Australia in South Africa 2011-12

Healy says Haddin's keeping is "substandard"

Brydon Coverdale

November 17, 2011

Comments: 57 | Text size: A | A

Brad Haddin prepares to throw, Sri Lanka v Australia, 1st Test, Galle, 3rd day, September 2, 2011
Ian Healy said Brad Haddin's keeping was poor on the tour of Sri Lanka too © Associated Press
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Brad Haddin has been under fire for his batting on the tour of South Africa but now Ian Healy, the former Australia wicketkeeper, has delivered a stinging attack on Haddin's glovework. Healy said Haddin's work behind the stumps had been "substandard" in Sri Lanka and South Africa, although he said he believed Haddin was still the best man for Australia's wicketkeeping position.

The criticism will come as a surprise to Haddin, who earlier this week said he was very happy with his keeping and that it had "felt good for a while now". On the first day at the Wanderers, Haddin let through two sets of four byes, although both were difficult takes that required him to dive down the leg side off the fast bowling of Pat Cummins.

"I think his [Haddin's] performances have been substandard and not good enough in the last two tours," Healy told the Sydney Morning Herald. "He's definitely under pressure but I'm comfortable with the pressure he is under because I think he should be feeling that. I think he is the No.1 in the country to do the job but for some reason it's not coming out in his play.

"His footwork, sharpness and crispness are nowhere near what an Australia wicketkeeper's should be and that really surprised me. I was disappointed to see his form in Sri Lanka when he had [former wicketkeepers] Steve Rixon and Tim Nielsen both over there. His form looked very lethargic, and that happens because of one of two things: you're nervous or you're lazy. Only those closest to the arena would know which one it is."

Haddin did himself no favours with his strokeplay during the first Test in Cape Town, where in both innings he flashed irresponsibly outside off and edged, to gully on the first day and to the wicketkeeper on the second. His choice to back away and slash hard in the second innings when Australia were 18 for 5 was especially reckless from a senior player.

The Victoria wicketkeeper Matthew Wade brought up another century in a one-day game on Wednesday and has continued to push his case to take over from Haddin, while Tasmania's Tim Paine remains injured. However, Healy said there was no "automatic apparent" to replace Haddin, who he believed should remain in the Test side in the immediate future.

"He's got to work out immediately why his form with the gloves is down and find the remedy and get it going. I still think he's the No.1 in the country but we don't tolerate underperformance for very long. It's all about performance. If anyone in that team right now is underperforming they're under the gun. Australian cricket has to get back to a performance culture."

At training on Wednesday, Haddin spent plenty of time in the middle working on his glovework and chatting to John Inverarity, the new national selector. Inverarity's panel will soon need to choose a squad to take on New Zealand in the upcoming two-Test series, which begins on December 1.

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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Posted by Blackbreath666 on (November 19, 2011, 23:53 GMT)

Ideal line-up wld be Watson,Hughes,Ponting,S.Marsh/U.Khawaja,Clarke,Mike Hussey,Haddin or Wade,Harris,Johnson or Bollinger,Lyon,Cummins

Posted by bobmartin on (November 19, 2011, 21:27 GMT)

Healy says "His form looked very lethargic, and that happens because of one of two things: you're nervous or you're lazy. Only those closest to the arena would know which one it is."

One other thing he might have mentioned is that maybe Haddin just isn't very good. Some batsmen can become good keepers, but others will never be anything other than just above average. Unfortunately if you are not on top of your game with the gloves and don't perform with the bat, in the modern game you are a liability.

Posted by   on (November 19, 2011, 12:17 GMT)

I think Australia need to give Ponting one final chance but put him at number 3 as this is where he has scored most of his runs. I felt moving Kawaja at number 3 for this current test was suprising and felt should of batted at number 6. Australia do need to work out what role Watson is to have in the team as he cant open the batting and bowl 10-15 overs a day in a test. I think Michael Clarke should be batting at 5 and Hussey at 4 and Marsh should open the batting with Katitch or Warner. Haddins keeping hasnt been the best but never was and I think Australia need to look at bringing in a possible replacement in the next 18 months. Johnson is unreliable and isnt getting the control of the wickets to warrant his place in the side. Its nice he scores 38 runs but his main job is to take wickets and he's not doing that.My team would be...

Marsh Warner/Katich Ponting Hussey Clarke(c) Watson Haddin (Wkt) for the time being Harris Siddle Cummings Lyon

Posted by Meety on (November 19, 2011, 11:20 GMT)

@MenFromMarts - Gilchrest's WICKET KEEPING was very average. He was a great Keeper/BATSMAN. My reference to Healy was purely keeping, by allround I meant up to the stumps & back to the quicks. Obviously when batting is factored in Gilly was miles ahead! @TheLoneStranger - its an interesting story for what wasn't said. Healy said Haddin is the best man for the job, so where is Paine & Wade & co in his thinking? Who would be Haddin's replacement should he retire? I'd rather hear him speak about these things than bag Haddin. @diteras - Bairstow & Davies whoevers, wouldn't even make into our state teams as keeper batsmen. Our keeping standards are way better than you think. Some states may take them on as a batsmen, but that is it!

Posted by diteras on (November 19, 2011, 8:44 GMT)

substandard but still the best man for the job? Really? Well England seem to be replete with wicket keeper batsmen at the moment - maybe we could lend you one to put you on for a year - Bairstow or Davies?

Posted by Dismayed on (November 19, 2011, 5:51 GMT)

Time for complete overhaul of the side. Keeper must be changed, Ponting must retire.Watson should drop down the order S.Marsh should be made to play domestically for lengthy period to prove fitness.Warner should play all forms and given an extended opportunity. Pick 5 batsmen, 2 allrounders a keeper and 3 bowlers.

Posted by Behind_the_bowlers_arm on (November 18, 2011, 17:21 GMT)

This A Team squad that has been picked by the new selection board shows their thinking. I hope. Matthew Wade to play at Brisbane in the First Test against NZ. Haddin has gone at 34 and the lesson should be learnt by the selection that waited til Gilchrist was 28 before getting rid of some bloke called Healy. Who also was past his sell by date by then. I think Mr Inverarity is preparing for a conversation with Ponting as well. Hopefully he'll be given the nod and be offered the chance to retire rather than be dropped. Either way i dont think he'll play at Brisbane either.

Posted by TheLoneStranger on (November 18, 2011, 13:39 GMT)

I think Healy's comments are off the mark. He can't have his cake and eat it too. If Haddin's keeping has been that bad, then Healy should be advocating his replacement as soon as possible. However, what a waste of time and money flying Warner over, then not playing him. Ponting, picked yet again because he's "one of the boys", was an abject failure yet again. Warner should have replaced him for this test. More fools the selectors!

Posted by Aussierise on (November 18, 2011, 13:35 GMT)

The big question selectors have simply got to ask is.....Will Haddin be the keeper for ASHES 2013? I would say almost certainly not so time for him to retire after New Zealand/India summer so that Paine or Wade have 12-18 months in the job before ASHES. Personally I would love to see them throw Hartley the gloves...I think he is superfit and solid....plus a left hander for mix up. I would also like to see aussies role dice with punter....he is almost done and dusted so why not role the dice aka justing langer and let him open the batting as a final opportunity to prove any worth. An opening partnership of Punter and Marsh would not be the worst....as it would allow watson to drop to 4 or 5. Clarke as captain needs to man up and bat 3....he is the leader and best batsman we have atm and thsi is why he is Captain....to lead from the front when things hit the fan. We will need him at 3 in 2013 ASHES.

Posted by   on (November 18, 2011, 12:47 GMT)

why are all these negetive comments coming out of people. we need good players are the monment and we aren;t going thier. bring back warnie or mcgrath australia u r the besht in the world.

Posted by AdamDthecricketer on (November 18, 2011, 10:36 GMT)

It is simple for Haddin make runs or Wade is in.

Posted by   on (November 18, 2011, 10:17 GMT)

I recall Gilly said he knew is time had come when he saw Healy drop a pie, he also knew his time was done when in a game he dropped a pie. I wonder what Gilly views would be on some of missed opportunities that have come Haddin's way recently that haven't been taken. Tim Paine has shown he is a far better wicket keeper than Haddin. It is being said that Wade is a pretty good gloveman. Gilly stands head and shoulders above all other wicket keeper batsman and while the Aussies keep on looking for the next Gillchrist, in the meantime it would be best just go with the best wicket keeper available. (We've waiting for the next Bradman for years and so it will be with McGrath, Warne & Gillchrist.)

Posted by MenFromMarts on (November 18, 2011, 10:16 GMT)

@ Meety was Adam Gilchrist not around in your lifetime? Anyway - Tom Triffitt is the go - let's give Tom a baggy green. Just his name has the sound of a grizzled old salty Aussie keeper. Old Tom Triffitt.

Posted by noorbj on (November 18, 2011, 9:59 GMT)

healy was good........no reason to critize HADDIN he is doing well

Posted by hassan13 on (November 18, 2011, 9:14 GMT)

get tim paine in there! He has always looked ssolid in the test arena. Keep haddin for odis to maintain balance.

Posted by dsig3 on (November 18, 2011, 8:19 GMT)

I cant stand Haddin, but Healy is a joke. Good keeper, thats about it. Should stick to his media day job.

Posted by Meety on (November 18, 2011, 6:39 GMT)

@bobagorof - I agree that Healy was the best all round keeper in my time. I remember quite a bit of Marsh diving horizontal to the ground taking one handers off Lillee & Co, but he was clueless, (comparably) up to the stumps. Rixon was good close to the stumps, & then there was Zoeherer & Phillips who were sort of the toe in the water to having a keeper who was an allrounder.

Posted by Meety on (November 18, 2011, 6:35 GMT)

@smudgeon - re: Healy v Haddin in batting, I'd have to disagree. Whilst Healy played his test during the WIndies era (& Pakistans W & W) - I think Healy was guilty of throwing his wicket away, often getting racy 20s & 30s. He annoyed me that much I was wanting Zoeherer back in the side! He knuckled down a fair bit in the middle of his career. Haddin's century against the Poms at the GABBA was not "one speed" he had to work his way thru some good bowling on the 3rd morning & it wasn't until around Lunch time that he started to counter attack. I think most of Haddin's best knocks have been controlled innings (ODIs inc). I would say he was definately a better batsmen, but Healy is the best keeper to play for Oz in my life time.

Posted by jonesy2 on (November 18, 2011, 5:57 GMT)

i think healy is referring to his keeping up at the stumps which has been dodgy by he remains the best keeper in the world to fast bowlers. still there is a strange situation with hads out of form but paine injured for an unknown amount of time so what do they do? because even if wade came in, when paine recovers he would be brought in. not really fair on either haddin or wade

Posted by   on (November 18, 2011, 3:12 GMT)

I suspect if Paine was fit the selectors would pick him over Haddin in a second. I also suspect if Paine didn't exist at all, Wade would have replaced Haddin. The problem seems to be that they really want Paine as their long term keeper, and if they pick Wade now that might make it harder to get Paine in there long term.

And MichaelBevan, Luke Ronchi isn't even picked as the first keeper for WA anymore, which is sad, but ultimately reflects accurately on a player who promised a lot more than he delivered.

Posted by Stevo_ on (November 18, 2011, 2:56 GMT)

Don't care how he looks, as long as he doesn't drop any catches. Don't remember any drops in recent history ?

Posted by unregisteredalien on (November 18, 2011, 2:35 GMT)

bobagorof, I agree with every word!

Posted by CustomKid on (November 18, 2011, 2:10 GMT)

Good call heals. For me it's time for Haddin to move on. It's unfortunate that he's seen as a Gilly's replacement and was always on a hiding to nothing.

At the midway point of last summer Ashes series, Haddin had dropped more than he caught going in to the Perth test! His batting however was very good. Now though he's all at sea. It is the key role on the field and he sets the standard right now he's horrid.

The most glaring thing for me was when we lost the ashes in the UK last tour. Haddin was out injured and Graham Manou replaced him for 1 or 2 matches. It was amazing seeing the difference between the two. Manou's glove work was absolutely stunning, silky smooth. Unfortunately his batting ability just wasn't up to scratch, but he made Haddin look amateur in comparison.

I'd take a silky smooth gloveman over a good bat and average gloveman any day. Time for Tim 'The House of" Payne to get back in the side.

Posted by   on (November 18, 2011, 1:58 GMT)

bobagorof has it 100% spot on (though Gilly was more than serviceable). Haddin has always been serviceable with the gloves but was the best keeper/batsman where he brought more with the bat. If he's not doing the latter then it's time to give the young Vic making runs a go. Also the Australian batting line-up doesn't protect the number 7 like it used to and that batsman needs to be able to dig in sometimes too, which is also where I think Haddin falls short. Should be his last Test.

Posted by D.V.C. on (November 18, 2011, 1:43 GMT)

I'm a New South Welshman, and I want Wade in the side. We don't need an attacking player at 7 at the moment, we need someone solid and dependable and I believe Wade is it. Haddin's keeping was never the best part of his game, and if he's not batting well then there are other keepers who can replace him. Give Wade his chance.

Posted by GerardB on (November 18, 2011, 1:37 GMT)

Matthew Wade, come on down.

Posted by smudgeon on (November 18, 2011, 1:25 GMT)

Actually, Eswar, on batting I would pick Healy over Haddin. Healy was a very reliable lower-order bat, always contibuting, and occasionally in a big way - particularly in the second half of his career. He mightn't have had the batting credentials Haddin has, but if I was picking between them to bat for my life, I'd go with Healy. Grossly under-rated as a batsman. To me, Haddin is a one-speed batsmen who has too much faith in his own ability (highlighted by his recent comment about not changing his game). He's played some soild and important knocks at international level, but far too often he's out playing rash shots.

Posted by MichaelBevan on (November 18, 2011, 0:46 GMT)

Luke Ronchi anyone? Good keeper, quality batsman. At least should be considered for ODI's and T20's if not Test Matches as well.

Posted by Favell on (November 18, 2011, 0:10 GMT)

Haddin has always been tidy but not spectacular behind the stumps. But he's had a couple of shockers and most of the Aussie keepers I've seen over 50 years of watching have never had those. His batting, however, has never been as impressive to me as it has been to his admirers - especially those from NSW and commentators especially. Haddin always seems to get out to a rash stroke. He always gives bowlers a chance and has never been reliable with the bat...flashy at times, very occasionally brilliant. If Tim Paine had not been injured I think he'd have been in the side for the SA series, if not, the next. I wouldn't wait for Paine, but I'd give Wade a chance in the meantime. The future is not Haddin.

Posted by   on (November 17, 2011, 23:38 GMT)

Brad Haddin, the Kamran Akmal of Australian cricket? Really?!? Australia have been spoilt by a long line of exceptional and long-serving wicketkeepers over the past 60 years or so running from Grout to Gilchrist. At the moment there is a gap, just like there was one in the 1980s after the retirement of Rod Marsh, when there is not a world class keeper ready to take over the gloves. It is not fair to blame Haddin for not being a Grout, Marsh, Healy or Gilchrist and to do him justice, he is a far better keeper than some that held the position during the 1980s...

Posted by smudgeon on (November 17, 2011, 22:56 GMT)

The reality is that in the last 10-15 years, the role of the keeper has evolved from a pure specialist to more of an all-rounder: a good batsman who can pull on the gloves without letting too many byes past. If Haddin isn't performing with the bat, and his keeping is getting shoddier, then why is he still there? We could definitely do with a solid batsman in the lower order right now.

Posted by RightArmEverything on (November 17, 2011, 22:54 GMT)

I think unless your keeper is an exceptional and game-changing batsman like Gilchrist (although you still have to be up to test standard behind the stumps) you should always pick your best keeper. It gives the bowlers and fielders and captain confidence.

Posted by   on (November 17, 2011, 22:52 GMT)

I agree with ElPhenomeno, Haddin's glovework is no worse than the rest of the keepers in the game. However, it still doesn't excuse the fact that if a better Australian gloveman is out there, performing better both behind the stumps and in front of them, then he needs to be given a shot. A 'performance culture' is the best way forward for this Australian team, and proof is out there to support this. Ponting has underperformed for ages, and his continued selection in the team has meant a hole in the middle order. Selecting Cummins on the other hand has yielded benefits - we have found a genuine new bowling option. Haddin needs to find form or get out.

Posted by GrumbleTr on (November 17, 2011, 22:41 GMT)

Healy is right. Haddin is gone with his batting and his keeping is falling apart too. Had Tim Paine not broken his finger I believe Haddin would be out of the ODI and test side already.

Posted by bobagorof on (November 17, 2011, 22:37 GMT)

Haddin has never been great behind the stumps, but he has been serviceable. He's dropped some catches he should have taken, though, and let some byes through. Having said that, Gilly wasn't the best keeper either - but he did manage to take some spectacular catches every now and then. Healy was the best Aussie keeper I've watched, but I didn't see anyone prior to him. As for Haddin, because he's only serviceable (rather than great or sublime) he needs to bring something else to the team, to stay ahead of his competition. In his case, it is runs with the bat. However, the runs have dried up of late, which makes him a liability. His temperament in the field is also questionable, with a few incidents in recent years. So, fair call that his position should be under threat. As for Healy's comments, I don't understand how a keeper can say 'he's not performing but let's keep him in'. That line of thinking is why the Aussie team has slipped down the rankings in the last few years.

Posted by SnowSnake on (November 17, 2011, 22:37 GMT)

Since cricket keeps on undergoing change, how about playing it like American football. Let the best players bat, and different set of best players bowl and select the best wicket keeper. Instead of total 11 players, play with 20 players with only 11 in field at a time.

Posted by zico123 on (November 17, 2011, 22:31 GMT)

doesn't matter what happens in this test match, there is no place for Ponting, Johnson in NZ series. NZ series is the best time to experiment with some young players

Posted by srivathsar on (November 17, 2011, 22:14 GMT)

Just out of curiosity checked the stats for Kamran akmal and he is on 11th or 12th on the list of overall dismissals and with a good dismissal rate. Guess what would he have achieved if he had taken all the chances... anyway I was checking to see where Haddin stands and found this.

Posted by RandyOZ on (November 17, 2011, 22:13 GMT)

Wade is the best Keeper/batsman in Oz. Get him in before we turn into Kamran akmal.

Posted by   on (November 17, 2011, 22:10 GMT)

It's pretty sad that his place in the side is being judged on his batting. Yes, keepers should be able to bat, but aren't they in the side for their keeping? Gilly, absolute legend that he is, has almost done us a disservice, by being so good. Everyone expects our keepers to be that good with the bat. The best gloveman we've had since Healy, was Manou. One test, to cover injury. The players themselves said there was no "thud" when the ball hit his gloves, he was silky smooth. It seems to me that keepers are now chosen on their batting prowess rather than their abilities with the gloves, and that is a sad state of affairs.

Posted by   on (November 17, 2011, 21:47 GMT)

I don't agree with Varun Khanna that Brendon McCullum is the best wicketkeeper in the world. I think you will find that both Sri Lankan keepers, Kumar Sangakkara and Prasanna Jayawardene are much better.

Posted by Scullion on (November 17, 2011, 21:37 GMT)

At least he hasn't missed a leggie to lose a Test match!!!

Posted by   on (November 17, 2011, 21:34 GMT)

How much longer can Matthew Wade be ignored for when I've watched him he seems to be great with the gloves and his batting has improved immensely on the first class scene. I say this even though his average is 39 in FC and 43 in one day cricket. and He is only 23 with 48 FC games experience!

Posted by threeheadedmonkey on (November 17, 2011, 21:23 GMT)

Wades a better keeper and now he's shown last seasons batting wasn't a fluke he should get the go. I've always liked his play better then Paines

Posted by ElPhenomeno on (November 17, 2011, 21:15 GMT)

I think healy is still living in the 90s. Haddin is no worse than 85% of other keepers currently playing. You are not going to find a gilchrist anytime soon. What happened to australia was a freak where so many great players came to forefront at the same time. This happens once in 25-30 years. I have seen it in other sports as well. Haddin is fine.

Posted by ygkd on (November 17, 2011, 20:56 GMT)

Wade keeps making runs so he gets lots of support and fair enough too, but does he always keep his gloves together? Or is his footwork precise enough? Is he good to spin? I believe the best 3 state wickies are Qld's Hartley, Paine and the improving Sth Aus. Ludeman. If Paine is injured, can't see why Hartley can't be picked. As for McCullum being the best wk in the world - surely this opinion is based purely on short-form batting. By contrast the comment about Manou by Number_5 was spot on. At least Baugh has been a revelation, one to add to the ever dwindling band of top keepers in international cricket, not that Ramdin isn't amongst the current best either. Of course WI need a good wk now they rely on Bishoo. SL have always had them too. Aussies don't care much about spin any more - that's why a keeper's batting is all that matters here. Surely, there must be a better balance towards wicket-taking potential. Haddin has 3 stumpings in 132 dismissals. Compare that to Gilchrist & Healy

Posted by RandyOZ on (November 17, 2011, 20:54 GMT)

We need to get Paine or Wade in ASAP. This guy is extremely unreliable. Prior-like.

Posted by bumsonseats on (November 17, 2011, 20:38 GMT)

im surprised an ex wicket keeper would say that. as an wicket keeper he knows what to look for if hes slightly of his game, but to say it in print its a bad deal. as a watcher i dont think hes any better or worse at keeping, but these days you can only justify your place with runs. the last 2 wicket keepers have been lucky because they have had great teams. i can bet money gilly would not have said the same. but mind he was a gent of the game. dpk

Posted by   on (November 17, 2011, 20:15 GMT)

Brendon McCullum is easily the best wicket keeper in the world. Too bad he does not want to keep anymore.

Posted by Patchmaster on (November 17, 2011, 20:07 GMT)

I hope they keep him on until the Ashes, becasue ENG really had his number and ENG stand more chance of winning with him in the AUS side.

Posted by   on (November 17, 2011, 19:52 GMT)

Where does this come from? Absolute rubbish!! I believe among all the test playing nations, Haddin must be the among top 3

Posted by   on (November 17, 2011, 19:46 GMT)

If we're lauding the Australian keeper with compliments like "he's better than Kamran Akmal" then something has gone seriously wrong. Tim Paine is also a batsman-turned-wicketkeeper, and he has a much much better technique.

I don't know how to feel about Healy here - Haddin isn't up to standard but shouldn't be dropped? When we have an 18 year old (who hasn't done THAT much at state level, much as he drips with potential) as our sudden test spearhead how on Earth can you justify ignoring the case Wade is making right now?

It almost seems like Healy's saying that Haddin is the best at state-level so deserves automatic selection but isn't playing well enough in tests - then I can only agree to disagree to his conservative selection ideas. It's similar to Clarke saying Johnson has 'potential' yesterday. Haddin isn't going to get even better. Even if he does it will be shortly before retirement. Given his belligerence with the media, I don't think he's going to change at all, either.

Posted by gogoldengreens on (November 17, 2011, 19:08 GMT)

@Eswar lets see if Haddin can score as many runs in the series as byes he concedes I know Healy's run were a bonus not trying to get the keeper back in the black. Healy was a great keeper and well versed to have an opinion on the matter.

Posted by Number_5 on (November 17, 2011, 18:55 GMT)

are the days of the specialist keeper dead? We saw the diff a real keeper made when Manou kept for a test in eng, his movement and glove work were sublime compared to haddin, but alas it appears a keeper must be a batsman first these days? where do you draw the lines? how many runs / wickets must you forgo before you are better off going for the real deal? time will tell,

Posted by AdnanSiddiqui on (November 17, 2011, 18:33 GMT)

In the era where Kamran Akman & Dhoni been kept as first choice keeper due to their batting capabilities, I think Haddin's behind the stamps technique and performance is way ahead of both .. Only Carlton Baugh & Matt Prior seem to be better then Haddin right now.

Posted by   on (November 17, 2011, 17:15 GMT)

At least Haddin's batting is better than Healy's.

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (November 17, 2011, 16:59 GMT)

Australia have got such a great number of things wrong with them at the moment that Haddin's keeping is just the tip of the iceberg.

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Brydon CoverdaleClose
Brydon Coverdale Assistant Editor Possibly the only person to win a headline-writing award for a title with the word "heifers" in it, Brydon decided agricultural journalism wasn't for him when he took up his position with ESPNcricinfo in Melbourne. His cricketing career peaked with an unbeaten 85 in the seconds for a small team in rural Victoria on a day when they could not scrounge up 11 players and Brydon, tragically, ran out of partners to help him reach his century. He is also a compulsive TV game-show contestant and has appeared on half a dozen shows in Australia.
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