STOP KIDDING YOURSELF @dariuscorny - india were a laughing stock in England in the Summer. india were nowhere even close to forcing a draw in ANY of the Test matches. "due to some bad luck"...LOL...

  • POSTED BY on | November 12, 2011, 13:15 GMT

    Why did Nathan Lyon even play? Could've given him an extended run for variety in the attack. Hope he doesn't turn into a passenger in the team for this series.

  • POSTED BY on | November 12, 2011, 13:13 GMT

    It was a brilliant performance in the 2nd innings from SA, and a really bad performance from Aus. The culprits, first inline batsman with the pathetic choice of shots and bowling ineffective barring watson (who is supposed to be an allrounder). Next step, Johnson and Siddle might have to go and to strengthen the batting Haddin might have to be replaced (continuous failures)

  • POSTED BY on | November 12, 2011, 12:01 GMT

    @ wombats- ok India certainly were/are not the number one team..and certainly they dont/dint deserve it...neither does ENGLAND!!... apart from beating a morally deprived aussie team in their own backyard u literally got nothin..!! besides u r yet to travel to the subcontinent (to play tests) wid the numero uno status...so give it some time and ull b back on earth...we Indians got nothin to boast about apart the recent 5-0 whipping we gave u last month..

  • POSTED BY 1st_april on | November 12, 2011, 11:34 GMT

    @rahulcricket007 another LOL moment.....SA *fought back* from 6/130 against India in the 3rd test...there was no luck involved...accept it...India overseas success is mainly because of umpiring mistakes against the hosts....that why BCCI doesn't want to use UDRS...

  • POSTED BY on | November 12, 2011, 7:21 GMT

    @RandyOZ...I second you on Katich and Siddle. Siddle does not seem to be different from Mitch. Both are in the team due to their 'once upon a time' image thing. That is perhaps more true about Mitch not Siddle though. Katich is one of the finest players in such conditions. He is much better than Haddin any day. Australian selectors really need to some serious thinking. They should also not overburden Watson in such test matches.

  • POSTED BY screamingeagle on | November 12, 2011, 6:09 GMT

    This tour if anything would help India when they tour Aus next. lol.

  • POSTED BY timmyw on | November 12, 2011, 5:01 GMT

    @RandyOZ - Nope, you aren't the only one. Siddle and Johnson really both have to go. I would love to see an attack that had at least two guys that could move it through the air. We have Watson, but one strike bowler with pace and air movement with accuracy would float my boat. Any of those guys you mentioned would be nice. Cutting would be nice as well, although I disagree strongly with Cummins.

  • POSTED BY RandyOZ on | November 12, 2011, 4:06 GMT

    Everyone has commented on Jono, so i'll leave him out, but am I the only one questioning Siddles spot in the side? I know he is a trier but Watto bowled way better. Siddle was absolutely toothless, as he has been since the first test at the Gabba. Can some explain how he is still in the side? Is he immune like Haddin, North, Jono, etc? We seem to have a lot of immune players in the side yet players like Katich get dumped after performing well. What happened to the Argus review? Replace Jono and Siddle with any two of the following: Cummins, George, Coulter-Nile, Hazlewood, Butterworth, Pattinson, Starc, M. Marsh! PLEASE!!

  • POSTED BY on | November 12, 2011, 2:53 GMT

    Well .... selection remains an issue for Australia. I haven't been one of the ones calling for heads to roll, but it's hard to defend players like Johnson, Haddin, Hughes, and Ponting now. When are we finally going to implement the policy of selecting on performance? Johnson needs to go now. Since Perth last year he's got 13 wickets in 6 test matches at 54, and scored 116 runs at 10; over the past 12 months (which includes Perth) it's 22 wickets at 43, and a batting average of 12. Even if he played out of his skin in Jo'burg, it's too little, too late. It's not good enough to play well once in every ten matches, and be a drag on the team the rest of the time. Copeland is a *much* better option. Even if he plays badly, it's likely to be as good as Johnson on an ordinary day. Haddin, Hughes and Ponting need to perform in Jo'burg or be dropped. They've all been given so many opportunities. And it's not as if there aren't good players in domestic cricket ...

  • POSTED BY rahulcricket007 on | November 12, 2011, 1:34 GMT

    @IST APRIL. THEN IWOULD ALSO SAY THAT SA WERE LUCKY TO DRAW THE THIRD TEST AGAINST INDIA . REMEMBER IN SECOND INNINGS 130/6.

  • POSTED BY Jaggadaaku on | November 11, 2011, 20:22 GMT

    @ Kangaroopoo, you said Test cricket is dying painfully because AUS and IND played bad in recent series, but the opposition team played better than them that means not the test cricket is dying but AUS and IND test cricket is dying. IND had bad series against ENG but India's 9 top cricketers were injured. 20-20 is not the problem of their poor performance either. If you think 20-20 is the problem of their poor performance, just make different team for both formats of cricket and problem will be solved.

  • POSTED BY screamingeagle on | November 11, 2011, 18:44 GMT

    There is still hope for aussies. they could try for that record in the 2nd test.....but then again, england will be touring soon.

  • POSTED BY on | November 11, 2011, 18:18 GMT

    I don't understand why people are cribbing about the pitch and variable bounce? I believe, this was a perfect pitch for a test match. There was enough aid on this pitch for batsman and bowler alike. This is the kind of pitch which raises hope and reminds bowlers about their existence in the game of cricket. If this kind of carnage is not appreciated in test matches, the charm of test match will go. This is the format which 'Test' players' skill. Please guys get over with the 20-20 & IPL. This is some serious stuff going on.

  • POSTED BY 1st_april on | November 11, 2011, 17:25 GMT

    @rahulcricket007 LOL...India were lucky to draw 1-1 in SA....remember the 2nd test??....it was South Africa's "Sydney"

  • POSTED BY 5wombats on | November 11, 2011, 15:54 GMT

    @Kangaroopoo - the wombats are sorry to say that they agree with you. They worry that Test Cricket is in a terrible state - demonstrated by the desperate, spineless, awful performance of the so-called "world's number one" - india - team whitewashed 4-0 in England a couple of months ago. Except for the genius Dravid, india showed no application or mental toughness whatsoever, and made themelves the laughing stock of world cricket; A 4-0 whitewash with TWO Innings defeats. And india "fans" still have the nerve to come on cricinfo crowing and dishing out excuses and history lessons! Amazing. As for Australia? Well, not being funny - even the wombats are surprised. They thought Australia would still win going into Day 3. Australia are in a place that is unfamiliar to them, a place called Mediocrity. They just don't have the fire-power anymore. For years they never had it so good - now the reality is really starting to bite....

  • POSTED BY dariuscorny on | November 11, 2011, 15:48 GMT

    well every one said Indians are bad travellers.what they shud say about aussies and the saffers?96 and 47 are the two scorelines of the two so called cricket giants.the score line itself suggests that in conducive conditions anyone can falter.with India without their atleast 8 players not available in Eng tour u cannot say they were that vulnerable.I mean these two teams(Australia ,SA) are few steps ahead when u talk about vulnerabilty against good seam bowling on a conducive pitch.S African players were equally clueless on the 2nd day.yes due to some bad luck India was halted and they were denied 1-2 victories in England.but after watching SA-AUS test match its quite a fact that it can happen to any team.as I hv seen SA in last 5yrs they hv been folded under 100 and 150 a number of times at their own backyard.so dont critisize one particular team.

  • POSTED BY zico123 on | November 11, 2011, 15:35 GMT

    so far Australia has Mr old Punter and Mr inconsistent Johnson in thier side, they can not move forward, they would stay at 4-5 in ranking, they should have dumped Ponting and Johnson more than 2 years ago

  • POSTED BY PratV on | November 11, 2011, 15:09 GMT

    Talking abt Ricky Ponting...the guy who was so aggresive during the 2008 series vs.India..I personally disliked him after that..People used to compare him with Sachin & Lara...competing for the best batsman spot..howeverthe point to note is that Ponting played well when his team was playing exceptionally well and were champions of the world cricket..he used to come at times when their team had already got a fabulous start from the openers or the oppposition had been skittled for a low total courtesy Warnie & Mcgrath!! Now compare this to the great performances from Sachin & Lara where both played mostly along with weaker teams for the most part of their career..They scored in every part of the world unlike Ponting whose subcontinent stats are nothing great to talk abt...and imagine the huge expectations that Sachin always carried & still carries when he comes out to bat. Ponting never had that kind of atmosphere....So perhaps now the pundits should think...who is the greatest of all!!!

  • POSTED BY rahulcricket007 on | November 11, 2011, 12:56 GMT

    @ANALYSEABHISHEKH . BUT INDIAN TEAM 'S SCOREBOARD NEVER READ 21 FOR 9 AND THEY STRIKES IN THE SECOND TEST WITH A BANG (EXCEPT RECENT ENG TOUR)

  • POSTED BY on | November 11, 2011, 12:55 GMT

    How the mighty have fallen!

  • POSTED BY Silloh on | November 11, 2011, 12:50 GMT

    Well done SA ! The Aussies players need to grow a moustache and at least look tough. Rod Marsh the new selector would surely advise them. For a moment U thought this could not be a test match at 26 for 9 but SA allowed them to get off the hook to reach 47. Tough luck Aussie guys - some of you should return the green cap pronto.

  • POSTED BY on | November 11, 2011, 11:48 GMT

    The Aussie will never replicate the bowling genii that were Warny and McGrath- that sums up the issue - Amla and Smith would never have chased that down

  • POSTED BY Rahul_78 on | November 11, 2011, 11:40 GMT

    Ì remember Ian Chapell ones said during Bangladesh vs Oz series in Oz that Oz batsmen should score quickly and try and bowl out Bnagla boys twice in remaining 2 sessions to win a test match in single day. Wonder what Ian must be thinking of his boys now..!

  • POSTED BY analyseabhishek on | November 11, 2011, 11:34 GMT

    I guess the Indian fans can now spare their team a little bit when it ritually collapses in the first test of an away(Aus-NZL-SA-Eng) series! The team would argue it happens with everyone!

  • POSTED BY rahulcricket007 on | November 11, 2011, 11:26 GMT

    @UGLYENGLISH . RATHER THAN THINKING ABOUT SUBCONTINENT TEAMS YOU SHOULD THIN K ABOUT YOUR ENGLISH TEAM REMEMBER ENG HAS TO PLAY TEST SERIES AGAINST SA . ALSO INDIA DRAW SERIES LAST TIME IN SA WITHOUT ANY LUCK . ONE BAD ENG TOUR DOESN'T MAKE IND A BAD TEAM.

  • POSTED BY luisbrunel on | November 11, 2011, 11:06 GMT

    A week of impressive debuts

  • POSTED BY on | November 11, 2011, 10:57 GMT

    @hyclass: I cannot believe that you blame the pitch for the abomination on Day 2. Movement through the air is hardly the pitches fault, and variable bounce was actually quite rare. I think the batsmen of both sides need to take full responsibility for the 23 wicket insanity. As for your suggestion that the South Africans prepared the pitch in order to provide "unfair advantage" (your post on another related article), I find that pretty immature. Firstly, as every respected commentator (including the Australian captain, who spent quite a while on the pitch) has said, it was by no means an unplayable wicket. Secondly, the host nation has always had the privilege of requesting the pitch. This is within the rules of the game and not unfair. This all notwithstanding difficult weather conditions during a month not regarded as ideal Test cricket terroir at Newlands.

  • POSTED BY timmyw on | November 11, 2011, 10:56 GMT

    ahhhhh yes. About time this happened to Australia. I have been waiting for it for a while now, this was absolutely gutless. You guys are a disgrace. Can we have two openers with real technique now please? PLEASE? I love how the pitch was a little spicey, not overly, and the South African pacers asked questions. That's all they did! Aus capitulated. Johnson seriously needs to go as well.

  • POSTED BY Kangaroopoo on | November 11, 2011, 10:54 GMT

    Where is the low point for the Australian Test team? I suspect we are still yet to see it. Not so long ago the Aussie's defined the art of test cricket to the world when they played hard and tough with true grit and spirit. Then they were breaking all the records that mattered, now the Aussies are breaking all the unwanted records. In the bigger picture I think Test cricket itself is dying a slow painful death, mainly due to the corporate prostitution of 20-20 cricket. Just look at how appalling India have played of late.

  • POSTED BY Simoc on | November 11, 2011, 10:42 GMT

    Well only Clarke and Marsh made worthwhile scores among Australias 22 wickets and Clarkes 150 + proved it wasn't the wicket as did the SA opening three at the end. An easy win to South Africa but the Oz guys were so bad they'll probably all get another go. It doesn't look like Marsh will play so the problem is only Clarke and Harris look to be in form for OZ. SA have plenty of better players than ours so I doubt we have the team to win even if they come good.

  • POSTED BY i_witnessed_2011 on | November 11, 2011, 10:03 GMT

    Who says t20 is killing bowlers? its actually killing the batsmen. Offer them a pitch little assistance to bowlers, they will succumb like never before.

  • POSTED BY on | November 11, 2011, 10:01 GMT

    @jonesy2 The catch was analysed by NZ third umpire Billy Bowden on slow motion replay several times before being awarded to Rudolph

  • POSTED BY cricfanraj on | November 11, 2011, 9:35 GMT

    @Kaze .. sour grapes :-) . Instead of talking about poor performance ,trying to find excuses. Pitch was difficult bat on but not for sure 47 runs.At least 4 batsmen through their wicket away.This is completely against the ausis spirit we know. How can u expect any team to score runs? But I'm considering it as one off day and they should try hard to make it count in bowling. Talking about Viru runs here is a joke. Just admit this is pathetic performance from Ausis

  • POSTED BY on | November 11, 2011, 9:31 GMT

    Ah, maybe the pitch was poorly prepared - no, wait that excuse is applicable only in the subcontinent, especially India.

  • POSTED BY on | November 11, 2011, 9:24 GMT

    If punter does not score this series, he can bid farewell.

  • POSTED BY on | November 11, 2011, 9:00 GMT

    still a batsmen's game....i doubt...well done to both the teams bowlers..

  • POSTED BY azhar_hassan on | November 11, 2011, 8:54 GMT

    Okay, let me try to absorb this - in ONE day, a batsmen completes his 150, this is followed by an entire side getting out for 96, followed by an entire side getting out for 47, then followed by the side that got out for 96 earlier in the day reaching 88 for 1 - again, all this in a single day. The glorious uncertainties of cricket you say. Hmm.........

  • POSTED BY Uglyenglish on | November 11, 2011, 8:54 GMT

    @randyoz,,haha now we all knew australia is the flat track specialists along with some subcontinent teams.what a record 21/9.unbelievable.

  • POSTED BY jasonpete on | November 11, 2011, 8:46 GMT

    @da-man, I guess the nature of the pitches got to do with the climatic conditions of the country.Even if they prepare green wickets,difficult to maintain those wickets as part of dry hot weather.In England no one makes spinning wickets as they are famous for green wickets under cloudy conditions.@ randyoz,now everyone knows who is flat track bullies (aus)

  • POSTED BY on | November 11, 2011, 8:30 GMT

    @ randyoz.. so u wud rather have the match finished in 3 days eh? i agree absolute flat decks r a disgrace to test cricket but Indian pitches r nt always flat... geez do i need to say that sub continent teams prefer spin friendly tracks ? pity australia though...failed miserably against India last year (on 'sick dust bowl featherbeds') and now in africa (on a seaming wicket).. guess u r no better than bangladesh or zimbabwe for that matter.. :)

  • POSTED BY satish619chandar on | November 11, 2011, 8:04 GMT

    @da_man_ : They should have a couple of green tops and let the bowlers practice in it.. Not use in matches as it ll deprive them of the home advantage..

  • POSTED BY Tootsie on | November 11, 2011, 8:02 GMT

    One alarming stat that screams at you. Johnson hasn't taken a single wicket on a very 'bowler friendly' pitch.. The most over-rated player in world cricket. Please can someone explain why he continues to be selected?

  • POSTED BY muximus on | November 11, 2011, 7:58 GMT

    cricket in the subcontinent is about batting and spin+reverse bcoz of abrasive pitch surfaces.. it is not possible to emulate england or south africa given the conditions here. Moreover, why would you want the same conditions everywhr in the world?

  • POSTED BY hyclass on | November 11, 2011, 7:55 GMT

    Im a Hodge fan as well and equally disconsolate at his continued poor treatment and lack of opportunity@sarandeep45876,but how on earth is this Hughes fault?Of the dismissals,only he and Clarke were described as getting unplayable deliveries.Both Hughes and Clarke made hundreds in their last Test innings in SL.Hughes now has more Test hundreds than Watson who is in terrible form and was in SL as well.The wicket in the 1st Test in SL was equally poor and sanctioned by the ICC. This pitch didnt just seam,there was swing,extreme bounce and balls shooting. No batsman can play with confidence under those circumstances. Im unsurprised at the LBWs.When a batsman is trying to cover so much movement and indifferent bounce,they will often be caught by a straight one that keeps low.Given that 31 wickets have fallen in 2 days and that a number of chances went begging,I would expect intelligent people to extend far more sympathy to the batsmen and far less to the curators who should be ashamed.

  • POSTED BY jonesy2 on | November 11, 2011, 7:52 GMT

    hilarious batting, you can only laugh. but to be fair it all started when rudolph clearly cheating and claimed the catch off hughes. the collapse may not have happened if rudolph have not cheated. you would hope karma is just round the corner

  • POSTED BY on | November 11, 2011, 7:43 GMT

    Its mainly due to batsmen losing concentration and gifiting wickets away. The pitch is not so devastative as the score cards indicate. How Aussies got 284 in 1st innings? and why SA got only 96 and Aus 47 in 2nd innings? Its all mainly because they lacked mental toughness. If the concentration is 100% , in test cricket you go for a loose shot rarely mainly if you are a middle order batsman. Loose shots are always meant for attacking batsman like Sehwag,Dilshan who tend to put pressure on bowling side by going for big shots from the beginning of the innings. Those who comment on flat tracks of India, its the same Dravid who played spectacular innings in England and WI too. Its the same VVS who scored couple of 50's in WI,Eng & won the game for India in SA.

  • POSTED BY szaranger on | November 11, 2011, 7:29 GMT

    There's only one answer to this mayhem, Australian batting is a as good as West Indies.. Fast seeming bouncy wicket... none of those batsmen had any clue how to handle these 3 factors.. Ricky Pointing said his on his peak of form, 8 and a duck. Who is he fooling around with?

  • POSTED BY on | November 11, 2011, 7:16 GMT

    The remainder of this test will be a real challenge for Captain Michael Clarke ... I for one am 100% certain he will deliver !!!

  • POSTED BY Governor on | November 11, 2011, 7:02 GMT

    Rodney William Marsh, John Inverarity and the new head coach should get into Michael Clarke's ear and advise him that Shane Watson's dominance from 2009 stemmed from his stint as an opening batsman. Ever since Michael Clarke was appointed captain, his batting has suffered due to fatigue. Gee, he is nearly 30 and the selectors should focus on Mitchell Marsh as our allrounder with Shane Watson been used as a specialist opening batsman who can bowl 10 overs per innings in a test match.

  • POSTED BY Demerara on | November 11, 2011, 7:01 GMT

    Top class bowling + mental softness = SA Average bowling and Mental softness + Haddin = Australia. So, SA wins.

  • POSTED BY on | November 11, 2011, 6:59 GMT

    @SFay If I read somebody saying that they dismiss Warner as a Test batsman, I immediately dismiss everything they have written as they clearly haven't been paying attention. Critics of Warner look to his international debut constantly, as a fresh face right out of club cricket who was brought in purely to slog (which he did and still does brilliantly).

    They haven't watched all of his international innings and so missed out on some great defensive performances on difficult pitches. He has several gears to his game and has developed a very classical looking batting style for his disposal, even if he still clubs wildly when permitted.

    He's played 10 FC innings. Averages 59.6 with 3 centuries and 2 fifties - nearly twice his A List and T20 averages.

    I'm not going to go out and say Warner is the next big thing for Aus - he's undeniably failed internationally when the pressure's on - but he's done as much to earn a place as Khawaja, Paine and Ferguson have. Give him a go, lads!

  • POSTED BY on | November 11, 2011, 6:47 GMT

    australia might pull this off..i hope..within 20 runs, the teams are getting demolished..and during the end of the day, wicket taking becomes a bit tough..fresh day fresh start

  • POSTED BY da_man_ on | November 11, 2011, 6:26 GMT

    @satish619chandar: As is stated by the author, this was not a green top with big cracks. It was merely a pitch that offered EQUAL assistance to the batsman and the bowler. Hence the comment about inflated averages (Sehwag) on subcontinental pitches with no pace or bounce. Honestly, I'm surprised BCCI hasn't invested in at least a couple of green tops in India. Imagine the scoreline in England if your team had prepared for the series at home on a hard bouncy pitch...

  • POSTED BY on | November 11, 2011, 6:19 GMT

    I like this pitch. True test of a batsman character. Aussies went down like a pack of cards. How India gets criticized by everyone for failure on fast pitches and fast attack. Compared to this Indians did far better overseas in last one decade.

  • POSTED BY RandyOZ on | November 11, 2011, 5:57 GMT

    Thank god, a great seaming pitch. So sick of the dust bowl featherbeds in india.

  • POSTED BY sando_35 on | November 11, 2011, 5:55 GMT

    @SFay - I reckon you ought to have a look at either a Sheffield Shield game or any one day game that Dave Warner bats in. He is without a doubt one of the straightest batsmen we have in Australia, and is putting some serious runs on the board to back his claims. Two years ago I was adamant he had no chance at test cricket, as of right now I'd put him well ahead of Phil Hughes: straighter batsman, has a technique to work with, same level of aggression but a greater range of shots, and a top class fieldsman. Get him in there. @Tomos_11 - couldn't agree more with that batting lineup

  • POSTED BY sarandeep45876 on | November 11, 2011, 5:47 GMT

    Unbelivable that someone like Hodge had to play a handful of test matches throughout his whole career and Hughes keeps on getting chances even when it's quite obvious that he wont survive in international cricket for long

  • POSTED BY eyballfallenout on | November 11, 2011, 5:41 GMT

    I know the batting is the topic of the day, but i have to say my concern is the fact that 23 wickets fell in one day and our (AUS) leading strike bowler didn't take any of them. Hmmmmmmm....

  • POSTED BY Gabbagod on | November 11, 2011, 5:31 GMT

    @satish619chandar.

    No Kaze said we need more pitches like this one not all pitches like this one. And in truth he is right - 90% of wickets these days are way too batsmen friendly. I dont mind if they are greentops or dustbowls, but batting must be made more difficult. Test cricket is slowly dying and we need more results (ie batsmen getting out) or T20 will overrun Test cricket very quickly. Now I am sure you appreciate fine cricket and you agree .........

  • POSTED BY whitesXI on | November 11, 2011, 5:09 GMT

    What makes the second innings so painful is that Clarke proved that the pitch was playable in the first. If Phil Hughes wants to play for aus he needs to follow the example of Steve Waugh, go back to domestic cricket with the idea of fixing his technique. An opener needs to be consistent, not possibly dangerous one in six games when dropped twice in slips. I know the rest of the team didn't perform, and it's harsh to single him out, but both dismissals were so predictable it's laughable. On the subject of Haddin, as soon as Paine is fit he will be in the squad (Paine is alos a possible opening option that not many are considering), Wade isn't ready with the gloves at international level, but his batting would certainly be appreciated at the moment

  • POSTED BY on | November 11, 2011, 4:58 GMT

    Guys if something similar had happend in any of the Indian pitches then all the hue&cry would have been made of the pitch.Lets face the reality the adaptability of modern day cricketers are questionable irrespective of the seaming pitch or spin pitch.

  • POSTED BY motiur_rahman on | November 11, 2011, 4:46 GMT

    These sort of things happens , occasionally , no need to consult the FBI or the Interpol.

  • POSTED BY India_boy on | November 11, 2011, 4:44 GMT

    @Kaze...lolzzz...did u just say that sehwag makes tons of cheap runs in a draw ??? dude when sehwag makes tons of runs, there is no draw cos he scores them so quickly that a result is inevitable! i sugges u start watching some cricket, and no this present series is not cricket, its smthng funny, watch some old re-runs of test cricket!

  • POSTED BY on | November 11, 2011, 4:40 GMT

    Ain't it Interesting to see sides go all out for less than 100 !!!!!! Test cricket at its best !!!! and yeah for those who say that subcontinent players dont play Fast Bowling well !!!! Well... God Give them some Grey matter in between their two holes!!!!!!!

  • POSTED BY Fast_Track_Bully on | November 11, 2011, 4:06 GMT

    ICC should investigate on this ground where test cricket is not possible. 23 wickets in one day!

  • POSTED BY godatno4 on | November 11, 2011, 4:01 GMT

    @Kaze: Hope you know what you are talking... cheap runs... Sehwag!!! I guess u will crib if there is a subcontinent pitch in a similar fashion and start complaining about other issues and not runs.... get a life dude!!!

  • POSTED BY satish619chandar on | November 11, 2011, 3:58 GMT

    @Kaze - You want testing conditions only for batsman? Why not bowler develop skills to bowl in a batting assisting track and prove himself?

  • POSTED BY sudhar.n87 on | November 11, 2011, 3:29 GMT

    Frankly speaking, when i saw the match i really felt there were not so many demons on the pitch. Of course the ball was swinging and seaming. But it was definitely not a 47 and 96 allout pitch. Except a very few batsman, all the others should blame themselves for their downfall.

  • POSTED BY ScareCrow93 on | November 11, 2011, 3:28 GMT

    This is why my favorite batsman is Sangakkara :) Ridiculous to watch these kinda performances...

  • POSTED BY on | November 11, 2011, 3:11 GMT

    Feeling terrible to see aus fall down. Pity ricky ponting

  • POSTED BY johnnycash on | November 11, 2011, 2:54 GMT

    this test match is far from over for the Aussies. Field well and take all their catches at the start of day 3 and they win. It's as easy as that. At the same time as everyone giving it to them, the South Africans weren't much better. 'Mental Toughness' will be shown by a few, the side with more players showing this will win.

  • POSTED BY Stevo_ on | November 11, 2011, 2:34 GMT

    If I read someone saying that Warner should be playing test cricket , I immediately dismiss everything else they have written as they obviously know nothing about cricket

  • POSTED BY Kaze on | November 11, 2011, 2:13 GMT

    Funny how Aus are the only ones this match that batted badly, I guess SA getting 96 was brilliant or was the pitch only difficult then ? @Herbet I agree there are too many crap batsmen now with inflated averages. We need more pitches like the one today, more fun to watch people getting knocked over than to watch someone like Sehwag make a ton of cheap runs in a draw.

  • POSTED BY unregisteredalien on | November 11, 2011, 1:59 GMT

    I imagine it's an exciting time to be Inver, Rod or Andy right now. Ponting, Haddin, Johnson to be phased out after this series. Lyon, Hughes to be watched very very closely. On the administrative side, Langer should be asked to re-apply for his job, and as for the captain, do what everyone else sees you should do and move Watto down the order. He may be worth two players but he's only one man, and having him continue as opener is not the way to manage his workload.

  • POSTED BY on | November 11, 2011, 1:54 GMT

    It was just one of those miracle days. I really can't blame either side. You could say anything about Ponting or anybody, but it was no batsman's day.

  • POSTED BY Tomos_11 on | November 11, 2011, 1:41 GMT

    @heathrf1974...I totally agree. I have been saying the same thing for years and have been shut down in saying it. Our problem is batting and has been for years. Name the last test (other than SL where we did reasonably well) where the Aussies have put in a solid performance in both innings?? A batting collapse in one of the innings has become the norm. My team would be 1.Warner 2. Khawaja 3. Marsh 4. Watson 5. Clarke 6. Hussey 7. Paine 8. Harris 9. Siddle 10.Bollinger 11. Lyon

  • POSTED BY vswami on | November 11, 2011, 1:40 GMT

    Surely IPL is to blame for this mental disintegration.

  • POSTED BY andrew-schulz on | November 11, 2011, 1:21 GMT

    The ball Watson got out to was not a straight ball. How many looks at it, and how much technology do you need, to get your facts right.

  • POSTED BY __PK on | November 11, 2011, 1:17 GMT

    Ah, yes, it's easy to bat in the press gallery. And easy to assess a wicket acceptable from the same place. And easier to criticise a side's mental toughness when you've made up your mind before the series starts. You realise BOTH sides were dismissed for single figure totals, don't you? Oh no, nothing wrong with the pitch, or South Africa, is there?

  • POSTED BY TheDoctor394 on | November 11, 2011, 0:51 GMT

    @jordan_nofx: Clarke is slow?? He just scored 151 off 176 balls!

  • POSTED BY stickman75 on | November 11, 2011, 0:38 GMT

    Hughes didnt leave us 1 down watson did.

  • POSTED BY RAVI_BOPARA on | November 10, 2011, 23:55 GMT

    I LOVE IT... AUSTRALIA 29-9, WHO WOULD HAVE THOUGHT SO.. GET RID OF PONTING - HIS DAYS WERE OVER IN THE ASHES... HADDIN NEEDS TO GO... SELECTORS STILL MAKING A MESS BY PICKING THESE 2. AND MOST OF ALL CLARKE IS NOT A TEST CAPTAIN AND DESERVES TO BE SACKED... WATSON SHOULD BE LEADING AUSTRALIA!! COME ON SOUTH AFRICAAAA!!!!!!!

  • POSTED BY Micgyver on | November 10, 2011, 23:53 GMT

    As a massive Ponting fan i feel his days are numbered.He'l be lucky to play against the Kiwi's unless he produces something next test.And bye bye Haddin,Wade should be brought in immediately.Watson seriously has to move down the order now,it was good while it lasted but now Marsh or Warner need to be there.

  • POSTED BY jordan_nofx on | November 10, 2011, 23:49 GMT

    In Australia's current situation, we need rock solid players with sound techniques. We need Michael Clarke (mostly unwatchable hes so slow) we need Marsh, we need Hussey. We cannot afford Hughes in the side leaving us 1 down quickly all the time. We need Justin Langers and Steve Waughs. Not Brad Haddins.

    Shane Watson must go down to 4. It is win-win, either he comes in at 2 for 0 and hes opening anyway OR he comes in at 2-150 and blazes a tired attack away. All the while he is recovering from bowling, which is priceless. Plus we have many openers waiting in the wings.

    Marsh, Kwahja, Ponting, Watson, Clarke, Hussey, Paine, Hauritz, Siddle, Harris, Cummins/Copeland is surely Australia's best XI. It is Inveritys job to make sure the next 1-2 batsmen, bowlers know they are next in line so that if someone is out injured/dropped their is minimal disruption and the player is mentally prepared. That is why England are the best currently. Warner, Maddinson, Starc, Lyon, Pattinson r them

  • POSTED BY MenFromMarts on | November 10, 2011, 23:47 GMT

    Simon Katich oh how we miss thee !!

  • POSTED BY loudmouth on | November 10, 2011, 23:42 GMT

    Very very poor batting from the Australians today I'm afraid! I remember reading two quotes from Ponting of late that amused me: 1. 'I learnt to bat with the attitude that you bat all day.' Not sure if he's looked like that kind of batsman for a long time now. 2. 'I'm hitting the ball really well I just don't have the runs to show for it.' The last time I looked the only way to win Test matches is to score more runs than the other team - not by batting for 20 minutes and telling the media you really are seeing them well! If the past two days are him seeing it well then he really does need to go right now! As for Hughes sorry but this guy just doesn't play with any conviction in defence. Sure he can blaze away when the bowling's poor but so can lots of players. He's just not good enough to face Steyn / Anderson / Morkel / Khan / Tremlett etc. And as for Johnson - well he's a terrific match winner to a lot of teams just not the Aussies. Cummins / Kuwaja / Warner / Wade.....and now!

  • POSTED BY Dashgar on | November 10, 2011, 23:25 GMT

    Khawaja has to play in the second test. Either Marsh out through injury or Ponting dropped. Matthew Wade must then play in the next test series and more new faces must feature in the top six as well. This innings was a disgrace and it is not an isolated incident for this batting lineup (remember Melbourne). Its time for some old heads to roll.

  • POSTED BY heathrf1974 on | November 10, 2011, 23:19 GMT

    The Aussie bowlers have copped a lot of flack over the last couple of years, but I have found our batting a greater concern and it showed yesterday. Hughes, Ponting and Haddin should be worried and Watson needs to bat at six. I was hoping Australian cricket was slowly coming back but we have a long way to go.

  • POSTED BY on | November 10, 2011, 22:48 GMT

    @nickydude: First let India handle WI properly. Then talk about batting on Australian pitches. I agree this is the best time but can't count Aussies out in their backyard especially with our arsenal of fast bowling!!

  • POSTED BY Daniel_G on | November 10, 2011, 22:42 GMT

    Have to say, as a New Zealander I was getting quite excited at one point. There would be nothing better than losing that 26 record . .

  • POSTED BY Herbet on | November 10, 2011, 22:27 GMT

    Looking at this from an England point of view, we've just spanked the No.1 team 4 zip and the team who we are supposed to be really scared of the, the real top team, have just been bowled out for 96. The less said about the Aussies the better, 21/9!!

    Looking at this as a cricket fan is somewhat less amusing. Real cricket is dying, batsmen just cant bat anymore. They sure can "clear their front leg" though. For all the good that does them!

  • POSTED BY TEST_CRICKET_ONLY on | November 10, 2011, 22:25 GMT

    @behind _the_bowlers_arm - I was with you all the way until you mentioned Hughes. We can't be serious about rebuilding a team when we have an opener with such poor technique. He has looked like a deer in the headlights in both innings. This guy is destined to be one of those who makes runs in state cricket but can't step up to test cricket. He has to go.

  • POSTED BY RandyOZ on | November 10, 2011, 22:21 GMT

    Pathetic batting, as all have mentioned really exposes our weakness. Haddin and Punter look absolutely schoolboy. Punter should be helping that ball swinging down leg to fine leg for 4. Instead he's getting LBWed, time for these guys to go I think. Absolutely pathetic. Huss has had a shocker too, that dropped catch could be crucial.

  • POSTED BY Naresh28 on | November 10, 2011, 22:17 GMT

    CONGRATS to both teams for a great day of cricket. Both SA and AUstralia displayed great BOWLING and FEILDING to back up. I would tell ENgland to beware cause here are 2 great teams gunning after your title. As an Indian fan I would say India DRS is definetly needed in this type of pitch. SA has found a good 3rd fast bowler in Philander. Australia would need to dig deep to save this game. Well done to Kirsten and SA to ready the team after a long off time. This game should go down as the best in 2011.

  • POSTED BY Bigbanger666 on | November 10, 2011, 22:12 GMT

    @behind the bowlers arm. Any chance of you becoming a selector? I think your suggestions are spot on. Definately like to see Warner in given he is making runs in the longer form nowadays, plus he could be an out and out match winner in the mould of a Michael Slater.

  • POSTED BY bumsonseats on | November 10, 2011, 21:47 GMT

    we were told Hughes is the best opening batter in the state game and scores bundles of runs. and he as better than this guy or that and just wait till this test. i can name 6 batters in state cricket some openers others with a good sound games better than him. how can a selector look at him and think without loads of luck he will score big. marsh should go to opener. i said a week ago he looked good but was told he does not score the amount of runs as others. look how he scores them not only the amount. dpk

  • POSTED BY on | November 10, 2011, 21:46 GMT

    Time to give Dave Warner a go at the top, he is the most inform batsman at any level in the past 12 months. he just scored a big 100 last week. I also watched Khawaja open the batting this year in a one day game for nsw when the new ball was doing a bit and he had great technique, leaving, playing straight, took his time and looked alot better then phil hughes at opener. i would consider warner and khawaja at the top. Ponting was averging nearly 60 a few years ago and now its 52. what a big slide. same thing happened to hayden, he averaged 55 and finished with an average of 50. I wonder if Katich would have had the toughness to play through today.

  • POSTED BY hhillbumper on | November 10, 2011, 21:39 GMT

    I think this was a terrible display by Australia.It was good by South Africa bowling but you have to wonder what would have happened if this had been backed up by proper fielding from SA in the first innings.

  • POSTED BY Behind_the_bowlers_arm on | November 10, 2011, 20:43 GMT

    The only positive from today's batting debacle is that it will make the start of some of the changes necessary easier to sell. Wade or Paine for Haddin, Cummins for Johnson & Khawaja for Ponting for starters. Watson to 6 and Marsh to open with Hughes. Or Warner possibly .

  • POSTED BY nickydude on | November 10, 2011, 20:27 GMT

    3rd Aus score of less than 100 since last yr!. Best chance for India for a series win against a really vulnerable team.

  • POSTED BY on | November 10, 2011, 20:24 GMT

    this feels like the scorecard from a ricky ponting 2007 game.

  • POSTED BY Winsome on | November 10, 2011, 20:07 GMT

    I don't think Brad Haddin is in any danger nor is Punter. Paine is still injured and the Aussies do love their men-in-waiting. And I don't think there is an Aus selector alive with the guts to tap Punter on the shoulder. Marsh looked stiff out there. So ridiculous that he had to bat in that situation when he obviuosly wasn't up to it. And Hughes got out exactly the same way in the first innings. He could have left both balls, but he is so intent on playing at everything that he can't help himself. Lord, it was funny to watch.

  • POSTED BY goinguns on | November 10, 2011, 20:03 GMT

    no more TESTS, no more TESTS, no more TESTS. make it a 3 day format...

  • POSTED BY on | November 10, 2011, 19:39 GMT

    I agree that Marsh is the opener of the future, I understand their plan to bat him at 3 but with the top order struggling around him, and Khawaja looking a much better batsman than Hughes, having MArsh at the top of the order is looking a much stronger option for the future of Australia's test match batting order

  • POSTED BY BillyCC on | November 10, 2011, 19:30 GMT

    This day sums up my current thoughts that Australia still haven't got it right with either the batting or bowling lineup and that South Africa are not ready to be World No.1 just yet, they have a long way to go.

  • POSTED BY SnowSnake on | November 10, 2011, 19:16 GMT

    While I am pulling for Australia, I think this game is going the SA way. In all fairness, SA has to be praised for their effort on day 2. In some ways, this game is reminding me of WI-Ind game. SA had a poor first inning batting performance and just when everything appears to be over, SA will go on to win the game due to superior bowling and batting performance. Generally, ICC has to be concerned about test performances because games are not lasting 5 days. I think test cricket has to be scrapped because I don't see any team playing in this format seriously.

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • POSTED BY SnowSnake on | November 10, 2011, 19:16 GMT

    While I am pulling for Australia, I think this game is going the SA way. In all fairness, SA has to be praised for their effort on day 2. In some ways, this game is reminding me of WI-Ind game. SA had a poor first inning batting performance and just when everything appears to be over, SA will go on to win the game due to superior bowling and batting performance. Generally, ICC has to be concerned about test performances because games are not lasting 5 days. I think test cricket has to be scrapped because I don't see any team playing in this format seriously.

  • POSTED BY BillyCC on | November 10, 2011, 19:30 GMT

    This day sums up my current thoughts that Australia still haven't got it right with either the batting or bowling lineup and that South Africa are not ready to be World No.1 just yet, they have a long way to go.

  • POSTED BY on | November 10, 2011, 19:39 GMT

    I agree that Marsh is the opener of the future, I understand their plan to bat him at 3 but with the top order struggling around him, and Khawaja looking a much better batsman than Hughes, having MArsh at the top of the order is looking a much stronger option for the future of Australia's test match batting order

  • POSTED BY goinguns on | November 10, 2011, 20:03 GMT

    no more TESTS, no more TESTS, no more TESTS. make it a 3 day format...

  • POSTED BY Winsome on | November 10, 2011, 20:07 GMT

    I don't think Brad Haddin is in any danger nor is Punter. Paine is still injured and the Aussies do love their men-in-waiting. And I don't think there is an Aus selector alive with the guts to tap Punter on the shoulder. Marsh looked stiff out there. So ridiculous that he had to bat in that situation when he obviuosly wasn't up to it. And Hughes got out exactly the same way in the first innings. He could have left both balls, but he is so intent on playing at everything that he can't help himself. Lord, it was funny to watch.

  • POSTED BY on | November 10, 2011, 20:24 GMT

    this feels like the scorecard from a ricky ponting 2007 game.

  • POSTED BY nickydude on | November 10, 2011, 20:27 GMT

    3rd Aus score of less than 100 since last yr!. Best chance for India for a series win against a really vulnerable team.

  • POSTED BY Behind_the_bowlers_arm on | November 10, 2011, 20:43 GMT

    The only positive from today's batting debacle is that it will make the start of some of the changes necessary easier to sell. Wade or Paine for Haddin, Cummins for Johnson & Khawaja for Ponting for starters. Watson to 6 and Marsh to open with Hughes. Or Warner possibly .

  • POSTED BY hhillbumper on | November 10, 2011, 21:39 GMT

    I think this was a terrible display by Australia.It was good by South Africa bowling but you have to wonder what would have happened if this had been backed up by proper fielding from SA in the first innings.

  • POSTED BY on | November 10, 2011, 21:46 GMT

    Time to give Dave Warner a go at the top, he is the most inform batsman at any level in the past 12 months. he just scored a big 100 last week. I also watched Khawaja open the batting this year in a one day game for nsw when the new ball was doing a bit and he had great technique, leaving, playing straight, took his time and looked alot better then phil hughes at opener. i would consider warner and khawaja at the top. Ponting was averging nearly 60 a few years ago and now its 52. what a big slide. same thing happened to hayden, he averaged 55 and finished with an average of 50. I wonder if Katich would have had the toughness to play through today.