South Africa v Australia, 1st Test, Cape Town, 3rd day November 11, 2011

Clarke wants team to feel the pain

Nobody at Newlands will forget this Test. The 15 players in Australia's squad must try. They should learn from their terrible batting, but they must also move on. Quickly
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All losses hurt. Some cause lasting damage. Michael Clarke's challenge is to make sure Australia's crushing defeat in Cape Town, which he described as the most disappointing of his career, does not leave them psychologically scarred ahead of next Thursday's second Test in Johannesburg.

This was one of the great Test matches of all time; nobody who was at Newlands on the second day, or even on the third, will forget it. The 15 players in Australia's squad must try. They should learn from their terrible batting, but they must also move on. Quickly.

It is impossible to imagine how the Australians felt on the second afternoon, when they dismissed South Africa for 96 and were then bowled out for 47, their lowest Test total in 109 years. Even Graeme Smith said it was the sort of scorecard he hadn't seen since he was a young schoolboy.

The following morning, the Australians appeared to still be in a daze. In the third over of the third day - the scheduled halfway point of the match had not even arrived - Shane Watson dropped a catch at slip and Australian shoulders slumped. They knew they were in trouble.

The pain of being humiliated with the bat increased exponentially with every boundary that rocketed off the face of Smith's bat, every delivery that was caressed through a gap by Hashim Amla.

Watson is capable of Smith-like power, so is Ricky Ponting. Clarke can find gaps like Amla, as can Michael Hussey. The pitch had not changed overnight. In the field, Australia's batsmen looked at each other quizzically. How come we didn't play like this? Nobody had the answer.

That's the mental hole the Australians must lift themselves out of before they take the field at the Wanderers next week. There could be, should be, changes to the team, but the gloomy mood will affect the whole squad, not just the XI who took the field.

"Today is going to be tough," Clarke said after the match. "If you don't feel the pain here, you'll never feel the pain and you're playing the wrong sport, for the wrong team. If there's one person in that change room with a smile on their face ... every single one of us needs to be disappointed, for good reason.

"There's also the other side that in this great game you need to find a way to get back up. Good teams do. That's how they learn and I think throughout my career, I've learnt from the not-so-good days, more than the good days. That's what I'm hoping everyone in that change room does, find something so when we get into a position like we did in that second innings with the bat, or today with the ball, we go about it in a different way."

But what made the batting performance even harder to swallow was that the major culprits included some of the most experienced members of the side. Men who, according to Clarke's theory, should already have learnt the lessons of previous dark days.

Days like July 21, 2010, when five members of the current Australian team were part of a side that was swung and seamed out for 88 against Pakistan at Headingley. Days like December 26, 2010, when nine of the men who took the field at Newlands were part of a team that was bowled out for 98 by England at the MCG.

This loss, Clarke said, topped them all.

"Probably not," Clarke said, when asked if he had played in a more disappointing defeat. "The performance with the bat, I've never experienced - not that bad, not 9 for 21. The lowest Test score ever is 26, so we needed No.10 and 11 to save our backsides there. That's unacceptable. I've never been more disappointed, in my own performance in the second innings, but the result... I'm hoping that's as poor as it gets in my career.

"Today is important. The rest of today is about looking in each other's eyes and having the courage to admit where you let yourself and the team down. We've obviously got a lot of work to do in all facets of the game to get ourselves as right as we can for this second Test. We still have a chance to level the series. That will definitely be our goal before we get on the plane back to Australia."

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Saksham197 on November 14, 2011, 19:30 GMT

    @5wombats.. Its common knowledge that everyone becomes a lion in their own backyard. The kind of dominance australia had in the past decade is next to impossible to replicate. They beat everyone. At home. Away. Everywhere. The current England team doesnt come anywhere close to that. Thay are just like India at the moment. Kings in their own backyard. When was the last time England won a test in India? Or any ODI for that matter? Agreed India fared very poorly in the summer, but being able to beat a lacklustre side in the comfort of your own backyard is nothing great to brag about.

  • 5wombats on November 14, 2011, 10:49 GMT

    @ayanraja - and your point, if indeed it is a point, proves what excatly? The games England played in india were just ODI/T20 games. Australia are great at ODI - doesn't mean they are great at Test matches.... india were abysmal in Tests in England. It can't be hidden from. ODI's in india prove nothing and cannot be used as an excuse for what happened in the Tests in England so stop trying.

  • prozak on November 14, 2011, 10:02 GMT

    Punter's time looks to be up. He is my favourite cricketer but even I admit that without a big score next test it is time to give him the nudge and allow him to graciously decide to retire.

  • ayanraja on November 14, 2011, 9:37 GMT

    @5wombats ... India were as bad in England as England were in India.

  • TeamRocker on November 13, 2011, 14:23 GMT

    I'm a big fan of Ponting, but even I admit that the time has come for him to say "Great, I've had an excellent career, but I just have to let Australia move on and progress". Then he'll be remembered for his brilliance, not his slow decay.

  • Nightwing32 on November 13, 2011, 0:37 GMT

    @venkat_75r

    Not because they are Indian is why I brought it up but because they are good pace bowlers but I just think Siddle is better. I can't say he is better than Anderson and Steyn because that is not true. I just hold those Indian pace bowlers in decent regards.

    It will do so much damage to Hughes if you drop him. We have wicket takers in different surfaces like Harris is the wicket taker and he can swing it, Watto takes wickets and swings, Siddle will put pressure by a consistent line and length and Johnson is a beast and he looked better than he was before (consistency wise).

    The only changes I think need to be made are if Marsh is injured bring Khawaja and if conditions suit then Siddle for Copeland.

  • whitesXI on November 12, 2011, 23:33 GMT

    @Nightwing - I can only hope that Ponting decides to leave the game on his own terms rather than be kicked out, but he keeps talking about the 2013 ashes and how good his form is despite evidence to the contrary. I concede Haddin may surprise us, Hussey returned to match winning form when ppl were saying he should be dropped 12 months ago, but my opinion is still that as soon as Paine is back fit he should replace him. I do disagree over the Phil Hughes comment though. There are many similarities between a young S Waugh and the current Hughes, but Waugh was removed from the Aus squad, returned to NSW and completely changed his style of play and technique, and went from opener to batting at 5th, Hughes hasn't show any desire yet to change what works for him in SS, believing it will eventually start to work. He will be caught behind the stumps or at gully/point the moment the ball is bowled an inch outside off just below hip height. He must remove the obvious weaknesses in his technique

  • 5wombats on November 12, 2011, 18:21 GMT

    Hey @atthipatti - I saw your tweet. Respect. Here's the thing - Players have to sweat blood to get to the top in cricket. Either that or they have to be ultra gifted people for whom the game comes naturally. Nowadays both. When Australia are at the top the world aspires to beat them because they set the standard in hard yakka and talent. It's mutual respect, and it's earned. Now that England have managed to get to the top after years of what you rightly call "mickey mouse games", the wombats won't have it from certain groups of fans it that it doesn't count, or "isn't fair", or some other ridiculous excuse. That's garbage. Teams get to the top because they work really hard at the greatest game. Teams that work really hard deserve their success. Sides that "just turn up" deserve everything they get. Winning at Test cricket is hard. It's not gloating - it's stating that playing cricket at anything less than 100% is inexcusable. The fans deserve it. Test Match cricket demands it. True?

  • venkat_75r on November 12, 2011, 17:28 GMT

    @Nightwing32 - don't know why you brought Zaheer and Ishant here..but if you think I am an Indian,who does not like Australian cricket team then one half is true..I am an Indian but my second favourite team is Australia...I always liked their never say die approach..I agree Hughes is very young and he needs time..but his technique is not going to help him against very good bowlers..scoring 100 after every 10 innings is not going to help the team..abt Haddin..he always thinks that he can come out of the form by hitting..it may happen occasionally but not always..as a senior pro he has to be a role model for the Juniors..Siddle is a work horse..agree..but you need wicket taking abilities..once again occasional 5-for is not going to help..as for as Mitch Johnson is concern, this should be the last chance for him..if he fails, then he shd go bck to domestic cricket..Khawaja for Hughes and Cummings for Siddle wd be my changes in the next X1. No backup keeper available..so Haddin survives.

  • on November 12, 2011, 17:01 GMT

    Why all want Siddle to be dropped? I thought he rescued his team from 21/9 to a lesser disgrace of 47, din't he?

  • Saksham197 on November 14, 2011, 19:30 GMT

    @5wombats.. Its common knowledge that everyone becomes a lion in their own backyard. The kind of dominance australia had in the past decade is next to impossible to replicate. They beat everyone. At home. Away. Everywhere. The current England team doesnt come anywhere close to that. Thay are just like India at the moment. Kings in their own backyard. When was the last time England won a test in India? Or any ODI for that matter? Agreed India fared very poorly in the summer, but being able to beat a lacklustre side in the comfort of your own backyard is nothing great to brag about.

  • 5wombats on November 14, 2011, 10:49 GMT

    @ayanraja - and your point, if indeed it is a point, proves what excatly? The games England played in india were just ODI/T20 games. Australia are great at ODI - doesn't mean they are great at Test matches.... india were abysmal in Tests in England. It can't be hidden from. ODI's in india prove nothing and cannot be used as an excuse for what happened in the Tests in England so stop trying.

  • prozak on November 14, 2011, 10:02 GMT

    Punter's time looks to be up. He is my favourite cricketer but even I admit that without a big score next test it is time to give him the nudge and allow him to graciously decide to retire.

  • ayanraja on November 14, 2011, 9:37 GMT

    @5wombats ... India were as bad in England as England were in India.

  • TeamRocker on November 13, 2011, 14:23 GMT

    I'm a big fan of Ponting, but even I admit that the time has come for him to say "Great, I've had an excellent career, but I just have to let Australia move on and progress". Then he'll be remembered for his brilliance, not his slow decay.

  • Nightwing32 on November 13, 2011, 0:37 GMT

    @venkat_75r

    Not because they are Indian is why I brought it up but because they are good pace bowlers but I just think Siddle is better. I can't say he is better than Anderson and Steyn because that is not true. I just hold those Indian pace bowlers in decent regards.

    It will do so much damage to Hughes if you drop him. We have wicket takers in different surfaces like Harris is the wicket taker and he can swing it, Watto takes wickets and swings, Siddle will put pressure by a consistent line and length and Johnson is a beast and he looked better than he was before (consistency wise).

    The only changes I think need to be made are if Marsh is injured bring Khawaja and if conditions suit then Siddle for Copeland.

  • whitesXI on November 12, 2011, 23:33 GMT

    @Nightwing - I can only hope that Ponting decides to leave the game on his own terms rather than be kicked out, but he keeps talking about the 2013 ashes and how good his form is despite evidence to the contrary. I concede Haddin may surprise us, Hussey returned to match winning form when ppl were saying he should be dropped 12 months ago, but my opinion is still that as soon as Paine is back fit he should replace him. I do disagree over the Phil Hughes comment though. There are many similarities between a young S Waugh and the current Hughes, but Waugh was removed from the Aus squad, returned to NSW and completely changed his style of play and technique, and went from opener to batting at 5th, Hughes hasn't show any desire yet to change what works for him in SS, believing it will eventually start to work. He will be caught behind the stumps or at gully/point the moment the ball is bowled an inch outside off just below hip height. He must remove the obvious weaknesses in his technique

  • 5wombats on November 12, 2011, 18:21 GMT

    Hey @atthipatti - I saw your tweet. Respect. Here's the thing - Players have to sweat blood to get to the top in cricket. Either that or they have to be ultra gifted people for whom the game comes naturally. Nowadays both. When Australia are at the top the world aspires to beat them because they set the standard in hard yakka and talent. It's mutual respect, and it's earned. Now that England have managed to get to the top after years of what you rightly call "mickey mouse games", the wombats won't have it from certain groups of fans it that it doesn't count, or "isn't fair", or some other ridiculous excuse. That's garbage. Teams get to the top because they work really hard at the greatest game. Teams that work really hard deserve their success. Sides that "just turn up" deserve everything they get. Winning at Test cricket is hard. It's not gloating - it's stating that playing cricket at anything less than 100% is inexcusable. The fans deserve it. Test Match cricket demands it. True?

  • venkat_75r on November 12, 2011, 17:28 GMT

    @Nightwing32 - don't know why you brought Zaheer and Ishant here..but if you think I am an Indian,who does not like Australian cricket team then one half is true..I am an Indian but my second favourite team is Australia...I always liked their never say die approach..I agree Hughes is very young and he needs time..but his technique is not going to help him against very good bowlers..scoring 100 after every 10 innings is not going to help the team..abt Haddin..he always thinks that he can come out of the form by hitting..it may happen occasionally but not always..as a senior pro he has to be a role model for the Juniors..Siddle is a work horse..agree..but you need wicket taking abilities..once again occasional 5-for is not going to help..as for as Mitch Johnson is concern, this should be the last chance for him..if he fails, then he shd go bck to domestic cricket..Khawaja for Hughes and Cummings for Siddle wd be my changes in the next X1. No backup keeper available..so Haddin survives.

  • on November 12, 2011, 17:01 GMT

    Why all want Siddle to be dropped? I thought he rescued his team from 21/9 to a lesser disgrace of 47, din't he?

  • Marcio on November 12, 2011, 16:41 GMT

    Let it go, @murli786. Australia lost the 1st test against India a few months ago by one wicket after blatant umpiring errors; and Laxman played two match-winning innings in that game using a runner, but miraculously still being able to just stand at the crease and smash it everywhere (compare that to Sean Marsh's genuine incapacity to run, or even bat in this game against SA - its no coincidence not long after the Laxman incident that the ICC brought in the no runner rule). One might have called the Laxman thing borderline in terms of the spirit of cricket. But no, Australia didn't turn it into a national mythology about how we were cheated by the neutral umpires. So let's just move on, shall we? And let's see how well India do in Australia. Somehow I doubt your predictions are going to be very accurate.

  • 5wombats on November 12, 2011, 16:22 GMT

    @Saksham197 "India did not make excuses" YOU'VE GOT TO BE KIDDING. The whole time since Day 5 of the Lords test match has been one endless list of excuses from india. @streetblader. No need to be hysterical. "their miserable performance" - you're talking about india, right? Because if England winning the Test series by a 4-0 whitewash against india was a "miserable performance" - then how much worse was indias "performance" mmm? - that is clearly the thing you cannot bring yourself to believe and rightly, should be ashamed of. There is denial here - but not from the wombats. @Biso this; "under-prepared injury ridden team" is an excuse I've read so many times, surely even india fans must be tired of it as well by now. After indias shocking Test performances in England this summer - I'm surprised their fans have got the nerve to make any utterances at all on any Test forum. The wombats won't let you forget or excuse how bad india were.

  • atthipatti on November 12, 2011, 16:16 GMT

    @5 wombats....gloat while you can, you won't be the same once your team tours outside of its shores. Anyway I congratulate England to have dominated cricket at last, after decades of playing mickey mouse games.

  • Nightwing32 on November 12, 2011, 15:57 GMT

    @whitesXI

    I disagree. Ponting I have a feeling will end it in the Sydney test. It is same feeling that I got from Waugh's last few series. Haddin was just in form, South Africa kept faith with Smith, India kept faith in Dravid. We need to keep faith in Haddin, he is a really good player but he is just out of form.

    This is not the best XI as a team skills wise but it is the Best XI to build a powerhouse. Ponting, Hussey and Haddin will retire soon leaving Khawaja, Warner and Paine in the team. Then Johnson and Harris are 30+ but we have Hazelwood, Cummins, Copeland, Cutting, Mitch Marsh and so on. We can't drop players just that like that, we need Australia to phase into it.

    Hughes has a lot of time on his side. I mean how long did it take S.Waugh (The guy who a lot of you are raving about) to score a century? 3 years but he was young and that was the same with Taylor. Hughes has time and he will be an elite.

    South Africa just played better. This team did beat SRL at home.

  • rajsri on November 12, 2011, 14:59 GMT

    i am die hard aussie fan, but the perfromance last test match has been lurid. their second innings batting perfromance has been deeply mortifying and whats even more scary is that their bowlers do not know to bowl on flat wickets except harris who was unlucky. Mitchell jhonson is more of a liability than a handfull.Siddle is a lion hearted cricketer very competetive but no skill honed. Australlia should not hesitate to play cummins and copeleand. copeland will bowl an immaculate line and length.Also australlia should do away with hughes and should go with jaques or Chris rogers. i am sure the age factor comes into picture, however till you have your gen next ready you can make use of these old warhorses and by then hughes, khwaja will have a handfull of matches to hone their skills

  • whitesXI on November 12, 2011, 14:40 GMT

    @Nightwing32 - Being a little optomistic aren't you? I don't think this is a chop and change argument, it's more serious than that. The real question is, is this really our best XI? You mentioned that ponting will retire. When? He won't retire until he admits he isn't Aus's best bat anymore. What do we do if he gets a ton in the next game... keep him? If Ponting is so crucial to the team at 37 and woefully out of from, Aus is in real trouble. A proper assessment of the Aus team is required and hopefully will be by our new selectors, but we won't improve until this happens. IMO Haddin goes not just coz he is out of form but coz we can't wait for him to find it, same for Ponting. I still favour Siddle to Copeland (I know many disagree), Johnson however fails too consistently even if he is a match winner when he does get it right. Hughes is a strange case, what's worrying is not that he fails, but that he still hasn't resolved his glaringly obvious weaknesses

  • Biso on November 12, 2011, 14:37 GMT

    @wombat . You seem to have conveniently forgotten the thrashing Vengsarkar's side had given England in England. Even in the series prior to 2011 when Kumble was the skipper England were ordinary in their home conditions. India did bad in 2011 because it was an under-prepared injury ridden team. Period. The same English bowling will look ordinary in India while the Indian seamers will do better than their English counter parts. Do not talk about what has changed. England has been pathetic in the last two decades. It is only in the last five odd years the team has had some real success. The last one day series has again proved that their bowling needs very helpful pitches and conditions. That is the truth.

  • whitesXI on November 12, 2011, 14:19 GMT

    @Gert James - What makes all those moments truly great is the fact they were won by the better team on the day. Brilliant pressure from the Aus players in 99 to force a mistake,and terrific resilience and determination by Duminy and his support in the tail in more recent times. Unfortunately it is because of these tremendous occassions that makes this test so groteque, batsmen throwing away their wickets, a lack of mental toughness across the board, this test was lost by the lesser team. Full credit to SA, but Aus was just wasn't playing like the teams of old.

  • Okakaboka on November 12, 2011, 14:05 GMT

    Geez....What is it with all the bloggers calling for Siddle's head? Oh, it was Siddle's fault we lost....he's a naughty boy! @WhitesXI...is correct..... If you all haven't been keeping up with current events...OUR BATSMEN....errr...bunny rabbits....were the problem...AGAIN! At least Siddle showed some guts and never gave up! Batsman loose tests and it happened again. You could arguably play Siddle as the all-rounder. Johnston is a joke....not a test bowler any more..open your eyes and look at his action. IT IS GONE...end of story. Siddle was the least carted of the bowlers in the second innings....the wicket was more 'road like!' Many of the problems are remnants of the Hilditch era. Wade needs to be flown over now...we cannot put up with old terra cotta gloves any longer.... and he is a rabbit with the bat now. Even Glen Mcgrath looked better. At the end of the day, the only players one could keep from this last test are Watson (batting no. 6), Harris, Siddle, Marsh and Clarke.

  • 30-30-150 on November 12, 2011, 14:01 GMT

    Err.. What are you trying to say 5wombats? Embarrassment? 21/9 is less embarrassing than a 4-0 whitewash? Omg, what is this world coming down to..

  • DalesGuy on November 12, 2011, 13:52 GMT

    @5wombats, after watching the series in 1974, did you stay alive in 1992-93 to watch England's aweful tour of India? Or you were hiding somewhere cozy? If I were you I would be worrying about you Team's forthcoming series in the dessert against exciting Pak.

  • reality_check27 on November 12, 2011, 13:50 GMT

    i stil remember an article in newpapers around the world aout shane warne saying that i am tired of angland making excuses for losing ashes they should just shut up and play cricket that was before 2005 ashes and english fans are commenting about us crying.

  • reality_check27 on November 12, 2011, 13:47 GMT

    5wombats atleast try and beat india in india for a one day series forget about test and then start commenting otherwise your comments are waste of time like clarke's century.

  • Sarangarajan on November 12, 2011, 13:43 GMT

    This Australian team does not have a good opening pair since Hayden /Langer pair. On top of it ,to drop Katich was a blunder. He is one who could have absorbed the tension and fight vigorously scoring runs in a simple and effective way.There is none in this present team apart from Hussey to do that kind of batting to turn the tide.Amazing they drop a guy like Katich in favour of Huges/Watson. No use sending Watson up front. For the Australian team, the trouble begins right at the top with a fragile opening pair. It is going to be very, very difficult for this team to come out of the hole they dug up themselves with their batting.

  • CriticalMay on November 12, 2011, 13:38 GMT

    So what if aus here dismissed for 47. So what if they lost, so what if punter still plays. Every team has a bad day. Sa just got lucky. This is cricket. Every team;s peak ends. I know aussie fans will pained to see their team performing like that. One of the problems with internet is that every now and then an issue and a non issue are being massively commented upon. No matter what. Come on guys Sa got lucky so they won. Thats it, they are passing through a weird patch and it will end soon. Some people are talking about the coach others are blaming the pitch. Take a chill pill.Australia lacks fire power in bowling department, but soon they will have a jam packed pace battery. They used to have lilly and thomo. Then reid alderman and mc dermott. Then mcgrath flemming and warne. Its okay to succumb to pressure. These are humans. Looking forward to see Cummins play the next test. And I still believe that Australia will win the next test. They always comeback. And they will.

  • Aax1m on November 12, 2011, 13:27 GMT

    ‎12 March 2006 at New Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg. Australia scored 434 for 4 off their 50 overs & in reply, South Africa scored 438-9. 9,10,11 November 2011 Played at Newlands, Cape Town, South Africa 236 for 2 (Amla 112, Smith 101*) and 96 (Watson 5-17, Harris 4-33) beat Australia 284 (Clarke 151, Steyn 4-55) and 47 (Philander 5-15, Morkel 3-9) by eight wickets something fish here hmmmm !!

  • streetblader on November 12, 2011, 13:24 GMT

    5wombats... its obvious who is hurting more dude... its obvious, from your comments... you are really trying hard to deny the fact that England, who claim cricket to be their national game are so pathetically dismal at it, that in all these hundreds of years... yes GUNDREDS, their miserable performanc have won them ONE ICC AWARD ONLY... HAHA HA HA HA ... ONE AWARD EVER... tch tch.. ONE AWARD FROM ALL THOSE YEARS OF PLAYING CRICKET... thats ABJECT... ABYSMAL.. ABHORRING.. they have SHAMED their national game... absolutely SHAMED...

  • on November 12, 2011, 13:18 GMT

    Australia is certainly not my favourite side. Not even close. However, this was a freak. Yes, Australia batted very very poorly in the 2nd innings. I doubt anything like that will happen again. Don't forget they led by 188 in the first innings, which means they can bat and bowl. I was Clarke, I would tell the blokes to forget those two days and focus on the next game. Hurting, feeling ashamed doesn't do much for your confidence. Lightening doesn't strike twice. Yes, you played badly, but how badly can you bat to be 21 for 9? It's not going happen for a long, long time to come. If there are lessons to be learnt, learn them and move on. After all Clarke played his best test innings ever in the first innings. Having said all that, I hope they lose again.

  • thewayitwass on November 12, 2011, 13:16 GMT

    venkat_75r- that is a very very good point! Its easy to forget, that while australia was magnificent in the past, they still had the odd collapse, its inevitable sometimes bowlers and conditions dominate, but what australia had was a ferociously determined middle order to bail them out! The number of times gilly came out in crisis and smashed a hundred is the number of slaps accross the head haddin deserves, gilly was aggressive, but never reckless

  • lanka-is-the-best on November 12, 2011, 12:52 GMT

    Im a huge sri lanka fan, and i must say that i wish our players were more like clarke in their atitude. Every time that we lose a series (the past few in fact) Players have been upbeat saying that it okay to get thrashed (like against pakistan yesterday). At least with clarke admiting their mistakes and being severe the problems will be solved. But our captin is saying that, out of no where, we will be the same team we were years ago. I wish the aussies luck in the next match because they have the right atitude.

  • Saksham197 on November 12, 2011, 12:42 GMT

    @5wombats India did not make excuses. Never in any of dhoni's press conferences will you find any excuse for losing. He always maintained in a dignified manner that england was the better side in the given circumstances and they deserved to win. Taking no credit away from england, its fair to say that the team definitely did not perform to their potential. A team with batting stars of the likes of dravid sachin and laxman is definitely not expected to keep regularly folding up like this. Anyhow, everyone is a lion in their own backyard. Its fair to say that england were thoroughly butchered when they came to india for the one day series. When was the last time England won a test or ODI in india? Anyone remembers? People say England went to the top of the rankings by beating teams abroad. Even India beat Australia and SA in tests in their backyard. Their climb to the top has been pretty much similar to India's. Lets see how long they manage to keeo the place.

  • on November 12, 2011, 12:17 GMT

    @5wombats Why r u Dragging India in midst of South Africa Australia encounter.Yes England have played well recently against India and 10 months ago against Australia .Their No 1 Test Ranking are truly acceptable by Every one in the World but they yet to prove their Credential to every Place in the World like Australian side of the last decade.As per comparing with India England not even a dust on foot of India.We won the Two World Cup, You none,You have taken 200 years to be crowned as No 1 test side,England is yet to prove in Subcontinet above all You have taken 16 years to regain Ashes from Australia where India are the only opponenet that tamed the greatest side in the Planet regularly,England were slaughtered when Players like McGrath,Warne, Gilchrist,Hayden ,Waugh Brother around but we had beaten them convincingly .So please dont act smartly on England 2 series crushing Victorie over Champion retired Australia and Injury hit India,Your England will falls on the earth quickly

  • hhillbumper on November 12, 2011, 12:15 GMT

    Just checking that this was a match between Aus and SA.Suddenly we have Tendulkar mentioned in a post and complaints re double standards re sub continental pitches.It is getting a little tiresome that everything seems to have to revolve around Tendulkar.Sooner he gets his ton and goes the better.Now Dravid is a real batsman

  • AnthonyA on November 12, 2011, 12:11 GMT

    I am very disappointed about the Aussie cricket team, all out for 47 is absolutely pathetic in grade cricket, let alone International cricket and I like Clarkie as a player and a captain but if these things continue to happen, we need changes, and plenty of them.

  • on November 12, 2011, 11:53 GMT

    what goes around come around. when the aussie were beating W.I AND having fun when jimmy adams team toured. we were laugh at and made fun of

  • Nightwing32 on November 12, 2011, 11:29 GMT

    @venkat_75r.

    Last time Haddin played a great innings? Brisbane in the Ashes. He and Hussey were the only players in form at that time. Hughes is young and has scored 4 centuries (or 3?). How many players can say they scored two centuries in one match. Hughes is 22, he will become a powerhouse. He scored a century recently for NSW.

    One more thing. PAINE IS INJURED. If he was not injured he would have played in the T-20 matches in SA. Siddle is a great bowler. I would pick him easily over Zaheer and Ishant Sharma. Why? Because he will give it his all, he is a great line and length bowler, a workhorse.

    In regards to Katich. Last time he scored a century was against NZ in Hamilton. He never converted at all.

    @katilya28

    Oh right the same Symonds that went on a fishing trip instead of going to a team meeting. The same Symonds that had a problem in the bar and was told by Clarke to get out. The same Katich that try to strangle Clarke.

    We lost the match. South Africa bounced back great

  • henchart on November 12, 2011, 11:20 GMT

    @murli786: keep dreaming.This illusion ,nay ,delusion of fans like you fuels the moolah which Indian media rakes up by hyping Indian cricketers every time they travel overseas read Aus-Eng - SA.Do you honestly believe bowlers like Praveen Kumar,Ishant ,Umesh Yadav and semi fit Khan taking 20 Aus wickets regularly on Aus grounds?The trio of Tendulkar-Dravid and Laxman is on the wane.Centuries are not flowing but trickling from their willows and it is only natural.How much is their contribution helping India? Recent tests in Lords, Notts ,Edgbaston and Oval were the evidences.It is considered a crime to even suggest that the trio should sit out for few matches and the likes of Kohli,Rahane and Pujara given a chance.Why are these worthies showing their wares against a lowly ranked WI ?One wants his 100 th ton the other some form after having eaten his words in Blighty.Dravid is useful but unsung.Indians ,Get real and pick decent 16 for Aus trip lest another 0-4 hits you hard.

  • 5wombats on November 12, 2011, 10:24 GMT

    @Chithsabesh Sivasankar Bharadwaj - what is this man-love a lot of indian fans have for South Africa cricket? Obviously you are hoping that SA will beat England in England next year so that it will help to cover indias embarrassment. No chance. No chance to cover your embarrassment - which will last for many years. The first time I watched India play Test cricket was 1974 in England. India were awful and lost that series by a whitewash. Nothing much seems to have changed; in England in 2011 india were awful. Abysmal. Their hapless performance cannot be excused. They shamed Test cricket. Embarrassment lasts for many years. Memory lasts longer than 3 months. Each time india fans start crowing they simply remind us of the result 3 months ago. Time to feel the pain of whitewash - not excuse or ignore it as if it didn't happen.

  • venkat_75r on November 12, 2011, 9:54 GMT

    This has happened before. Lot of times there were scores like 60/5 or 90/4 etc. However, they had a gutsy player called Steve Waugh. How many times he had dug in deep and brought them out. These players wanted the easy way out especially Brad Haddin. I really don't remember when was the last time he played a crucial innings. This would have been an idea situation for Adam Gilchrist. It is high time the Aussie selectors look for alternative (wade or Paine). Haddin does not have the technique nor patience. Katich must be laughing out loud after seeing the way Hughes is batting. Hope young Hughes does not become Hick or Mark Ramprakash. Finally it is time to replace Siddle. Just bowling fast without variations or thinking is not going to help anybody.

  • RightArmEverything on November 12, 2011, 9:54 GMT

    NDoug, Watson is a good player but he's nowhere near the calibre that Botham was. He's not 'great', certainly not yet.

  • Nightwing32 on November 12, 2011, 9:24 GMT

    The team is fine. We are not/ we shouldn't change and chop around. This is a good team. The only change we need to make is maybe Siddle for Copeland (Conditions pending). I think Cummins should make his debut at home against NZ. Hughes is a good player, he is only 22. Players hit their prime way later.

    For all of you guys that say Haddin needs to be dropped. They are wrong. 1. Paine is injured 2. He is a better Keeper than Gilchrist was. Not batsman but keeper. The problem is that he followed Gilchrist. He is not Gilchrist at all. He is Brad Haddin. 3. He can bat very well but he is out of form. One innings like Smith had and he'll be full of confidence.

    I like this team. Clarke has been doing great. We can not afford to change and chop otherwise we will go backwards. Ponting will retire and we have Khawaja to replace him, When Hussey goes we have Mitchell Marsh or Dave Warner. When Haddin goes we have Paine. Johnson? Cummins. Lyon is 23.

    We are fine.

  • katilya28 on November 12, 2011, 9:21 GMT

    clarke had it coming. as a captain he does not have the warrior qualities of border,taylor or waugh,nor the team of ponting. he eased put guys like symonds and katich who had stomach for a fight so that his captaincy is unchallenged. smiling and all on field is ok but australians are famous for ruthless skippers and teams. he might be a brainy guy but he does not convey body language of the australian greats of yore.

  • on November 12, 2011, 9:09 GMT

    I am South African. I, for one, have always relished the competitiveness of a SA - Aus test series (or any sort of series for that matter). Between these two teams we have delivered some of the most unforgetable cricketing moments.

    Think back to 99 world cup where Gibbs dropped Waugh, and that sickening run out between Donald and Klusener costing SA the semi.

    Think back to the 438 game. Ponting playing the one day innings of his life only for Gibbs and Smith to take the attack back to Aus and winning the game with 1 ball and 1 wicket to spare.

    Think back to the recent tour down under when SA beat an Australian side in a test series for the first time in 40 years. Duminy and the tail playing the innings of their lives on foreign soil to clinch a test. Fighters.

    And then this recent test.

    I absolutely feel Clarke's pain. He is now in charge of a side with almost no natural match winners. They will always be competitive, but like in this test, can also fail horribly.

  • murli786 on November 12, 2011, 8:50 GMT

    Hey Pup, remember Sydney 2008 when India were 7 balls away from a draw? Go back in time and recollect the hideous ways when you and your team mates bull dozed. It hurt me hard when you guys forgot the ways the game was to be played. It still rankles me and so it to the multitude who follow this magnificent game. What goes around, comes around. Be hurt and try and understand what the meaning and feeling of HURT is. Play the game as it is to be played and dont bull doze your opposition. Beware... India is coming to Down Under and this time we will win. I have followed this game long enough and i recollect the heartbreak in 1978 when we lost the last match at Adelaide for 48 runs and you guys took the series 3-2. Its pay back time

  • diteras on November 12, 2011, 8:32 GMT

    Wwelcome to the real world Australia. This is the place where all glory is fleeting and to be the best you have to work hard, trust to luck and learn humility. I don't know who else is rolling around the state game in Aus, but I would wager that the difference between them and those who took such a thrashing in SA is something which could only be measured in fag papers. Sometimes you have to just say these are the best we have and if they try their best and fail then so be it. The test is how you respond - another root and branch inquiry maybe? Wont change anything. Stop whinging and get on with it.

  • on November 12, 2011, 8:21 GMT

    @ Cric12345au I like your team - I agree that Watson should be brought in further down the order, this would give more confidence to the top order. Marsh and Warner would be good openers and Kwaja at no. 3, I also think Cummins is worth a try.

  • Trapper439 on November 12, 2011, 7:40 GMT

    As an Aussie fan I have to say that this result was a real kick in the guts. I'm disappointed that not a single batsman stood up in that awful 2nd innings. But full credit must be given to the South Africans. They were down by almost 200 runs on the first innings, and they still won easily. What a magnificent effort from them, and the amazing thing for me is that their wonderful comeback wasn't even led by Dale Steyn. Their self-belief must be at astronomical levels right now after that result, and if they don't ride that wave of confidence and absolutely cream us in the 2nd Test then I for one will be quite surprised. I do feel a bit for Clarke. He played what I think was probably the best innings of his career in the 1st innings and subsequently got horribly let down by his teammates. The buck always stops with the captain, but you just can't legislate for that kind of all-round ineptitude, no matter how good a captain you are. Anyway, well done SA. See you in the 2nd Test.

  • smudgeon on November 12, 2011, 7:19 GMT

    Srinivasan Narayanan has it bang on the money.

  • Jack.J on November 12, 2011, 6:37 GMT

    Aussies really need runs from ricky Ponting... he has to fire and also need some fireworks from the top .... problem with watson, he only plays 1 innings in every series he doesn't consistence at all .. they really need person like langer or katich who holds the one end. Talking about bowling its not like scary at all, totally unbalanced side. they really need to perform very hard to get rid off S.A. talking about S.A. really remarkable comeback in the match. Hope for the best for the rest of the match..

  • NDoug on November 12, 2011, 6:37 GMT

    Now is the chance for Australia's new selectors to earn their money, and start selecting players who at least look like test players, or who at least have the technique and mental strength to be able to become so. Namely: Watson- Great player and maybe the equal of Ian Botham, but not an opener, should be number 5 or 6. Hughes-inadequate technique- send him away for a while to tighten things up, even Dave Warner would be a better option. Marsh-a real test player, should open. Usman Khawaja-like Marsh, should be in the side, he's class. Clarke, Hussey, Ponting-ok, but get ready for ponting's successor pretty soon. Haddin-he's lost it, get Tim Paine in, he's a class bat as well. Mitch Johnson- when was the last time he did anything? Was as good as a man short at Newlands and has been so for a while. Too hit and miss, replace him with Cummins. Siddle & Harris-servicable and the best we have right now. Lyon & Beer- they are ok, persist. Aust can be very competitive with these adjustments.

  • on November 12, 2011, 6:09 GMT

    3 or 4 months ago most everyone was criticizing Michael Clarke. 3 or 4 weeks ago he was their new hero ... And now on his back again. Michael Clarke is a remarkable cricketer and human being. I have no doubt that by the time he retires he will be recognized as one of our greatest captains. There is GOOD REASON why Clarke was ear marked to captain Australia at a young age. He is a CLASS ACT. Many of our greatest cricketers from the past 50 years recognized this and gave him the nod. He can and will lift the Australian XI to spectacular victories in the future.

  • whitesXI on November 12, 2011, 5:55 GMT

    @RandyOz -First off, when did Siddle get carted in Sri Lanka? he came in to play one game for the injured Harris and took 5 wickets. Secondly Watto bowled his best figures and Harris cleared up the left overs both in fast fashion, their bowling suited the conditions and played well, while SA threw their wickets away their wasn't time to get wickets for Siddle.As for the second innings Siddle and Johnson took the only wickets (Harris was still the best of the bowlers though). Siddle has played well for the majority and deserves a chance, meanwhile Johnson is failing consistently. Thirdly take into consideration that Siddle batted longer than anyone in the failed innings and backed up to bowl immediately following

  • goodhoot on November 12, 2011, 5:36 GMT

    I hope our cricket team hurts as much as the public hurts and is embarassed as we are.To knock SA over for 96 was a mighty effort by Harris and Watson then to be out for not even half of that total completely undid the good work.Clarke batted & worked hard for that 150 as did Siddle & company who hung around to give the score some respectability.Johnson must go,I've never seen a bowler at test level lose his runup in such amateur style.Next question mark must over bowling coach(McDermott) and batting coach(Langer)although both will sidestep responsibility.As much as I admire Peter Siddle for his workmanship he still is'nt going to run through teams,although he showed some balls with the bat.Patrick Cummins in for the 2nd test,Johnson on the next plane home,let's have some youth and new ideas,the times they are a'changing

  • on November 12, 2011, 5:34 GMT

    I felt sad for Aussies for the first time especially for Clarke and his love for cricket. Real honest speech and committed cricketer. Clarke should get away with sentiments and throw Ponting, Haddin, Johnson and may be Siddle. It will be difficult to rebuild but i truly believe Clarke has the passion to cricket and committed to aus cricket and he will achieve it. This interview is good sign for Aussie to bounce back...However, it all depends upon the Aussie board. Sorry Clarke...what a fine century for loosing cause...all the best.

  • jonesy2 on November 12, 2011, 5:17 GMT

    the fact that the best gulley fielder in the world dropped amla then one of the best slips fielders in the world dropped him and the fact that australia should have but could not bowl south africa out for under 236 is far far far worse than the batting collapse. they were in a winning position yet they didnt want to win the match. 236 was plenty to defend. disgraceful. embarrassing. pathetic.

  • on November 12, 2011, 4:44 GMT

    @5wombats you seem to pull India into every discussion . Well lets wait till next year England will get thrashed by south africa.

  • RandyOZ on November 12, 2011, 4:24 GMT

    I am still questioning the place of Siddle in the team. After getting carted around by England, Zimbabwe and then Sri Lanka, how on earth has he justified a place?On a pitch where Watto got a 5-for he gets 1 wicket. This guy needs to go ASAP. The same goes for Johnson.

  • on November 12, 2011, 4:09 GMT

    @5wombats. england have recently shown how good(?) they were against lesser mortals(spinners) in the shorter version. let's see how do they fare against better spinners in tests. Pakistan and srilanka are waiting.

  • joseyesu on November 12, 2011, 3:57 GMT

    Can't believe it. I checked it in my mobile and my desktop to confirm. Now every batsman has the Sehwag/Gilchrist/Gayle/Dilsan mentality. No more ponting/dravid/Kallis/chanderpaul/Jayawerdene.

  • Lazybones_2011 on November 12, 2011, 3:48 GMT

    I get the feeling there could be more heartbreak for Clarke...if Dale Steyn bowls anything like he did against India last year they would probably test the lowest score again before the end of the series

  • VKPune on November 12, 2011, 3:45 GMT

    Mr Clarke, its very brave for you to say that everyone should be hurt and feel the pain and come out with the typical Ausie spirit in the next game , but frankly speaking , its not about the attitude or intent or fighting spirit of your team , its just that your team is not good enough, you do not have the batsmen like hayden, langer, Martin, ponting(in form), gilchrist and you don't have bowlers like Brett Lee, Mcgrath, Warne, Gillespie, Kasper. So take it easy on yourself, you are going to loose many more games coz believe it or not you are a very average team right now and games are not won solely on the basis of fighting spirit or legacy...you have to show Talent on field and its lacking for sure at the moment.

  • RightArmEverything on November 12, 2011, 3:33 GMT

    A performcance like this always results in people demanding certain players be dropped (usually based on whether they like them rather than form judging from the variety of suggestions here). I think the problem goes deeper than that, it's less to do with the team that was picked than the way they went about it. All the players picked are capable of performing much better and I doubt whether having one or two different guys in would have had a different overall result. Singling out one or two guys when the whole team performed so badly doesn't make a lot of sense. Apart from Clarke and Marsh with the bat and Watson with the ball in the 1st innings nobody stood up. I think it's particularly unfair to single out Hughes, who scored a century in the test before this one in Sri Lanka - I know people will go on about the opposition being weaker then, but still his recent record is better than some others.

  • Cricky1981 on November 12, 2011, 3:31 GMT

    Can't judge a players capability in one match. If you look at the current top players Ricky, Clarke, Hussey averages...... they have enough callibre to take the challenges and play around for Aussies. But, ofcourse it is a team effort that kept Aussies win most of the matches. Come on Ricky........ you are one of the gr8 players (like Sachin, Lara, Kallis and Dravid) who can be a match winner. I am sure Ricky will hit back and plays like a gem in the next test match...........

  • on November 12, 2011, 3:22 GMT

    Australia had no business to lose after that SA 96 in the first innings. The middle phase of second day's play was weird, to put it mildly. More than incisive bowling, it was inept batting that had caused two collapses. No analyst, if he/she is honest and objective, will be able to explain this completely.

    It took a dogged Smith who had a couple of points to prove after the freeze in the World Cup and the silken Amla, the VVS of SA, to ovehaul 236 which loomed like 2360!

    Day 2 and Day 3 looked like Mr Hyde and Dr Jekyll stuff! Not only Australia but even SA needs to look very closely into the 96 debacle which got dwarfed (in a bizarre sense) by the Oz 21 er...47!

    Some have labeled this a great Test match. A few as 'the greatest'. A Test match in which two top ranked teams folded up in about 3 hours and that not due to either fiery, incredible fast bowling or mesmerising spin is more a testimony to how low world class batsmen can dip?

    Ironically, Clarke's brave 151 went in vain!

  • on November 12, 2011, 3:07 GMT

    Lalit - you need to get up to speed with the real world. Hauritz and Paine are both returning from injury.

    If Marsh can come back, from a batting point of view: Marsh Katich Khawaja Clarke Hussey Watson Wade

  • Cricky1981 on November 12, 2011, 2:42 GMT

    It was a lesson that to be learned for aussies....... But, I am sure that they will play a hit back in the next match......... Ricky plays and Aussies Win

  • Wozza-CY on November 12, 2011, 2:37 GMT

    There have been too many days like this for this current player group. In England vs Pakistan, Melbourne vs Sth Africa, recent Ashes & now this. So how many times do you have to experience this type of hurt before you change things? S.Marsh is a good enough example of why it is time for change at test level for oz. He's quite happy to work for his runs with a SR between 30-40 & ramp it up later in his innings. The Egos of Ponting, Watson, Clarke & Haddin won't allow them to bat this like this, even though it may be required from time to time. That's why younger players who respect the situation of the day would fair better than what's currently happening. Khwaja, Paine/Wade would be better options at this stage. Let Watson have some impact at 6. Siddle & Johnson can't play in the one team. It's one or the other IMO. The attack was a lot more effective when there was frugal bowler from one end.

  • bismoy on November 12, 2011, 2:09 GMT

    This test again prove why sachin is far far far better batman than likes of pointing...who basically scores heaps and heaps of runs in Australia batting pitches...give him spin or swing ,he plays like a school cricketer.

  • rahulcricket007 on November 12, 2011, 1:58 GMT

    @5WOMBATS . I M WAITING FOR THE IND-ENG SERIES NEXT YEAR . SAME TYPE OF WHITEWASH IS WAITING YOU MY DEAR .

  • on November 12, 2011, 1:56 GMT

    Let's all hope that this disaster doesn't negatively affect the way Clarke captains and plays. For the first 3 1/2 tests of his captaincy he had done everything right: positive, imaginative captaincy, personal batting of the highest order, and a series won in Sri Lanka.

    Being bowled out for 47 was as much a result of a negative mindset by the Australian batsmen, as great bowling by South Africa and a helpful pitch. Australia didn't apply themselves in the 2nd innings, thinking that they had the match won and that the pitch was unplayable.

    What Clarke needed to do was tell his batters that: 1. We can still lose this. Play like the scores are level. We need to set a target of at least 450. 2. The pitch is good for batting. You bowled out SA for 96, the pitch didn't get them out.

    Hopefully he learns from this. He is probably the most imaginative captain Australia have had since Mark Taylor and will go far, if this doesn't affect him.

  • pj3000 on November 12, 2011, 1:19 GMT

    I wouldn't lose too much sleep over scoring 47. A once-in-a-century occurrence: Plus, Aus knocked SA over for 96 on the same deck, suggesting there must been something out-of-the-ordinary about the wicket. The result of this game, however, doesn't change the fact, that our selection policies have become increasingly bizarre in post-Warne/McGrath/Gilly/Haydos era. Here's hoping the new selectors start picking batsman with Test match standard techniques, quicks with the ticker to go all day and a spinner who knows his role - and knows he's not going to get punted after a poor Test match or two.

  • on November 12, 2011, 1:11 GMT

    @Roger C. With all due respects... what a stupid comment. Ponting at his best could have taken on any attack from any era. Kallis has scored runs on every surface in all conditions throughout a stellar career. Do you even watch much cricket?

  • number-09 on November 12, 2011, 0:57 GMT

    Who said it was a bad pitch?

  • Mary_786 on November 12, 2011, 0:56 GMT

    Drop Hughes and bring in Khawaja, Hughes is exposing our entire top order with his batting.

  • Mary_786 on November 12, 2011, 0:54 GMT

    Agree with RogerC, ponting is very lucky to have made his runs in an era when fast bowlinng stocks were down, this test showed he wouldn't have fared well against the likes of Ambrose, Akram and Walsh

  • on November 12, 2011, 0:03 GMT

    Time to swallow some pride and admit getting rid of Katich was a mistake. No other team in the world would dump its most reliable batsman to inject new blood. I'm a big fan of Hughes, but at some point Test form has to count for something. What's particularly sad is the decline in the staying power of a class batsman like Ricky Ponting. I hope he makes runs soon, because he's not looking pretty to watch. Quality right-arm swing bowlers like Sharma, Steyne and Anderson make him look about as sharp as a baby spoon and capable off-spinners like Harbhajan also seem to have the edge over him. As I said, it's disappointing -- he will go down as an all-time great. I'd love to see him go out with a few hundreds.

  • RogerC on November 11, 2011, 23:47 GMT

    This test showed the true class of Ponting and Kallis. Now I can imagine how they would have fared against the West Indies of 70s and 80s.

  • Cric12345au on November 11, 2011, 23:19 GMT

    Isn't it so obvious? i don't care what anybody says-PONTING, HUGHES AND HADDIN HAS TO GO.MY AUS XI- WARNER MARSH KHAWAJA HUSSEY CLARKE(C) WATSON WADE(WK) JOHNSON HARRIS CUMMINS LYON

  • on November 11, 2011, 22:20 GMT

    Great Test match. My foot. It is a joke of a Test match. 20/20 is really killing Test matches. Batsman with 20/20 attitude falliong like nine pins in test matches. This will write obituary for Test matches

  • on November 11, 2011, 21:50 GMT

    @CricFan78 The subcontinental pitches get slated because when scores like this happen, because in most cases it's the bounce of the ball off the pitch that makes deliveries unplayable. In one over you can see 6 identical deliveries and one will stay low, one will bounce normally, one will balloon up, one will go straight, one left and one right. The CT surface had none of that uncertainty - the bounce was consistent and there was no extravagant movement off the pitch - while there's no denying the pitch was giving the bowlers some assistance, those collapses were the result of disciplined attacking bowling and some very poor shot selection. The simple fact that there were 3 fluent centuries made on either side of that 19 wicket middle session on day 2 should tell anyone that the pitch is not the minefield the scores suggested.

  • svkguna on November 11, 2011, 20:43 GMT

    If Australia/ S.Africa, fold out for less than 100 runs in a test match, then people say its "Great game" and exhibition of Seam/Swing bowling. Whereas, if any sub-continent teams did the same, its lack of batting-technique. Common Guys, Grow-up

  • ansram on November 11, 2011, 20:11 GMT

    Too much limited overs cricket has made even top batsmen highly vulnerable against good swing and pace bowling under bowler friendly conditions, as India found out in England. When the going is tough, you at least try to hold fort through patient scoring which was completely lacking. It is not uncommon for teams to slip to 15/4 but then there is usually some spirited defence that lifts them to a more decent score. An odd collapse like 96 all out is ok, but 47 allout and 21/9 at one stage? Come on, this is outrageously mediocre.

  • mahjut on November 11, 2011, 20:06 GMT

    I like sub-continent pitches - i always have - any pitch that gets results is ok by me. However, i don't think there is a comparison ... here the collapse happened in a middle day and the pitch was universally deemed not the problem (and the batting in the final innings probably proved that to be the case). This debacle - or spectacle - was a culmination of things, lack of preparation being one while another, to state the obvious, was some absolutely dire batting and some pretty good bowling on day two, I've only seen highlights but the ball was NOT doing THAT much when the aussies bowled (SA just had their usual implosion that occurs at least once a series ... the usual collective shut down after Smith and Kallis are out in quick succession) and the aussie batting was ... well, you saw it - need i add an adjective?

  • on November 11, 2011, 19:57 GMT

    Does anybody get the feeling that in all this Pup is all about too much rhetoric, and less sincerity?

  • on November 11, 2011, 19:57 GMT

    Punter needs to open ;)..............

  • on November 11, 2011, 19:48 GMT

    Its not about losing a test match that should be bother Oz but the way they lost it that makes the cricket lovers sick in the stomach. Aussies lost the mental battle with themselves more than anything else.. Border, Mark Taylor, Steve Waugh and Ponting had probably best of the talent in world cricket at their disposal which made them invincible for close to 15 years...unfortunately pup doesnt have the same talent for him to work with..and Clarke himself has not established himself as a resource that Oz needs...as a genuine cricket lover from India it pains me to see the great sporting nation go down so fast...I still remember the Hobat test when Langer and Gilchrist ripped of a rare test voctory from Pak which has Waqar Wasim and Shoaib in attack...Oz should go scount for the tanet and persist...and let pup be full in charge...most of all..Ponting..mate..you need to get out and retire..u r no sachin to make a comeback..it needs humility..

  • InnocentGuy on November 11, 2011, 19:19 GMT

    I'm still disappointed that Australia managed to better the lowest ever Test innings score. Terrible bowling from SA - to let Aus get to 47 from 21 for 9. Say 23 all out would have been outstanding. I could then have said even the Bangladesh U-16 women's hockey team would have scored more runs than Australia did :D

  • on November 11, 2011, 19:02 GMT

    This isnt finish .......pup is good captain and a player..........may be this match will be turning point of his career........he will lead his team with new approach ......and i hope this test would be forgotten .......

  • CricFan78 on November 11, 2011, 18:55 GMT

    Amazing how 23 wkts in single day in sub-continent makes it a bad pitch whereas same happening elsewhere makes it a great Test match. I absolutely loved this Test but pointing out the hypocrisy of fans, boards and journalists from certain countries, which has truly reached amazing heights now.

  • Winsome on November 11, 2011, 18:30 GMT

    Certain players are untouchable so they can't be dropped. It will have to be a bowler. Of course. Unless Marsh is injured then they can parade that they are making some sort of change.

  • on November 11, 2011, 18:28 GMT

    I guess truely speaking this was a success of bowlers over batters. I loved it and hope to see more in next match . south African trio is very good and sub hundred score is more likely coz this innings will haunt the oz badly . may the bowlers win again .

  • shailbuch on November 11, 2011, 18:16 GMT

    I think Clarke talks A LOT... Wonder if its gonna help anyone..

  • on November 11, 2011, 18:10 GMT

    If Australia want Watson to bowl, he has to bat down the order. Time for Ponting to open the innings and save his place by scoring good runs. The injury of Marsh was bad luck. Badly missing Katich. Johnson will be dropped for the 2nd test. Hauritz must come back. Paine must play as keeper. Hughes must respond to the critics. I would be highly disapppointed if i have to see a "FORCED" RETIREMENT OF PONTING after this series.

  • on November 11, 2011, 18:02 GMT

    A disgraceful performance. They were in the driver's seat after the first innings and just shamelessly gave it all away. I went away for breakfast after SA were all out and couldn't believe what I saw upon returning two hours later. If there is not a major improvement in the next test, heads must definitely roll

  • Pablo123 on November 11, 2011, 17:49 GMT

    Pup takes it on the chin.... it was a big smack by SA, but he's man enough to know it was Aussies fault this....

  • PPD123 on November 11, 2011, 17:47 GMT

    Had India/a team from the sub continent been shot out for 96 or 47, there would be news all over of how they can face swing and pace, now that SA and Aus are the teams involved, the same folks are talking about what an amazing test match this was. Seems like the heights of hypocrisy. Fact is no batsmen like to face good, consistent pace and swing. We have seen this time and again. Be it Kallis or Ponting. They all struggle.

  • BnH1985Fan on November 11, 2011, 17:43 GMT

    So I wonder how Katcih is feeling at this moment? Did the Aussies miss his bat? I do think so

  • InnocentGuy on November 11, 2011, 17:38 GMT

    I'm still disappointed Australia averted crashing out below 26. I mean from 21 for 9, how could SA allow them to get to 47? Nathan Lyon gets 14?!! That's the equivalent of a Hussey double century. Just terrible bowling from the Saffers. Say, 23 all out would have been spectacular. I think even Bangladesh under-16 women's team would have scored more than that :D

  • aaamsaasza on November 11, 2011, 17:34 GMT

    Three centuries and 32 wickets in less than three days. It is worse than a fixed encounter. I think the whole Australian 2nd inning can be summarized by a formula...... A11 + OC188 = 47D. The breakdown of this formula is 11 Australian players + Over Confidence with 188 runs lead = 47 all out DISASTER. One nation will be more happy than South Africa. And it is Bangladesh since they were holding the title of "Over Confidence" ever since they were drafted into test cricket. Well done Australian team for beating Bangladesh team by a huge margin. In my opinion the man of the match award should be shared jointly by Mike Hussey and Brad Haddin for being able to get out on the deliveries which were sent to complete the counting in the over.

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on November 11, 2011, 17:13 GMT

    The most humiliating cricket match for any team that I've seen in my lifetime. Australia have gone from being a laughing stock, to being on the verge of being committed to a mental institution. What an utter embarrassment for any followers of Australian cricket.

  • Aussasinator on November 11, 2011, 17:13 GMT

    One suspects the only Australian with a smile on his face would be Ricky Ponting! The reason is not difficult to guess!

  • cheguramana on November 11, 2011, 16:55 GMT

    Clarke has really grown as a batsman and leader. Great performance in the first innings! Bad luck tho, one man just cannot win a match in this game!

  • 5wombats on November 11, 2011, 16:35 GMT

    This is what Mediocrity is like. After the 4-0 whitewash England inflicted on india 3 months ago india knows all about Mediocrity. It's supposed to be painful. It is not there to be excused. No Australian made any excuses after England comprehensively beat them in Australia 9 months ago, and looking across the cricinfo conversations I don't see any Aussies making excuses now = huge credit. This is why Australia are such worthy opponents - they never make excuses. The Aussies will get back up off the canvas and go back in swinging. There's no disgrace in being beaten by the better side. That's sport. But making a million excuses for a defeat, especially a Test 4-0 whitewash defeat; trying to pretend that the result doesn't count, or isn't fair, or some other rubbish - that is graceless and should be condemned and ridiculed. To be fair - Clarke isn't attempting to do this, and I don't think he would get away with it even if he wanted to.

  • SnowSnake on November 11, 2011, 16:29 GMT

    Mr. Clarke. No worries. India lost the first match against SA where they scored around 150 and then went on to win the second match. A turn around is possible. Besides you scored a century in first innings, so a turn around is possible. Consider 2nd day of 1st test as an aberration and move on. While there are some problems with Australia batting line up, nothing can be done until this series is over. There will be a time for reflection. Currently, Ponting, Watson and Hussey have to lift their game.

  • CRIC89 on November 11, 2011, 16:26 GMT

    Those words of Clarke will be a good lesson for Thilakarathne Dilshan whose team is currently making some ugly batting performances.

  • on November 11, 2011, 16:23 GMT

    After reading this, for the first time in my life, I feel sad for the Aussies.

  • on November 11, 2011, 16:09 GMT

    Wondering if Aus should try Khawaja. He has been kept in the back benches for far too long. Would Australia have the guts to drop Ponting and play Khawaja in the second test? There are bound to be a few changes in the bowling department with some youngster getting a look in. But it would be interesting to see where Ponting goes from here.

  • on November 11, 2011, 15:32 GMT

    Johnson and Siddle were average compared to SA team...Johnson should go...

  • Samdanh on November 11, 2011, 15:31 GMT

    Make changes. Bring Simon Katich in place of Shaun Marsh, if Shaun is injured and cannot play in the 2nd Test. If Haddin does not improve, relegate him to 20:20 after this series. Move Watson lower down. He can be very productive and useful down the order. I do not see any need to fiddle with the bowling line up, except rest Johnson after this series if he does not show improved performance in the 2nd Test Aus team will show great character if they were to win the next one and square the series. Ponting and Hussey should be retained till they leave on their own, as Aus needs solidity of experience during this phase of rebuilding. Cheer up Australia.

  • vamanan on November 11, 2011, 15:23 GMT

    Clarke is brutally honest. In the post match presentation, he mentioned that his century was waste of time, since it didn't help his team to win. How many modern day cricketers are there now with this attitude? We could finish the counting in one hand. 9/21 - Did we read AUS scorecard? Yes, the reality. SA had unleashed its bowling power by forcing the batsmen to make mistakes.

  • on November 11, 2011, 15:22 GMT

    If australia make a comeback in the second test that would be a remarkable achievement.ALL THE BEST...................KANGAROOS.

  • on November 11, 2011, 15:21 GMT

    Australia must regroup . After all South Africa were in the same position in the series against England . They dominated the first test . But ended up being outplayed in the second. The same thing happened when India went there . So its not over yet

  • Srini_Indian on November 11, 2011, 14:59 GMT

    What a joke, one of the best Test matches? The quality of cricket was pretty poor and both teams sitting ducks against swinging ball. So much for brought up in swinging and seaming conditions!!!

  • on November 11, 2011, 14:59 GMT

    I was there. Strangest test I have have ever seen

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  • on November 11, 2011, 14:59 GMT

    I was there. Strangest test I have have ever seen

  • Srini_Indian on November 11, 2011, 14:59 GMT

    What a joke, one of the best Test matches? The quality of cricket was pretty poor and both teams sitting ducks against swinging ball. So much for brought up in swinging and seaming conditions!!!

  • on November 11, 2011, 15:21 GMT

    Australia must regroup . After all South Africa were in the same position in the series against England . They dominated the first test . But ended up being outplayed in the second. The same thing happened when India went there . So its not over yet

  • on November 11, 2011, 15:22 GMT

    If australia make a comeback in the second test that would be a remarkable achievement.ALL THE BEST...................KANGAROOS.

  • vamanan on November 11, 2011, 15:23 GMT

    Clarke is brutally honest. In the post match presentation, he mentioned that his century was waste of time, since it didn't help his team to win. How many modern day cricketers are there now with this attitude? We could finish the counting in one hand. 9/21 - Did we read AUS scorecard? Yes, the reality. SA had unleashed its bowling power by forcing the batsmen to make mistakes.

  • Samdanh on November 11, 2011, 15:31 GMT

    Make changes. Bring Simon Katich in place of Shaun Marsh, if Shaun is injured and cannot play in the 2nd Test. If Haddin does not improve, relegate him to 20:20 after this series. Move Watson lower down. He can be very productive and useful down the order. I do not see any need to fiddle with the bowling line up, except rest Johnson after this series if he does not show improved performance in the 2nd Test Aus team will show great character if they were to win the next one and square the series. Ponting and Hussey should be retained till they leave on their own, as Aus needs solidity of experience during this phase of rebuilding. Cheer up Australia.

  • on November 11, 2011, 15:32 GMT

    Johnson and Siddle were average compared to SA team...Johnson should go...

  • on November 11, 2011, 16:09 GMT

    Wondering if Aus should try Khawaja. He has been kept in the back benches for far too long. Would Australia have the guts to drop Ponting and play Khawaja in the second test? There are bound to be a few changes in the bowling department with some youngster getting a look in. But it would be interesting to see where Ponting goes from here.

  • on November 11, 2011, 16:23 GMT

    After reading this, for the first time in my life, I feel sad for the Aussies.

  • CRIC89 on November 11, 2011, 16:26 GMT

    Those words of Clarke will be a good lesson for Thilakarathne Dilshan whose team is currently making some ugly batting performances.