South Africa v Australia, 2nd Test, Johannesburg, 3rd day November 19, 2011

Amla, de Villiers make it South Africa's day

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South Africa 266 & 229 for 3 (Amla 89*, de Villiers 70*) lead Australia 296 by 199 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

A cultured Hashim Amla and controlled AB de Villiers established a priceless partnership to take South Africa's advantage to a considerable 199 over Australia on day three.

Each were close to being dismissed by Pat Cummins in the first over after lunch, but they survived the bullets of the 18-year-old debutant and defused the other significant threat of the spinner Nathan Lyon on a wearing pitch. Ultimately, when bad light ended play early again, they would walk off happily, having taken command at a Wanderers ground populated by the most bountiful crowd of the Test.

Australia's captain Michael Clarke sorely missed the bowling of his deputy Shane Watson, rendered immobile by a hamstring complaint, and leaned heavily on Cummins, who already looks a level above the other members of the touring attack. His morning spell to Jacques Kallis was compelling, and provided cause for Australian optimism even as Amla and de Villiers showed immense poise to build a union from the uncertain beginning of 90 for 3.

What Cummins lacked most of all was support, for Mitchell Johnson and Peter Siddle in particular were unable to generate the sort of chances that their seniority and past experience in South Africa should have demanded. As with Ricky Ponting and Brad Haddin, their international careers may soon be marked harshly on this evidence.

Already 59 overs have been lost to the weather, and South Africa may be little more than another session's batting from pushing their lead beyond Australia's reach - even if the tourists manage to rid themselves of the batting horrors of Cape Town and the first innings in Johnannesburg.

Sunnier skies at the start of the day had Johnson resuming the attack, completing his opening over with a shortened run-up. The gambit seemed to be geared towards achieving a higher-arm action and a greater chance of swing, but it brought no early wickets as Australia's narrow lead was quickly swallowed up.

Cummins was much the more vexing proposition for the openers, and after Jacques Rudolph had made a fluent start he hooked unwisely at a swift short ball and skied the simplest of chances for Haddin. Graeme Smith interspersed edges through the third-man region with the occasional sparkling drive and was looking good for more when spin was introduced.

Lyon dropped onto a nice length in his first over to Amla, and then set about tempting Smith outside off stump. A modicum of rough provided the natural variation that Lyon enjoys, and when one ball bounced and turned a little more than Smith budgeted for, the airborne cut was taken in the gully.

Clarke immediately took Lyon off to try Cummins, who set about Kallis with all the venom of a genuine strike bowler. In the space of 19 balls - reminiscent of Ishant Sharma's fabled spell to Ponting in Perth in 2008 - Cummins made Kallis look decidedly uncomfortable, no more so than when one throat ball was only parried down off glove and bat handle with a fair helping of luck. An airy play and miss soon followed, and the bowler completed a comprehensive victory over his quarry when Kallis sparred at a delivery seaming away and edged to Clarke at slip.

Not content with Kallis' wicket, Cummins soon had de Villiers hopping around and calling for medical attention when a searing yorker struck him on the boot, and South Africa's batsmen were happy to see lunch.

On resumption Cummins went desperately close to removing both batsmen in the first over of the afternoon. After de Villiers presented a difficult return catch that failed to go to hand, Amla was pinned in front of his stumps, but was given not out by the umpire Billy Bowden. Australia's referral was well-founded, but millimetres shy of matching the ICC's parameters to overturn the original call.

Two overs were all Clarke asked of Cummins, before he embarked upon something of a holding operation in which he rotated his bowlers briskly in the absence of Watson and even delivered two overs himself. Amla and de Villiers attacked when they could but also throttled back at times, careful not to over-reach as South Africa had done on day one.

Lyon was partially blunted via the use of sweeps and reverse sweeps, Siddle bowled presentably, and Johnson achieved some of his desired swing from a reduced run-up. But the tourists' hopes were now heavily pinned on Cummins, who in his second spell of the session lacked some of the rhythm and energy of the morning, spearing a few too many projectiles down the legside.

Tea came and went but the skies were darkening as Amla and de Villiers resumed. They added another 38 runs against opposition that had started to look beleaguered, de Villiers advancing to swing Lyon into the stands at wide long-on and Amla showing heavenly balance to twice dispatch Johnson through the covers.

As speculation swirled ever more intensely around Ponting's future, he was brought on to bowl in dying light - to a chorus of boos, no less - and swung the ball a little. It would be the final over of a day that shaped initially towards the fielding side, but for the first time in the match ended with the batsmen very much in command.

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • JG2704 on November 20, 2011, 11:01 GMT

    @sachinkhairnar5983 - we've done all this injury nonsense before. Zaheer Khan was the only injured player who played practically no part in the series. Every other player played at least some part in the series and Gambhir , Sehwag , Yuvraj , H Singh etc were all dismal when they did play. Every test was won by emphatic margins , 196 runs after declaring 8 wkts down was the closest India got to challenging England. Look at the stats at how the above players did when they did play and then maybe you can reassess your comments

  • JG2704 on November 20, 2011, 10:48 GMT

    @RandyOZ - November 20 2011, 04:29 AM GMT- You've actually surpassed yourself with your latest anti England comments. OK So you're going off on your own little tangent , going from test cricket which is what SA/Australia are playing at the moment and where England are actually quite good which you might realise unless you have been in a coma for the last couple of years or are seriously in denial. England are often a bad OD side and were terrible in India - no one is trying to say any different , but also just because Ireland beat Eng in the WC , Eng still went further and have since beaten Ireland in Ireland - nothing to be particularly proud of granted

  • whitesXI on November 20, 2011, 10:32 GMT

    @Nicholas Emcardy - the phrase spoiled for choice comes to mind, Aus does have the talent but we never agree on the slection of who's next in line and no-one springs to mind as an automatic selection. The problem currently is the talent across the board and our desire for instant success.

  • JG2704 on November 20, 2011, 10:31 GMT

    @S_African - If SA take over the number 1 ranking it will be well deserved. As for England players , If they are asked what their goal is they are going to say that they want to dominate cricket for the next decade or whatever. If SA take over the number 1 ranking they're going to say the same. No team is going to say that they just want to be number one for a short while are they? As for our imports , SA didn't want KP or Trott so it's tough for you if they chose to play for England and perform for England. You have a point with Morgan , but he's hardly a nailed on player in the test arena and Ireland don't play test cricket as far as I'm aware. The whole of our test bowling attack is English through and through

  • JG2704 on November 20, 2011, 10:18 GMT

    @DaveBrown - Yeah , kind of agreeing with you there. From a purely biased point of view the perfect scenario would be for SA to win this match and then the Sri Lankan series to get rained off. Regardless , SA are a decent side and if they gain the number 1 spot it will be deserved.Funny to see the usual sour grapes comms about England being number 1

  • RandyOZ on November 20, 2011, 9:00 GMT

    @whitesXI, I'll give you that he's taken wickets. But look at the wickets, none have been from good balls. He continues to bang it in too short and has been getting wickets due to poor strokes rather than good balls. And your point about him being economical is totally wrong! He went for 4.6 in the first innings of this test alone! The highest of any bowler! More than Jono!

  • on November 20, 2011, 7:35 GMT

    @Ohhhhmattymatty dream on dream on .

  • on November 20, 2011, 7:32 GMT

    Question to all AUSSIE fans: Would a lineup of 1.Hughes 2.Warner. 3.Marsh 4.Khawaja 5.Clarke 6.Watson 7.Wade 8.Cummins 9.Copeland 10.Cutting 11.O'Keefe........really perform better than the current AUS lineup? If the answer is yes........why are at least more of them not in the team? Do the selectors ignore Shield Cricket? SA in comparison have perhaps 2 batsmen in Alviro and JP Duminy who could come into the team and perhaps 3 bowlers in Harris, Tsotsobe and Parnell who could make the grade. Looking at that (and the performance of Cummins) you'd have to say that AUS seems to have lots more depth..........you are just not using it! Rudolph, Philander and Tahir came into the SA team due to excellent first class performances, time to reward your players the same way.

  • QingdaoXI on November 20, 2011, 5:54 GMT

    @all english fans South Africa will soon gain the number one ranking. And most important thing you will never got that rank again any time soon after 1980 you got it for six-seven months enjoy. Its only going to be South Africa, India and Australia. because they have new talent and will hit you very hard. Between you have only had 2 series vs India and Australia which were good due to injury to key players and transitional phase respectively. If you dont believe than watch the emerging players tournament you will saw what i am saying. but what you will do with it, import the players as early as you can.....lol.

  • on November 20, 2011, 5:17 GMT

    omg!!! these english fans take beating bangladesh in bangladesh as an accomplishment, just let them play two series in sub continent against srilanka and pak and then they will realize what is test cricket all about . They will dance on the pitch against ajmal , mendis and co .Their best bowler anderson will go for 6 rpo in sub continent conditions .

  • JG2704 on November 20, 2011, 11:01 GMT

    @sachinkhairnar5983 - we've done all this injury nonsense before. Zaheer Khan was the only injured player who played practically no part in the series. Every other player played at least some part in the series and Gambhir , Sehwag , Yuvraj , H Singh etc were all dismal when they did play. Every test was won by emphatic margins , 196 runs after declaring 8 wkts down was the closest India got to challenging England. Look at the stats at how the above players did when they did play and then maybe you can reassess your comments

  • JG2704 on November 20, 2011, 10:48 GMT

    @RandyOZ - November 20 2011, 04:29 AM GMT- You've actually surpassed yourself with your latest anti England comments. OK So you're going off on your own little tangent , going from test cricket which is what SA/Australia are playing at the moment and where England are actually quite good which you might realise unless you have been in a coma for the last couple of years or are seriously in denial. England are often a bad OD side and were terrible in India - no one is trying to say any different , but also just because Ireland beat Eng in the WC , Eng still went further and have since beaten Ireland in Ireland - nothing to be particularly proud of granted

  • whitesXI on November 20, 2011, 10:32 GMT

    @Nicholas Emcardy - the phrase spoiled for choice comes to mind, Aus does have the talent but we never agree on the slection of who's next in line and no-one springs to mind as an automatic selection. The problem currently is the talent across the board and our desire for instant success.

  • JG2704 on November 20, 2011, 10:31 GMT

    @S_African - If SA take over the number 1 ranking it will be well deserved. As for England players , If they are asked what their goal is they are going to say that they want to dominate cricket for the next decade or whatever. If SA take over the number 1 ranking they're going to say the same. No team is going to say that they just want to be number one for a short while are they? As for our imports , SA didn't want KP or Trott so it's tough for you if they chose to play for England and perform for England. You have a point with Morgan , but he's hardly a nailed on player in the test arena and Ireland don't play test cricket as far as I'm aware. The whole of our test bowling attack is English through and through

  • JG2704 on November 20, 2011, 10:18 GMT

    @DaveBrown - Yeah , kind of agreeing with you there. From a purely biased point of view the perfect scenario would be for SA to win this match and then the Sri Lankan series to get rained off. Regardless , SA are a decent side and if they gain the number 1 spot it will be deserved.Funny to see the usual sour grapes comms about England being number 1

  • RandyOZ on November 20, 2011, 9:00 GMT

    @whitesXI, I'll give you that he's taken wickets. But look at the wickets, none have been from good balls. He continues to bang it in too short and has been getting wickets due to poor strokes rather than good balls. And your point about him being economical is totally wrong! He went for 4.6 in the first innings of this test alone! The highest of any bowler! More than Jono!

  • on November 20, 2011, 7:35 GMT

    @Ohhhhmattymatty dream on dream on .

  • on November 20, 2011, 7:32 GMT

    Question to all AUSSIE fans: Would a lineup of 1.Hughes 2.Warner. 3.Marsh 4.Khawaja 5.Clarke 6.Watson 7.Wade 8.Cummins 9.Copeland 10.Cutting 11.O'Keefe........really perform better than the current AUS lineup? If the answer is yes........why are at least more of them not in the team? Do the selectors ignore Shield Cricket? SA in comparison have perhaps 2 batsmen in Alviro and JP Duminy who could come into the team and perhaps 3 bowlers in Harris, Tsotsobe and Parnell who could make the grade. Looking at that (and the performance of Cummins) you'd have to say that AUS seems to have lots more depth..........you are just not using it! Rudolph, Philander and Tahir came into the SA team due to excellent first class performances, time to reward your players the same way.

  • QingdaoXI on November 20, 2011, 5:54 GMT

    @all english fans South Africa will soon gain the number one ranking. And most important thing you will never got that rank again any time soon after 1980 you got it for six-seven months enjoy. Its only going to be South Africa, India and Australia. because they have new talent and will hit you very hard. Between you have only had 2 series vs India and Australia which were good due to injury to key players and transitional phase respectively. If you dont believe than watch the emerging players tournament you will saw what i am saying. but what you will do with it, import the players as early as you can.....lol.

  • on November 20, 2011, 5:17 GMT

    omg!!! these english fans take beating bangladesh in bangladesh as an accomplishment, just let them play two series in sub continent against srilanka and pak and then they will realize what is test cricket all about . They will dance on the pitch against ajmal , mendis and co .Their best bowler anderson will go for 6 rpo in sub continent conditions .

  • on November 20, 2011, 5:06 GMT

    Amla seems to be one of the most consistent player in couple of years...

  • RandyOZ on November 20, 2011, 4:29 GMT

    With all the rubbish the English were spinning here, you'd think they were actually good, rather than being 4 in the world and below Ireland in ODIs. Cummins makes Finn look pedestrian and as for the rest of the English attack, I am pretty sure they are still searching for their leather in the stands in India. Getting hit to all parts was an understatement of their performance.

  • whitesXI on November 20, 2011, 4:17 GMT

    For the record @RandyOz - so far since Siddle has been recalled in the last 3 tests: against SL 4 wickets in only innings bowling, 1st test against SA - 1st innings only bowled 4 overs, 2nd innings took 1 of only 2 wickets, 2nd test SA - 1st innings 3 wickets. At no point has he been dragging the team down or the cause for our losses in fact he has been the leading wicket taker in every innings except 1 where watson and Harris cleaned up, which says more about the rest of the bowling attack than Siddle. He is not a match winning bowler but a key contributor, I don't see how you can continue to abuse his performances.

  • whitesXI on November 20, 2011, 3:35 GMT

    @RandyOz - in regard to my VIC bias, you could be right! I've never said I'm not biased (all true sports fans are to some degree), but still i feel that my argument is valid, more to the point I don't think Siddle has really failed at any point, he hasn't set the world on fire but he's been decent. If Copeland or George bowl better then it's worth putting them in, but neither are strike bowlers and both bowl in a similar fashion to Siddle but without the agression and effort that Siddle has. BTW feel free to criticise but could lead with more of an argument than "you're biased" back it up with something. You've been saying Siddle shouldn't be in the team for ages and the only reasoning you've given is that he hasn't taken 5 wickets a match, that's not his job! So far he has taken the odd wicket and been econonimical whilst still bowling predominantly at the stumps to square up the batsmen, a valid strategy that helps the bowler at the other end

  • Wozza-CY on November 20, 2011, 3:15 GMT

    After all the talk over the last couple of years of oz being in 'transition', now I think the really is in transition and the test team will look vastly different to this one. One has to remember that there even though the new editions of Cummins & Lyon have been welcomed, there are still some common denominators in this performance, making it look a lot like previous ones i.e. Cooley, Siddle & Johnson. Nothing against any of them & I feel they are genuinely trying their hardest, but it's clear it's time for a change. If Harris can't consistently be on the pitch then he should slide down the pecking order. The attack needs a metronomic bowler & I don't really care who it is Copeland, George, McDonald, Hogan etc. Someone who gives nothing away & makes the batsman work. This will undoubtedly help Cummins & Cutting. Whilst Cummins has been impressive, he has only done what test bowlers should. Something his senior counterparts have failed to do.

  • hyclass on November 20, 2011, 3:15 GMT

    Since his debut at Galle where he took 5/34 in the SL 1st innings on a disgraceful pitch,Lyon has taken 10 wickets in 11 1st class innings at close to 60.Im all for encouraging potential,but surely the Test arena is for those who have already accomplished this level.Even Beers continued promotion is surprising given Boyce is the best of the young and rare wrist spinners coming through and demonstrating form.O'Keefes ommission seems to be rubber stamped no matter who is selecting,given his non-selection for Australia A v NZ. It harms only Australias cause.International teams have had the luxury over the last couple of years of facing Australias 2nd or 3rd best performing XI by performance.They have also encountered a team incredibly poorly coached and managed with a complete lack of integrity.Until I am convinced that Shield is being given due esteem,Australia has its best XI affield and that they are united in their purpose,I will have little regard for the outcome of those matches.

  • Srini_Indian on November 20, 2011, 2:37 GMT

    @Dave Brown: Belief alone can't win you matches in sub-continent. Watch out SA will win all the matches in home and knock you out of the top. A couple of series losses in sub-continent and Indian win in Australia would go a long way in pushing England to no.3 or no.4.

  • NAZMO-CRICKFANN on November 20, 2011, 2:34 GMT

    does'nt matter what duo australia uses. won't work. australia. days have been numbered. time up

  • thebarmyarmy on November 20, 2011, 2:03 GMT

    Once again, 'Funny Australia' have messed up big time. 177-0 they realy should have pushed at 150+ lead. Saffers should win this comfortably now...

  • RandyOZ on November 20, 2011, 1:47 GMT

    @whitesXI, are you seriusly still defending Siddle? You've got to be joking. That theory is as bad as some of the ones coming out of the English here. Both clutching at straws. Open your eyes because you are clearly blinded by your Victorian bias.

  • on November 20, 2011, 1:02 GMT

    Debutante Cummins was herald as Australia's new bowling hope after the one wicket he collected in the First Innings . Whilst he still may have the opportunity to do so , it seems as though the Establishment expected him to go through RSA in the Second Innings , like fat through a duck . Hence some of the pressure on him may be cause for leg side bowling whilst trying to gain that extra speed . He needs time and experience and may be disappointed if he is not the new whiz kid on the paddock . Handle With Care CA .

  • whitesXI on November 19, 2011, 23:32 GMT

    @Behind the bowlers arm - I'd be keeping Siddle to go with Cummins and Cutting, 1)because I would like to see what he would do in a side that actually had two strike bowlers to compliment his style of bowling, 2)some stability would be required in a transition, and Harris doesn't promote stability, 3)Siddle IMO is an excellent leader of a pace attack (note: leader, not strike bowler) he gives his all at every turn and gives great encouragement, enthusiasm and support. I'd replace him with George though if he still didn't work out. I agree on the Watson/Marsh idea, and if not Marsh then Faulkner, If I had the power I'd also play O'Keefe, I doubt any of this will actually happen but it's what I'd do

  • landl47 on November 19, 2011, 22:59 GMT

    This has been a very interesting game, though it's a pity the weather has played such a large part (being born in England I am used to saying that!). SA will feel if they get another 100 they are in good shape; if Aus get SA out for 250, Aus will think they are in with a chance. SA can't bat for much more than a session if the weather is going to cut short the next 2 days as it has the first 3. Johnson has continued his form of the last 6 tests, but he'll probably get 4-25 tomorrow and people will say he's a matchwinner, even as Aus lose the match. Siddle tries hard, but he doesn't get the ball in the right areas enough. Cummins has looked very promising. Lyon didn't look bad as the wicket began to turn, but that's bad news for Aus facing Tahir, who isn't very accurate but certainly turns the ball. Looking forward to a good day's cricket tomorrow.

  • on November 19, 2011, 22:26 GMT

    Two days left. Quite possibly the last two days of Ricky Pontings test career. It looks like he'll have to bat again, unless the Australian openers root firm till the end of the match. He really needs a high score, or a middling score not out, at least. A low score, and I guess by Monday evening it'll be the end of an era.

  • Raworth_Rabbitohs on November 19, 2011, 21:39 GMT

    @OhhhhMattyMatty You crack me up with all these Steve Finn jokes :D

  • Street_Hawk on November 19, 2011, 21:28 GMT

    people must be wondering why so people who were shouting copeland copeland a year ago are now shouting Cutling Cutling...let me tell you that I was impressed with Copeland's stat...McGrath like line and length bowler...but way slower than him...I saw him getting whacked around in a list A match...it was during that flood in Aus...the prime minister was there...I did not see him beat the batsmen once in that match..knew he won't make too far...I am yet to see Cutling but I think you always need some pace and height for bounce even if you are a line length bowler...

  • NRI- on November 19, 2011, 21:26 GMT

    Name a single test match in recent memory where Johnson or Siddle have bowled a great spell EXCLUDING the Gabba or the WACA, the two venues where Bollinger was unfairly removed and given the new ball instead in Adelaide! Even Lillee & Thommo would have struggled to take wickets in Adelaide! No swing, no seam, no wickets...that's how simple it is. Siddle can at least be accurate and hits the seam at times. MJ's action is barely better than a throw and he cant land on the seam that way.

  • on November 19, 2011, 21:08 GMT

    Crikey, let's all kick England, and they're not even playing, ease up! Don't forget people, you can only play against who the schedule dictates. The schedule says we played india and SL at home last summer and that's what we did and won, we know we will have to up our game to win away from home, but isn't any league based on that premise? As for our imports, it just sounds bitter from the saffer's, your own system failed these people, perhaps Imran Tahir's system at home failed him too? And by the way, superiority complex? We are just finally playing the same mind game everyone else has been playing for years, we've finally "manned up"for which we have beet criticised for not doing in the past.

  • Adoh on November 19, 2011, 19:54 GMT

    I don't recall Australia winning recently using the undynamic duo of Johnson and Siddle. On the domestic scene, Ben Cutting looks to be doing quite well and brings a different challenge to batsmen given his height - he is also closer to what might be called a true allrounder than Johnson. If Australia are so obsessed with left handed pacemen, they could do worse than Mitchell Starc who does consistently swing the ball back in to the right handers. They could also do worse than Douggie - actually they are doing worse at the moment because Douggies ave, sr and economy are all better than Johnsons. In the batting stakes, Warner is the outstanding candidate for new blood. Shane Watson would be suited to No. 3 - Hughes and Warner opening. Shane Watsons' record further down the order is terrible. Ricky, Johnson, Siddle and Haddin really do need to go, retaining them after the last 2 years of consistent poor performances is sending the wrong message to the team, future players and the public.

  • on November 19, 2011, 19:53 GMT

    @ all the doubters. This Engand team has only been tested once in sub continent conditions against Banladesh and won. Yes, we got beaten in India in the world cup and the recent one day series... but this was 50 over cricket. We would probably lose to most sides in the 50 over version, we are poor at 50 over cricket. The big difference between those two examples and the ones against Pakistan and Sri Lanks for the number one spot is... it is a test match, not a 50 over game. A small but significant difference. We won't walk either series but we will win them, or get a draw at worst. England currently have the one thing which this current Aussie side doesn't have which is the ability and belief that they can win which will see us home.

  • hhillbumper on November 19, 2011, 19:40 GMT

    I think it has been an interesting day.Do Australia really believe they can win this as they are not taking the chances they used to take.South Africa seem to be moving forward and might be world no 1 soon.Be good to take it back off them next Summer. What ever happens between now and then it is going to be one great series.

  • OhhhhMattyMatty on November 19, 2011, 19:33 GMT

    Cummins looks like a slower and less accurate Steve Harmison. Meanwhile England have a quicker, more accurate and more intelligent Steve Harmison in young Steven Finn!

  • hhillbumper on November 19, 2011, 19:25 GMT

    joydeep.We whitewashed Bangladesh in their own backyard.We have not lost an overseas test tour for the past two years but lets see what happens.

  • shovwar on November 19, 2011, 19:20 GMT

    @ James Badge wing....England did a great job!!!!! They whitewashed Bangladesh in Bangladesh..Wow!!! what a great achievement...But that wont help them in SL and UAE. Mr Mandal did not say England have lost to Bangladesh he said maybe next time when England would visit Bangladesh they might lose...it Could be if it is played in Chitagong....

  • ayusman on November 19, 2011, 19:07 GMT

    "Already 59 overs have been lost to the weather"- absolutely nonsensical!! That's more than half a day. Why not start the match an or two earlier?

  • Mike_Bursle on November 19, 2011, 19:04 GMT

    I am glad there is a real fight for the number one test spot, that's how it should be... Unfortunately for me (Aussie) we don't even rate an honourable mention, and won't until we bite the bullet and pick a team for the future rather than clinging to past glories. Cummins, Warner, Khawaja, Cutting, George, etc are the future of Australia and should be given experience rather than giving free passes to players who used to good put have shown nothing for some time.

  • on November 19, 2011, 18:41 GMT

    luv u amla :)........i think its time johnson should be dropped for good.......dnt know why r they persisting with him

  • spence1324 on November 19, 2011, 18:34 GMT

    Yeah its possible that SA could be no 1 by the end of the summer,despite playing 10 fewer games than eng,india and Australia.Quick question to pak and SL fans why do thay never challenge for the no 1 spot? I could think of a few resions.......

  • Behind_the_bowlers_arm on November 19, 2011, 18:30 GMT

    Must admit it was embarrassing to see how much of a threat Cummins was compared to his seniors Siddle & Johnson. Hopefully this will give the selectors confirmation that those two need to be replaced by the likes of Pattinson & Cutting with Harris used when he can make it onto the park. If Watson is out of the NZ Test I'd go the whole hog and use M Marsh at 6. Wildly inexperienced the lot of them but there is nothing to be gained by persisting with failures.

  • on November 19, 2011, 18:25 GMT

    Very good comeback from Hash and AB! Frustrated my rudolphs performances,always getting starts but not pressing on! GOGOGO RSA!! Personally i'd rather them bat the whole of the day tomorrow and force a draw, there is no need to become #1 and risk the chance of beating australia in a series.

  • S_African on November 19, 2011, 18:14 GMT

    I'd love to see SA steal that no. 1 spot from England, that ranking only fuelled their superiority complex. It really seemed like they were believing their own press, many former players convinced they would dominate cricket for the next decade. England lack natural flair and talent and the little they have came from South Africa and Ireland.

  • ajmal1988 on November 19, 2011, 18:11 GMT

    well, dave brown, it will be hard to beat Pakistan in their backyard (lahore, rawalpindi, faisalabad, karachi etc) because they are not playing international cricket in Pakistan. UAE is not the same as the sub-continent. UAE pitches doesn't favour anything except the batsmen. Atleast in the sub-continent you know that it will be a spinning wicket, while in the UAE you dont know how the pitch will be behave so the team needs to have mixed attacks.

  • Street_Hawk on November 19, 2011, 18:02 GMT

    Aussies should look to build a bowling attack which does not consist Mitchel Johnson...Johnson must go back to domestic cricket for now until his *potential* is fully realized...Among others I had liked Peter George who did very well on the tour of India..there is also pattinson and others..For SA, Tahir has been good and I had a look at him 3 years ago and wondered why is he not playing internationally with so many wickets...I think he can become a asset to SA attack with more games under his arm...he is not afraid to flight the ball...

  • on November 19, 2011, 17:28 GMT

    @Joydeep Mandal Re:England "as they would come to subcontinent conditions,they will even loss to bangladesh" Except of course when we whitewashed Bangladesh in Bangladesh last year. Seriously, we all know England may not be suited to the conditions in the subcontinent but at least try to keep in vague contact with reality.

  • whitesXI on November 19, 2011, 17:27 GMT

    As someone who called the inclusion of Cummins into the test squad ludicrous I'll be serving myself huge portions of humble pie for a week. Well done the youngster, honestly. @Dave Brown I'm not sure you have to be too worried, SA have been looming as the no.1 test team for a couple of years but seem to always find a way of leaving it for others. As an Aussie though I have to say, that may be the one positive I take out of this series, I can hold my head up high and say Aus contributed to the removal of England's no.1 ranking. Not the way I had hoped we'd do it, but I'll take whatever I can get at this stage.

  • Kak-mal_Khan on November 19, 2011, 17:23 GMT

    @Mr Dave Brown - I would not be hugely confident of retaining no.1 spot from overseas tour in subcontinent. I may be wrong, but I generally feel that these 2 sides (Pak & SL) are hurting bad from recent events. Pakistan will be out for revenge from the 2010 series and have already shown that when focused on the game, they have not been defeated, and have a bowling attack for all occasions (weakness still lies with fielding). Sri Lanka on the other hand have been on a bad run since the departure of their key spin bowler. However they have still got fight in them, and will be hurting from recent losses. They also have been effected by off the field politics, but payment issues should be resolved by the time England land on their shores. England have had a taste of the pitches in India, and as in the World Cup they came up short. Test cricket in the dessert is far away from the comfort beds of Trent Bridge or Edgbaston. Enjoy No.1 for now, there is a long way to go till SA in summer!

  • on November 19, 2011, 17:02 GMT

    Both Aus and SA failed to build on their early starts in their first innings, lets see what SA do in their 2nd innings. I am sure the days are going to get better for Aus in 2 or 3 years. The only concern I have is Ponting's form and Ausssie findindg a good, young keeper to lift their team as every keeper they had.

  • on November 19, 2011, 16:48 GMT

    @dave don't worry dear friend,eng are a few days customer for the top ranking,till they play in bouncy,fast conditions like as of eng,aus......as they would come to subcontinent conditions,they will even loss to bangladesh.(can't wait for their series against pak,sl and india)

  • on November 19, 2011, 16:40 GMT

    great day of cricket ahead. Aus wud b hoping for " usual" SA colapse while as SA wud like to strech their lead toward 300-350.@ dave , as a cricket fan i would have liked to see untill

    we PLAY pakistan and srilanka rather than BEAT. anyways i dnt give poms much of a chance on spining pitches in england (oval for instance) leave alone the sub-continent!

  • on November 19, 2011, 16:28 GMT

    Cultured siaply by AB ans Hash. If Boucher can hang around, a lead of 300 will mean a draw at least (weather) or a win for RSA.

  • Srini_Indian on November 19, 2011, 16:27 GMT

    Common SA, pound the Aussies 2-0 and hammer SL 3-0 to take the no.1 ranking from the pretenders England

  • on November 19, 2011, 16:27 GMT

    very well written article I really appriciate the way of describing the match by this writer. really good

  • on November 19, 2011, 16:25 GMT

    @dave brown u have predicted the future quite correctly except for the fact that ur english team never gonna make it in sri lanka and pakistan , both the places are spinners paradise and all the world knows what ur batsman do when it comes to facing spin on spin friendly wicket

  • Marcio on November 19, 2011, 16:19 GMT

    It's sad watching Australia make the same mistakes game after game. Get into a dominant match-winning position, then just fall into a heap. This is a pattern which has recurred since the 1st Ashes test in England about 3 years ago. The team needs a psychologist. Retaining players who fail repeatedly, while expecting them to suddenly do something different, is a recipe for failure. Wasn't this supposed to be the finding of that report after the Ashes? But we still see the same guys doing the same thing. Can anyone tell me why Johnson is in the team? Has any Australian player in the history of Australian cricket ever performed so consistently poorly and kept getting chosen? Having said this, losing our two strike bowlers for the game is a huge disadvantage. And the pitch is still very good, so it's possible Australia could still chase down 300 and win.

  • on November 19, 2011, 15:38 GMT

    As an England fan i am torn with this match. My heart is all for the Aussies getting a pounding, but my brain is after a South Africa defeat to preserve Engands number one ranking (i believe if SA win all of their home games against Oz and Sri Lanka they go top?). I think the heart will win and a heavy defeat to the old enemy will make up for SA enevitiably going number one at the end of their summer... that is until we beat Pakistan and Sri Lanka in their back yards.

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  • on November 19, 2011, 15:38 GMT

    As an England fan i am torn with this match. My heart is all for the Aussies getting a pounding, but my brain is after a South Africa defeat to preserve Engands number one ranking (i believe if SA win all of their home games against Oz and Sri Lanka they go top?). I think the heart will win and a heavy defeat to the old enemy will make up for SA enevitiably going number one at the end of their summer... that is until we beat Pakistan and Sri Lanka in their back yards.

  • Marcio on November 19, 2011, 16:19 GMT

    It's sad watching Australia make the same mistakes game after game. Get into a dominant match-winning position, then just fall into a heap. This is a pattern which has recurred since the 1st Ashes test in England about 3 years ago. The team needs a psychologist. Retaining players who fail repeatedly, while expecting them to suddenly do something different, is a recipe for failure. Wasn't this supposed to be the finding of that report after the Ashes? But we still see the same guys doing the same thing. Can anyone tell me why Johnson is in the team? Has any Australian player in the history of Australian cricket ever performed so consistently poorly and kept getting chosen? Having said this, losing our two strike bowlers for the game is a huge disadvantage. And the pitch is still very good, so it's possible Australia could still chase down 300 and win.

  • on November 19, 2011, 16:25 GMT

    @dave brown u have predicted the future quite correctly except for the fact that ur english team never gonna make it in sri lanka and pakistan , both the places are spinners paradise and all the world knows what ur batsman do when it comes to facing spin on spin friendly wicket

  • on November 19, 2011, 16:27 GMT

    very well written article I really appriciate the way of describing the match by this writer. really good

  • Srini_Indian on November 19, 2011, 16:27 GMT

    Common SA, pound the Aussies 2-0 and hammer SL 3-0 to take the no.1 ranking from the pretenders England

  • on November 19, 2011, 16:28 GMT

    Cultured siaply by AB ans Hash. If Boucher can hang around, a lead of 300 will mean a draw at least (weather) or a win for RSA.

  • on November 19, 2011, 16:40 GMT

    great day of cricket ahead. Aus wud b hoping for " usual" SA colapse while as SA wud like to strech their lead toward 300-350.@ dave , as a cricket fan i would have liked to see untill

    we PLAY pakistan and srilanka rather than BEAT. anyways i dnt give poms much of a chance on spining pitches in england (oval for instance) leave alone the sub-continent!

  • on November 19, 2011, 16:48 GMT

    @dave don't worry dear friend,eng are a few days customer for the top ranking,till they play in bouncy,fast conditions like as of eng,aus......as they would come to subcontinent conditions,they will even loss to bangladesh.(can't wait for their series against pak,sl and india)

  • on November 19, 2011, 17:02 GMT

    Both Aus and SA failed to build on their early starts in their first innings, lets see what SA do in their 2nd innings. I am sure the days are going to get better for Aus in 2 or 3 years. The only concern I have is Ponting's form and Ausssie findindg a good, young keeper to lift their team as every keeper they had.

  • Kak-mal_Khan on November 19, 2011, 17:23 GMT

    @Mr Dave Brown - I would not be hugely confident of retaining no.1 spot from overseas tour in subcontinent. I may be wrong, but I generally feel that these 2 sides (Pak & SL) are hurting bad from recent events. Pakistan will be out for revenge from the 2010 series and have already shown that when focused on the game, they have not been defeated, and have a bowling attack for all occasions (weakness still lies with fielding). Sri Lanka on the other hand have been on a bad run since the departure of their key spin bowler. However they have still got fight in them, and will be hurting from recent losses. They also have been effected by off the field politics, but payment issues should be resolved by the time England land on their shores. England have had a taste of the pitches in India, and as in the World Cup they came up short. Test cricket in the dessert is far away from the comfort beds of Trent Bridge or Edgbaston. Enjoy No.1 for now, there is a long way to go till SA in summer!