South Africa v Australia, 2nd Test, Johannesburg, 5th day November 21, 2011

Australia hold nerve to win thriller

192

Australia 296 (Watson 88, Hughes 88, Steyn 4-64) & 310 for 8 (Khawaja 65, Ponting 62, Haddin 55, Philander 5-70) beat South Africa 266 (de Villiers 64, Kallis 54, Prince 50, Siddle 3-69) & 339 (Amla 105, de Villiers 73, Cummins 6-79) by two wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Pat Cummins, the man most likely, and Mitchell Johnson and Brad Haddin, two of the least, delivered the most magnificent victory to Australia as the tourists chased the highest ever fourth innings total at the Wanderers, to square the series with South Africa on the final day.

At 215 for 6, Australia seemed to have as much of a chance to win as Haddin and Johnson had to make runs, based on their horrendous records this past year. Yet, somehow they forged a partnership of 72 to erase the bulk of the deficit, and after Haddin's exit was followed by that of Peter Siddle, Johnson and Cummins ran down the final 18 required.

No 18-year-old in cricket history could have enjoyed a debut as extraordinary as Man-of-the-Match Cummins, who followed seven wickets for the Test with a batting contribution of wondrous composure. He offered one chance, a sharp return-catch to Dale Steyn when nine were still required, and the resulting boundary was critical. Steyn, so often South Africa's salvation, will curse his drop.

Australia's victory was a rare triumph in a close Test match - in recent years, they have made an unfortunate habit of losing the epics. Adelaide 1993, Sydney and Karachi 1994, Kolkata 2001, Edgbaston 2005 and Mohali 2010 all trigger painful recollections, but this result will do an enormous amount for a young team and a fledgling leader in Michael Clarke, so soon after the traumas of Cape Town.

The result does not extinguish debates about the shape of the team, and injuries will also force changes for the home series against New Zealand. But Australia have now won the sort of match that can build a team and a tradition, and Cummins was right in the middle of it.

South Africa will ponder plenty of what ifs, and are still without a home series victroy over Australia since readmission. But in Vernon Philander, the Man of the Series, they have at least found a seamer of high quality, and it was he who seemed on course to deliver victory.

Philander's relentless line with a hint of seam movement either way had accounted for Clarke and Michael Hussey, either side of Morne Morkel's dismissal of Ricky Ponting, leaving Haddin, Johnson and the tail to confound conventional expectation and collect the remaining runs.

Clarke was bowled early, Ponting chased a wide delivery into the slips, and Hussey was pinned in front of his stumps in the penultimate over of an extended afternoon session. Ponting, Haddin and Johnson are all at the mercy of Australia's newly-formed selection panel.

Dogged rain and heavy cloud delayed play until after lunch had been taken, and at 1pm local time the contest resumed. The moisture appeared to have freshened the surface somewhat, and added to the swing available to bowlers all match, making it a difficult scenario that confronted Clarke and Ponting.

Their response was tentative, and Clarke's careful forward push proved fatal as Philander found a fraction of seam movement on a perfect length to find the gap and flick the top of the stumps. Hussey may have been out to any one of his first few balls from Philander, who nipped the ball away with dastardly intent.

At the other end Ponting was careful, plotting his way through each delivery with the careworn approach of a man weighing up his cricket mortality. For 33 balls on the final day he battled, but there were no boundaries forthcoming to get him going, and it was in belated search of one that Ponting departed. Morkel fired one short and wide, Ponting reacted a little too late, and the ball diverted off the toe of his bat into the slips. He lingered for a brief moment to survey his bat, then marched off to the most generous applause a tiny crowd could muster.

Next man in, Haddin, reached the crease under arguably greater scrutiny for his spot than Ponting, Australian minds still reeling from the sight of his widely deplored second-day demise in Cape Town. This year Haddin had averaged 14.70 in 10 innings, and his keeping at the Wanderers lacked assurance. Yet he and Hussey had combined for Australia's most lengthy Test partnership in the past 18 months, an epic 307 against England at the Gabba last November, and together they began to establish a bridgehead.

Neither was entirely comfortable, Haddin beaten outside off stump a few times and once struck flush on the helmet by a Steyn ball that turned out to be more skidder than bouncer. Hussey had 31 when he pushed at Imran Tahir and edged behind, only for Mark Boucher to parry the chance beyond the reach of Jacques Rudolph at slip.

A Tahir full toss and a Hussey cover drive brought the target within 100 runs of Australia, but Philander's return brought perhaps the critical wicket. His first ball pitched on leg stump and caught Hussey on the crease, winning an lbw that was referred out of desperation and nothing else. Though Johnson's first few balls were negotiated soundly enough, the second new ball was only nine overs away.

Mindful of this fact, Haddin and Johnson attacked boldly on resumption, heaping four boundaries from the first two overs and quickly whittling away the target. Johnson was stopped momentarily by an apparent spike through his boot, but otherwise sailed on with a clean-striking approach. Haddin showed even more panache, driving Steyn straight and Morkel over cover and, notwithstanding an optimistic DRS referral against Haddin from Morkel, the 50-stand flashed by in 54 balls.

Haddin's first Test half-century of 2011 arrived in the final over of the old ball, and only 34 runs remained to be gleaned from the new. Philander's first over brought a boundary, as did Steyn's. However, Philander then had Haddin nicking a late away swinger behind, with 23 still to be made.

The clouds had returned and the ball was hooping, the light also beginning to die. Siddle flicked one accomplished boundary, before Steyn claimed his first wicket of the innings when Australia's No. 9 attempted a hasty repeat of the stroke.

Cummins entered this match with a total of 27 runs in first-class and limited-overs cricket, and reached the crease with 18 still to get. A leading edge brought a precious three, and a series of nudges took the requirement into single figures.

Second ball of Steyn's next over and Cummins' mis-hit drive flew through the bowler's hands. The ball trickled down to the long-off boundary and Tahir was ruled to have touched the rope's imprint - five to win. Cummins swung giddily for the remainder of the over, but survived, to leave Johnson on strike. Graeme Smith, gambling, brought back Tahir.

Johnson pushed a single, and Cummins groped around a googly that struck him millimetres, at most, outside off stump. The DRS referral was duly denied by the umpire Ian Gould. Cummins left the next, a leg break, then collared a shorter googly through straight midwicket to raise the winning runs. Australia erupted, and the series was squared. Who but administrators would deny them a decider?

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on November 24, 2011, 12:36 GMT

    @jg2704 - agreed many of my fellow Indians are 'uncivilised' (just realised its been redefined).. u see while most of the eng/aus/rsa supporters think its just a sport we on the other hand are obsessed with this 'sport' ..Its basically what football is to you..(havin resided in london for 4 yrs in knw what football means to the english)...My point being trash talkin before or during the series is ofcourse wrong..When we lost the first test there were many english fans totally discarding the Indian team and some even goin to the extent of askin the team to pack their bags and go home..(nw i feel they shud have actually done that :p) ..Since u feel that we might very well have different standards then y r u takin offense? u shud simply ignore right? Though the english fans comment in a 'civilised' manner they r still hurtful..We simply retaliate..Some predict and 'lol' 'haha', some abuse while the rest just enjoy reading..Later!!

  • JG2704 on November 24, 2011, 9:24 GMT

    @Meety on (November 24 2011, 02:32 AM GMT) - To be honest I must have slipped past the posts that said England were as good as the 1980s WI and 90s Aus sides. Obviously a writer often writes things to encourage debate too. But the point I've been trying to make is that it has been only a small percentage of England fans on these boards who would be saying that we're that good right now . Just like when we were thrashed in the recent OD series by India , there were Indians saying that we were coming out with excuses and when I ask where - no response. Yet there were numerous goading comms from Indian fans after that OD series. I'd say that at least 75% (and that's a conservative estimate) of Indian fans were giving it the lol,ha ha,see what happens when you play in Indian conditions/luck/decisions etc. There were a very small minority who even acknowledged that the team were poor in tests in England. It was luck,injuries,conditions.... BTW - You're one of the wiser heads on here

  • JG2704 on November 24, 2011, 9:07 GMT

    @Harmony111 on (November 23 2011, 15:10 PM GMT) - 120-8 is not a great score. We were also 102-7 vs Pakistan and Broad and Trott helped Eng to 446 all out and Eng somehow won by an inns and 225 runs. If you're happy that India bounced back to have England 120-8 but still lose the match convincingly then good on you. In my world it would be better to be 21-9 , lose that match and then bounce back to win the next match to level the series. As far as I'm aware if you read the results of any test series it won't for example say "SA" drew series 1-1 (but Australia were 21-9 in the 2nd inns of the 1st test) . Surely the point of bouncing back is to show some end result or at least some progress? Oh and by the way you are talking rubbish about loads of England fans saying Eng are as good as 80s. And 5-0 was not in the test format and has no baring in tests. Saying ha ha and lol after gloating comms is what we would see as a little uncivil but maybe we have different standards?

  • JG2704 on November 24, 2011, 9:06 GMT

    @RandyOZ on (November 23 2011, 12:30 PM GMT) - I wouldn't say I love bragging. Also I think you'll find I have given credit to both SA and Australia if you actually read my posts which weren't in response to a postee trash talking England. If you or others post this stuff then I'll fire back. I'm not coming out with rubbish that we're better than the best Oz side of the 90s or the best WI side of the 80s. But if we're going by the recent history then I am happy that we are currently , independently ranked the best test side in the world and if you read my posts where I maybe to come over as bragging you'll find that they are in response to postees/posts talking garbage about England. Sorry if we're not all as sensible and humble in our comms as your good self

  • Harmony111 on November 24, 2011, 8:19 GMT

    I fail to see why the Eng fans (mostly) have/had this grudge against Ind when they were no. 1. Even the SA/Oz fans use the same nasty bitter words for Ind. Add to it SL fans too. Did Ind beg to become #1? Did the other teams gift this #1 rank to Ind? All along, it was said that Ind were playing at home mostly and so the ranking wasn't fair. Alright, much of that is a fair point. A #1 team should perform away from home too. What about SA? Why could they not beat Ind last year, AT HOME? It could be said that Ind came out as the better team at the end of that series, they had some chance of winning the 3rd test then. They lost badly in Eng and Eng came out as the better team, you can't win 4-0 if you are bad but Ind could have done better there but for a few issues. Now the onus is on Eng to prove that they are a better #1 team than Ind. If Ind win against Oz this time then their record would be equal. Let's see how Eng do in Ind this time but if Eng lose then be ready for reactions.

  • Meety on November 24, 2011, 2:32 GMT

    @JG2704 - whilst I think that Harmony111 is a bit on the blinkered side of life, I have to say that there HAVE been comparisons made with Oz & WI Dynastys from English fans. Even Rob Steen did a WHOLE article on "aura". I would say MOST Pommy fans wouldn't dare mutter that type of comparison yet, (although would be crossing their fingers in hope), but there were some stirrers of the pot making wild claims. I'd name Sir Freddie & Ohh Matty as two, but there were others! @Siddarth Iyer - England deserve the #1 standing, all that is left to prove is a) to be undisputed (i.e winning basically everywhere as #1) & b) building a dynasty. I personally do not believe the difference between #1 (England) & #5 (Sr Lanka) is not as big as people think. I think on home turf, SL can theoretically beat Eng, (but not the way they are currently playing). It will make for some good series.

  • 5wombats on November 23, 2011, 15:30 GMT

    @JG2704 - mate - during the india V England ODI's you manned the barricades every day and did your duty, even though we got stuffed out of sight....! You are SOOOO right about the out of control braying and tasteless comments from literally hundreds of indian posters during that series. @JG2704 - I'd like to slap you on the back and buy you a drink - you're hard core! Maybe next summer at a Saffer Test match? whadoyasay? :-)

  • Harmony111 on November 23, 2011, 15:11 GMT

    @JG2704 :-

    You only need to read the comments section of that test and ODI series when there were so many Eng fans talking about this team being as good as the WI/Oz. And when you could not find anything to support your point of me being uncivil, you picked up the Ha Ha or the lol and said that look this is not civil language. My answer to this is Ha Ha Ha Ha. Got it? All along, the Ind fans have been saying that any team will be hard to beat at home, esp the top 4-5. The Eng fans were even grudging Ind #1 rank at that time and this is why Ind fans made this point. What did Eng actually prove by winning at home? Eng fans said they will defeat Ind and so they did. Ind fans said that wait till you come to Ind and Eng did lose to Ind 5-0. That proved one part of the point made by Ind fans. I have intermittently commented that Eng have a very good test team and esp batting and that the top 4 teams are all very close. This is uncivil?

  • Harmony111 on November 23, 2011, 15:10 GMT

    @JG2704 :-

    Just to make it easier for you to understand, it IS shameful for a team to be 120/8, playing at home, against a bowling attack that fans like you usually term as mediocre. If India ever are 120/8 in Delhi against a spinner, it WILL be a shameful performance. Someone from your clan said that Ind can't bat on SPORTING tracks, well, can Eng bat then? Can Aus or SA bat in such conditions? If Eng are that great a side then why were they 120/8? They won that match because of bouncing back but till that hat-trick, it was Ind that was bouncing back in that match. I hope now the word BOUNCING BACK is clear to you. It does not always mean a decisive victory, but it is a touché in many ways.

  • Harmony111 on November 23, 2011, 15:10 GMT

    @JG2704 :-

    Whoa, you sound so hurt there. I hope you know that this section is moderated and the comments take some time to appear. In the past, plenty of my comments have not been published whenever some Eng/Oz fan has crossed the limits. So it is rather stupid of you asking me to provide you with the examples. I have tried that while talking to 5Wombats in the past and the comments have not appeared. Let's choose me other forum for that. And did I ever say that Ind had won the match by reducing Eng to 120/8? But right at that point, anyone would say that Ind were on top and Eng were under pressure. Eng did win the match and I mentioned that too in my last comment. Perhaps you are too touchy and can't see the whole point Or may be you try to take points in parts and then give ridiculous replies. And do I really need to give you examples of Ind/BCCI/IPL bashing? You better see an optician since I can see quite a few cases of Ind bashing in BEFORE I had made that comment.

  • on November 24, 2011, 12:36 GMT

    @jg2704 - agreed many of my fellow Indians are 'uncivilised' (just realised its been redefined).. u see while most of the eng/aus/rsa supporters think its just a sport we on the other hand are obsessed with this 'sport' ..Its basically what football is to you..(havin resided in london for 4 yrs in knw what football means to the english)...My point being trash talkin before or during the series is ofcourse wrong..When we lost the first test there were many english fans totally discarding the Indian team and some even goin to the extent of askin the team to pack their bags and go home..(nw i feel they shud have actually done that :p) ..Since u feel that we might very well have different standards then y r u takin offense? u shud simply ignore right? Though the english fans comment in a 'civilised' manner they r still hurtful..We simply retaliate..Some predict and 'lol' 'haha', some abuse while the rest just enjoy reading..Later!!

  • JG2704 on November 24, 2011, 9:24 GMT

    @Meety on (November 24 2011, 02:32 AM GMT) - To be honest I must have slipped past the posts that said England were as good as the 1980s WI and 90s Aus sides. Obviously a writer often writes things to encourage debate too. But the point I've been trying to make is that it has been only a small percentage of England fans on these boards who would be saying that we're that good right now . Just like when we were thrashed in the recent OD series by India , there were Indians saying that we were coming out with excuses and when I ask where - no response. Yet there were numerous goading comms from Indian fans after that OD series. I'd say that at least 75% (and that's a conservative estimate) of Indian fans were giving it the lol,ha ha,see what happens when you play in Indian conditions/luck/decisions etc. There were a very small minority who even acknowledged that the team were poor in tests in England. It was luck,injuries,conditions.... BTW - You're one of the wiser heads on here

  • JG2704 on November 24, 2011, 9:07 GMT

    @Harmony111 on (November 23 2011, 15:10 PM GMT) - 120-8 is not a great score. We were also 102-7 vs Pakistan and Broad and Trott helped Eng to 446 all out and Eng somehow won by an inns and 225 runs. If you're happy that India bounced back to have England 120-8 but still lose the match convincingly then good on you. In my world it would be better to be 21-9 , lose that match and then bounce back to win the next match to level the series. As far as I'm aware if you read the results of any test series it won't for example say "SA" drew series 1-1 (but Australia were 21-9 in the 2nd inns of the 1st test) . Surely the point of bouncing back is to show some end result or at least some progress? Oh and by the way you are talking rubbish about loads of England fans saying Eng are as good as 80s. And 5-0 was not in the test format and has no baring in tests. Saying ha ha and lol after gloating comms is what we would see as a little uncivil but maybe we have different standards?

  • JG2704 on November 24, 2011, 9:06 GMT

    @RandyOZ on (November 23 2011, 12:30 PM GMT) - I wouldn't say I love bragging. Also I think you'll find I have given credit to both SA and Australia if you actually read my posts which weren't in response to a postee trash talking England. If you or others post this stuff then I'll fire back. I'm not coming out with rubbish that we're better than the best Oz side of the 90s or the best WI side of the 80s. But if we're going by the recent history then I am happy that we are currently , independently ranked the best test side in the world and if you read my posts where I maybe to come over as bragging you'll find that they are in response to postees/posts talking garbage about England. Sorry if we're not all as sensible and humble in our comms as your good self

  • Harmony111 on November 24, 2011, 8:19 GMT

    I fail to see why the Eng fans (mostly) have/had this grudge against Ind when they were no. 1. Even the SA/Oz fans use the same nasty bitter words for Ind. Add to it SL fans too. Did Ind beg to become #1? Did the other teams gift this #1 rank to Ind? All along, it was said that Ind were playing at home mostly and so the ranking wasn't fair. Alright, much of that is a fair point. A #1 team should perform away from home too. What about SA? Why could they not beat Ind last year, AT HOME? It could be said that Ind came out as the better team at the end of that series, they had some chance of winning the 3rd test then. They lost badly in Eng and Eng came out as the better team, you can't win 4-0 if you are bad but Ind could have done better there but for a few issues. Now the onus is on Eng to prove that they are a better #1 team than Ind. If Ind win against Oz this time then their record would be equal. Let's see how Eng do in Ind this time but if Eng lose then be ready for reactions.

  • Meety on November 24, 2011, 2:32 GMT

    @JG2704 - whilst I think that Harmony111 is a bit on the blinkered side of life, I have to say that there HAVE been comparisons made with Oz & WI Dynastys from English fans. Even Rob Steen did a WHOLE article on "aura". I would say MOST Pommy fans wouldn't dare mutter that type of comparison yet, (although would be crossing their fingers in hope), but there were some stirrers of the pot making wild claims. I'd name Sir Freddie & Ohh Matty as two, but there were others! @Siddarth Iyer - England deserve the #1 standing, all that is left to prove is a) to be undisputed (i.e winning basically everywhere as #1) & b) building a dynasty. I personally do not believe the difference between #1 (England) & #5 (Sr Lanka) is not as big as people think. I think on home turf, SL can theoretically beat Eng, (but not the way they are currently playing). It will make for some good series.

  • 5wombats on November 23, 2011, 15:30 GMT

    @JG2704 - mate - during the india V England ODI's you manned the barricades every day and did your duty, even though we got stuffed out of sight....! You are SOOOO right about the out of control braying and tasteless comments from literally hundreds of indian posters during that series. @JG2704 - I'd like to slap you on the back and buy you a drink - you're hard core! Maybe next summer at a Saffer Test match? whadoyasay? :-)

  • Harmony111 on November 23, 2011, 15:11 GMT

    @JG2704 :-

    You only need to read the comments section of that test and ODI series when there were so many Eng fans talking about this team being as good as the WI/Oz. And when you could not find anything to support your point of me being uncivil, you picked up the Ha Ha or the lol and said that look this is not civil language. My answer to this is Ha Ha Ha Ha. Got it? All along, the Ind fans have been saying that any team will be hard to beat at home, esp the top 4-5. The Eng fans were even grudging Ind #1 rank at that time and this is why Ind fans made this point. What did Eng actually prove by winning at home? Eng fans said they will defeat Ind and so they did. Ind fans said that wait till you come to Ind and Eng did lose to Ind 5-0. That proved one part of the point made by Ind fans. I have intermittently commented that Eng have a very good test team and esp batting and that the top 4 teams are all very close. This is uncivil?

  • Harmony111 on November 23, 2011, 15:10 GMT

    @JG2704 :-

    Just to make it easier for you to understand, it IS shameful for a team to be 120/8, playing at home, against a bowling attack that fans like you usually term as mediocre. If India ever are 120/8 in Delhi against a spinner, it WILL be a shameful performance. Someone from your clan said that Ind can't bat on SPORTING tracks, well, can Eng bat then? Can Aus or SA bat in such conditions? If Eng are that great a side then why were they 120/8? They won that match because of bouncing back but till that hat-trick, it was Ind that was bouncing back in that match. I hope now the word BOUNCING BACK is clear to you. It does not always mean a decisive victory, but it is a touché in many ways.

  • Harmony111 on November 23, 2011, 15:10 GMT

    @JG2704 :-

    Whoa, you sound so hurt there. I hope you know that this section is moderated and the comments take some time to appear. In the past, plenty of my comments have not been published whenever some Eng/Oz fan has crossed the limits. So it is rather stupid of you asking me to provide you with the examples. I have tried that while talking to 5Wombats in the past and the comments have not appeared. Let's choose me other forum for that. And did I ever say that Ind had won the match by reducing Eng to 120/8? But right at that point, anyone would say that Ind were on top and Eng were under pressure. Eng did win the match and I mentioned that too in my last comment. Perhaps you are too touchy and can't see the whole point Or may be you try to take points in parts and then give ridiculous replies. And do I really need to give you examples of Ind/BCCI/IPL bashing? You better see an optician since I can see quite a few cases of Ind bashing in BEFORE I had made that comment.

  • on November 23, 2011, 14:24 GMT

    @jamesbadgewing- in his (harmony) defense i think he was referrin to that particular session and nt the entire match. We did win several sessions but just cudnt hold on to it.. @JG2704- indeed time will tell if england deserve to be number 1..India doesnt..infact none of the top 5 teams do (if the comparison is with the windies of 80s or aus of mid 2000)..To sum it all, every team has its own drawbacks..no team is perfect!!..People who love the game should and will appreciate good cricket and the cricketers..the legends..later

  • Harmony111 on November 23, 2011, 13:57 GMT

    @James Badge Wing:-

    Bouncing Back doesn't always mean winning the match. When Broad took that hat-trick, it was Eng that bounced back in that match. They went on to make full use of that opportunity while Ind did not use theirs. Similarly, when Eng scored 300 in one ODI in Ind, it was they who had bounced back, when they had dismissed Virat Kohli in that match they had again bounced back. All these events count as Bouncing Backs. Of course, the end of the play score is the finishing line but even before that there are so many little tussles.

  • RandyOZ on November 23, 2011, 12:30 GMT

    @JG2704, and you are just as bad. You love bringing England into it. I guess it is an article about South Africa though so it makes sense.

  • Harmony111 on November 23, 2011, 12:12 GMT

    @jmcilhinney :-

    Both your comments make sense. SA did not lose this test because of choking. Many persons simply repeat the word choke each time SA lose. SA should have defended 310 but Aus played well to chase it down. Smith did make some bad decisions but it had been a choke encore for SA had they allowed Aus to recover from 40/5 to 310/8 or if someone had dropped a sitter when Aus needed 10-15 runs with 2 wickets in hand. This series also proved that ATM Eng have a better team and should not worry too much. At the same time, it also proves that any of the top 4 teams is capable of winning and so the No.1 slot is going to be taken many times in the next 2-3 years.

  • JG2704 on November 23, 2011, 12:06 GMT

    @Harmony111 on (November 23 2011, 05:51 AM GMT) - 1 - Most English fans - even on these boards where bias can come to the fore - have not said that we're as good as those WI/Aus teams. If you believe that then please show examples in the future. Other fans have made similar accusations and when I have asked for examples have come back with nothing. As for Eng/India fans debate - if you find archive reports of the last OD series you will see (even with the blinkers on) the tasteless/goading comms with loads of lols/ha has etc from the Indian fans on the thrashing India gave Eng in a format which England are capable in but rarely show it and are usually poor in. No one's ignoring that thrashing but the OD game has zero baring to what happens in tests - end of.

  • JG2704 on November 23, 2011, 11:52 GMT

    @Harmony111 on (November 21 2011, 21:25 PM GMT)- originally submitted Nov 22 - Hardly anyone's mentioned India on this thread , what are you on about? But as you have brought the subject up , there was a multitude of tasteless gloating comments from Indian fans when they thrashed England in the ODI series and it was only a small percentage of fans who found fault in their own teams failings in India and instead blamed anything else they could. Please in future list all these instances of England fans saying we're already as good as WI in the 80s or Australia 90s/2000s because I think you're seeing things that aren't there. For the record , as an England fan I am very proud of the test side's recent achievements and would love them to stay at the top for a long time. Time will tell, As for our ODI side , we can on our day match anyone but more often than not we fail big time.

  • JG2704 on November 23, 2011, 11:51 GMT

    @Harmony111 ctd - How was England being 120-8 and going on to win that particular match by 319 runs shameful? To me that shows , heart and resilience. It's pointless getting a team 8 down for 120 , if they go on to score another 100 runs for the last 2 wkts , 500+ in the 2nd inns and then your team scores only 158 in the 2nd inns. Bouncing back to win a session and then losing that test by over 300 runs is pointless.

  • JG2704 on November 23, 2011, 11:51 GMT

    @Harmony111 - Firstly (November 21 2011, 21:25 PM GMT) you started booing about India bashing and up to that point only Spence1324 (as far as I saw) even mentioned India and that was in response to an Indian fan digging at SA for choking. I've resubmitted my orig response which I hope gets published this time. As for comments being civil , I'd say giving it the big one with a ha ha or lol afterwards is quite provocative/antagonizing. I've already said where this applies to you. As for bouncing back. You were saying to 5W about India not being 21-9 etc , in that it is a favourable comparison to Aus. As a fan , I'd rather my team were dismal in one inns in one test and bounced back to draw a series than were consistently outplayed.

  • JG2704 on November 23, 2011, 11:51 GMT

    @Siddharth Iyer on (November 23 2011, 04:15 AM GMT) - Indeed the subcontinent will be a test. And indeed we have not won a series there for some time. However , even with a lesser side , nowhere near as good as the side Eng have now , we have only lost by the odd test or drawn in India , lost by the odd test or won in Pak and lost by the odd test to SL. To add to the equation that all the teams have had to go through changes over the years. Eng were whitewashed by/in Australia in 2006 and then 4 years later when Warne/Mcgrath have retired beat Australia in Australia 3-1. If we can turn that sort of deficit around in 4 years then surely we are capable (and I'm not saying nailed on) of winning a series in the subcontinent now. SL are without Murali and already look half the side without him. BTW - before responding - OD format has no baring in what happens in tests. See Eng fortunes vs SL and Aus in tests comp to ODI's

  • on November 23, 2011, 11:49 GMT

    @Harmony111 "Ind had Eng on the mat at 120/8. That is shameful for Eng and shows that Ind did bounce back in that match" Well if by bouncing back you mean losing by 319 runs then I don't want to bounce back! Also that 120/8 became 221/10, not a great score but not shameful. BTW its the score at the end of the innings that counts in case you are not clear on the rules. As an England fan I'd say that a fair assessment of the current England team is very good but not great and are currently No.1 because there are no great teams at the moment.

  • 5wombats on November 23, 2011, 10:45 GMT

    @JG2704 - nicely put. True - we were in the thick of if during the india V England ODI, outnumbered 15/20 to 1 - and, true, we saw what they wrote. Horrifying boasting and bragging. Unlikely to forget an experience like that! True, no England fan made a single excuse, but still we were accused of making excuses. Funny that telling the truth is called "delusion" or "boasting" when it comes from an England fan. This game is beautiful, it raises our eyes. Losing happens when a team is better, them's the rules. Keep posting!

  • jmcilhinney on November 23, 2011, 8:52 GMT

    Those talking about SA choking are simpyl bandwagon-jumpers with no imagination. Choking would be when you do well up until the end and then throw it away with your own poor play. SA did no such thing. They certainly did throw away some wickets in the first innings but both teams fought hard until the end and it really could have gone either way. Aust just had enough at the line but it was still a good contest all the way. If you don;t have your own thoughts to talk about then why post at all?

  • jmcilhinney on November 23, 2011, 7:38 GMT

    I didn't really find either team convincing in this abbreviated series. Far too many collapses, two sub-100 innings, one of them sub-50. SA bowling was far more consistent than Aust but their batting was wildly inconsistent. Aust bacon was saved by an 18 yo débutante in the bowling department and three players whom many, if not most, thought shouldn't have been playing in the batting department. Cummins almost certainly has a bright future but some seem to be assuming a bit too much based on a single match. I don't see how any reasonable person could conclude that either of these teams was better than, if even as good as, England at the moment based on this series. There's still no team in world cricket who look capable of dominating so I'd say competition for the #1 spot will be on for a while.

  • Harmony111 on November 23, 2011, 5:51 GMT

    @5wombats:- What trash talk do you talk about? There was too much trash from the Eng fans actually. Just 1 series win against Oz and they were calling their team as one of the all time greats? Huh. This Eng team is good for sure but needs to sustain this level and in all conditions before it is put in the same league as the WI of 80s and the Oz of 00s. The Ind fans were honest supporters of their team and were only responding to the cocky talks of the Eng fans. I myself congratulated the Eng team after the 1st win but the noise from the Eng fans kept on rising. How can you ignore the thrashing this team got in Ind? Don't say that it was not a test series. This Eng team failed in proving one major part of its supposed greatness. Accept that. And may I say that it laughable for the fans of a team that has been perennially the whipping toy to talk about greatness and performance etc. More imp, the team should be a single nation, not a motley group.

  • Harmony111 on November 23, 2011, 5:49 GMT

    @JG2704 :-

    Amazing points made by you. I am amazed at your intelligence and the great ability to say what is civil and what is not. Could you tell me what exactly in those comments of mine is NOT civil?

    And when have I said or even hinted that Ind showed the ability to bounce back in the test series against Eng? Why do you wrongly ascribe a statement to me when I have not said it? Is that all you can do use the straw man fallacy? But now that you ask for it. After a sound defeat in the 1st test match,Ind had Eng on the mat at 120/8. That is shameful for Eng and shows that Ind did bounce back in that match. Yeah, they did lose that match finally but they did win the initial sessions of the match. Eng were out of it for the best part of 3 days till that hat-trick.

  • on November 23, 2011, 4:15 GMT

    @jg2704- am nt denyin tat India were pathetic in the tests against england..i dnt agree wid the people who try to find refuge in excuses like 'it was a half fit team' or 'second string team'... despite all the injuries i still thgt we had a very good team.. my point is hw can u come to a conclusion on the basis of just one series? england were superb and deserved to win..bt they have always had problems in the subcontinent...when i said they have been at the top of the rankings for 3 months- i meant they r yet to tour the subcontinent wid the no.1 tag..most of the teams (including India) do very well in their backyard...its the away series that tests you...for the english,the australians its the subcontinent that will test them...and vice versa... i think ive made my point...later

  • Marcio on November 23, 2011, 0:43 GMT

    The other thing to remember is that the AUS win was achieved without their strike bowler, Harris, and their effective #2 bowler, Watson. Watson was also hampered in batting/fielding. So it was in fact a remarkable achievement.

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on November 22, 2011, 23:56 GMT

    @dariuscorny, you are almost correct about Ponting, Kallis, De Villiers and Amla. Here's how it is: 6 Kallis = 56.89 x 6 = 341.34; 3 De Villiers = 47.43 x 3 = 142.29; 1 Amla = 47.54 x 1 = 47.54. The sum is 531.17. Dividing the sum by 10 gives you 53.117 which is slightly greater than 52.53, which is the average of Ricky Ponting. So, Ponting is slightly inferior to Kallis, Amla and De Villiers ;). But you are almost there with your twisted logic :).

  • JG2704 on November 22, 2011, 22:50 GMT

    @Siddharth Iyer on (November 22 2011, 12:18 PM GMT) - You are right in saying that India (apart from the England series) must have been good over the previous 2 years. But just like India must have been good to gain/maintain their number 1 status , should England not get a little credit for achieving their current ranking using the exact same ranking system or does it just work one way? The 5-0 whitewash (in the ODIs) in my opinion is more indicative of how England struggle in the 50 over format , than in the subcontinent. The SL/PAK series will tell us more

  • JG2704 on November 22, 2011, 22:49 GMT

    @Gordo85 - Harsh on Steyn with the bat. Surely Steyn wouldn't have been expected to score so many and along with Philander and Tahir wouldn't have been expected to add that many runs for the last 3 wickets. Should Boucher and Prince (if we're faulting the batsmen rather than praising the bowlers) be more liable?

  • JG2704 on November 22, 2011, 22:49 GMT

    @Harmony111 on (November 22 2011, 07:21 AM GMT) - For me Australia proved their bouncebackability even more because of the 2nd test collapse. Maybe you could point out where in the test series vs England , India bounced back? BTW - You say earlier on "Barring a very small percentage, most Indian fans here have been civil and sporting. In fact, of late it is the Eng fans who have become very very cocky" and then in this post you say "You might have seen the way Eng batsmen couldn't score runs on these so called flat wickets. Ha Ha. All that Eng proved was that they were better at home" - So I'm guessing you weren't referring to yourself as one of the civil a sporting types?

  • JG2704 on November 22, 2011, 22:49 GMT

    @Gupta.Ankur - Agree that Australia still have issues to address , but (unless of course it's India) is it always luck that gets a team through in a tight match? Skill , heart , guts and determination doesn't come into it then?

  • JG2704 on November 22, 2011, 22:49 GMT

    @rahulcricket007 on (November 22 2011, 01:44 AM GMT) - writing in caps makes your points no more valid. 2007 was over 4 years ago and was a win by India by a solitary test. The most recent series was less than 4 months ago and was a little more decisive. At least we (England fans with the ODI's) admit it when we are poor

  • JG2704 on November 22, 2011, 22:48 GMT

    @Ben1989 - Sorry , but England are number 1. ICC rankings , black and white there. What is this jargon that they were always going to beat India at home? India were above England before the series and If England had drawn/lost or only won by a solitary test they'd have remained at number 1. No one predicted a 4-0 whitewash either way. This was (on paper) a test. So it may be because India were poor or because England were good or a combination of the 2. England got to number 1 by a number of consistently decent test performances. To be honest Australia just drew vs SA in SA and Eng beat Aus 3-1 in Aus less than 12 months ago so if Eng beat SA next year (and I admit it will be a very tough series) you'll find fault with that.

  • Manush on November 22, 2011, 14:33 GMT

    Excellent finish to the test. Australia pulled out a remarkable victory thanks to quality contributions from the Veteran Ponting, Khawaja,Cummins,Hussey,Haddina and Johnson in batting. It is a shame that ICC could find only two test time table for these two top teams contest. After a gap, Australia seems to have found a good player in Cummins. SA was led down by disappointing bowling performance barring Philander and to some extent Steyn. Spinner Tahir was mediocre and was offering too many full tosses at vital stages of the game to the advantage of Australians.

  • CricketingStargazer on November 22, 2011, 14:10 GMT

    Great series, but this win thanks to a couple of individual performances will just add grist to the mill of those who want to paper over the cracks in Australian cricket rather than addressing the issues. A good one to start with is the fact that Phil Hughes is still a regular opener. His average of 38.18 looks good, but when you take out his first 3 Tests (415 runs) he has just 616 runs at 29.33 in his last 12 Tests. The fast bowling is thin, the spin is threadbare at best and various of the batsmen seem to have passed their sell-by date, yet the same players are being re-cycled time and again! Have Australian resources been so poor at any time since the mid-1980s?? However, it takes great team spirit for a struggling side to level a Test series like this. What though do South Africa have to do to beat Australia at home?

  • dariuscorny on November 22, 2011, 13:36 GMT

    1 Ricky Ponting = 6 Kallis+3 De Villiers+1 Amla

  • CollisKing on November 22, 2011, 12:38 GMT

    Brilliant Test match played on a typically good Wanderer's strip. Two of world cricket's superpowers, an absolute disgrace this wasn't a THREE-match series. ICC should be ashamed of themselves.

  • on November 22, 2011, 12:18 GMT

    @likeintcric -The last time Ind played against aus at perth Indians emerged victorious..the batting line up was pretty much the same… @Ind bashers- hmm..interesting despite the 4-0 whitewash we r still number 2 in the rankings..what does that say about the performance of the Indian team over the last 2 yrs? England have been at the top for what 3 months now? How about the 5-0 whitewash in India last month? That does tell u that they struggle in the subcontinent..Seriously how can people question the techniques of Laxman, Dravid and Sachin? 2003/04 it was the batting that won us the match @ Adelaide.. 2007/08 @ perth again it was the batting… mind u @ PERTH..on a 'bouncy' wicket.. everyone knows what happened @sydney….so lets just wait and see how it goes before going bonkers over just one debacle.. Its easy to pinpoint isnt it? lets just enjoy the game instead of being judgemental..lookin forward to India's tour of Australia…may the best team win..

  • on November 22, 2011, 12:14 GMT

    first of all hearty congratulations to Australia to leveling the series by a remarkable victory over south Africa.Its really bad to put India into this article but few of the Indian fans who are jumping like a jack that the Indian squad has won test matches only against the younger sides apparently with there very strong (on the paper batting line up), the sides that are undergoing transition, sides whose players almost new to arena. Remember they were beaten like a local team in England where Indian squad have almost legends. The other thing is India even against the inexperienced teams have been denied victories. If you see Australia when they ranked no. 1 they won against best of the worlds not like India having best batting line up winning over the inexperienced sides and also many of the players have lack their integrity when they play for IPL and not for the Country

  • Siddiee on November 22, 2011, 11:39 GMT

    @spence 1324 - my reservations arent for india or england neither am i defending india's performance as it was pathetic at best last summer and england is ranked where it shud be currently among test playing nations (but they still have to prove themselves in subcontinent). I had asked about batting performances of test playing nations against good bowling attacks in helpful conditions, do you really think india's bowling attack was/is a good one, if not, then your stats absolutely irrelevant. Also, England has played most of its cricket on bouncy pitches and i have seen english batsmen getting dismissed for below par scores many times, you may check the scoring average of your team during past decade in Aus,SA and Eng.

  • stormy16 on November 22, 2011, 11:18 GMT

    What a great test and series and what an absolute crime it is to have a two test series! I am not sure SA could have done much more than get a lead of 300+ on that wicket with their bowlng attack - the Aussies were simply up to the task and too good. Vernon was a sensation and I thought this guy was lucky to be in the squad!!! i think the happier side will the Aussies as they are in a rebuilding stage and to not get beaten to a really strong SA team is a highly commendable performance to back up their win in SL. SA will be concerned with the last two drawn home series'. With Steyn and Morkel backed up by a seroiusly strong batting line up, one would expect them to win at home regularly.

  • Marktc on November 22, 2011, 11:12 GMT

    South Africa did not choke. The match was well balanced until tea time. After tea the SA bowling lacked that edge and the Aussies made the most of that lapse. Sad to see how people cannot wait to attack the SA team every opportunity they get. Australia have a good side, even though they are rebuilding. Cummins is a real talent for Oz. Clarke is a good captain. The series was well balanced and a 5 or even 3 test series would have made some more classic cricket. This was also the first Test series in some 9 months so SA will get better. The bowling unit will improve under Donald and Kirsten will be a good guide for the batsman. SA will be number one soon. As for the Aussies- they do have some weak points, but I guarantee you, they are a quality side and should not be underestimated. They to will only get better.

  • SuperSharky on November 22, 2011, 10:53 GMT

    Wow, Long Live Test Cricket. Brilliant Series to watch and I'm not surprised that the series are being shared. A Drawn Series was the safest bet. And I feel that it's being a long time or maybe the first time ever, where you can't actually say, with full confidance, that no country is miles high above the other. Even England (Top of the ICC Rankings) can't sleep and expect to win easily against Bangladesh or even Zimbabwe, away from home. England, India, South Africa, Australia, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, West Indies, New Zealand or Bangladesh are capable of winning a Test session or even a full Test against anyone, especially on home-soil. No-one dominates anymore. World Test Cricket is really a healthy competition to watch.

  • mathewjohn2176 on November 22, 2011, 10:24 GMT

    It will be same for England @5wombats,the usual business starts when England united xi travel to subcontinent.so sorry.

  • likeintcricket on November 22, 2011, 10:15 GMT

    Congratulation to Australia on this wonderful victory and it shows that despite not having great talents which is usually associated with their side they are still capable of achieving remarkable results. In fact they could have won the first test too if they avoided that collapse. South Africa on the other hand must see this as a lost opportunity. This is probably the weakest Australian bowling ever to tour SA but they kept choking all the time and could not finish it off. From Smith to Philander they have the best Test batting side and arguably # 1 bowling attack but without any killer instinct. Now Australia will go in the Indian series with lots of confidence.Everyone in the cricket world will be watching that series as it could be a makeup or break up of Indian Trio or quartet ( Sehwag including). They could be good Against WI on slow tracks but can they play Australian BOUNCERS at Perth?

  • bhardwaj.dss on November 22, 2011, 9:51 GMT

    Lot of fast bowlers have been cummins and goings in the Australian team lately. Wait for the India tour to finish before escalating this boy to unparalleled greatness. For all you know, he may retire from the game owing to a stress injury. By the way, where is that guy Shaun Tait?

  • 5wombats on November 22, 2011, 9:33 GMT

    @Harmony111 - If you read the wombats wisdom fully, you'll see that it's to do with respect; England followers may not like the Australian way, but they do not hate it. They respect it. Wombats have referred to Australianism frequently over the last year or so. It has taught world cricket a lot that it should be grateful for. If people haven't got the good grace or humility to see it then they deserve to be steam rollered by it. After the trash talk coming out of india fans before during and after their humiliating 4-0 Test whitewash it's just a bit rich to go lecturing other people about delusions don't you think?

  • on November 22, 2011, 9:15 GMT

    @harmony111... bang on mate...bang on!!

  • spence1324 on November 22, 2011, 9:00 GMT

    @sddhrt.mlhtr, if you want reasons look no further than last summer in england, average india totals on 'moving and bouncy' pitches 250, average england totals 600+. As for england struggling against descent fast bowlers when was that? the next few months will reiterate my earlier post.

  • Harmony111 on November 22, 2011, 8:56 GMT

    @ EVERY ONE:-

    I find it very irritating that some ppl needlessly bring in a mention of India somehow in these comment sections for SA-Aus articles. Why bash IPL if the stadium in this test match was not full? How is IPL the culprit here?

    Why bash the Indian batsmen for scoring in the so called flat tracks of India when the Eng batsmen themselves failed on the same tracks? And in any case, why do the bashing in this article?

    I am sure most of us here love to argue. This is why we post comments here even though the cricinfo comment service isn't the best in the world. My point is, why not create a separate page elsewhere for this and do all this bashing there? We will get quick prompts, no needless moderation done, no delays, share relevant links, have parallel discussions and what not.

    Let's use the comment section for only relevant comments and not for tangential or way-of-the-mark venting of frustration.

    MODS:- Please publish this comment.

  • Harmony111 on November 22, 2011, 8:55 GMT

    @5wombats:-

    India were not bowled out for 96 or 47 in any of those those 8 innings. And if not you give so muhc imp to India not crossing 300 even once in those 8 innings and so highlight that as India lacking batting temperament, what do you have to say for Eng who were 120/8 - in their home !!! It has maintained all along that India do not have good bowlers. Why then were Eng 120/8 against a hopeless bowling attack and that too in their own conditions? What would have been their plight had there been just one more in-form bowler? Another 96 a.o.? another 47 a.o.? Even lower perhaps.

    Funny to see the Englishmen still drowsy in that test series. The Eng team lost 5-0 to India subsequently even after all that chest thumping of Eng fans that Eng will beat India anytime anywhere any format blah blah. You might have seen the way Eng batsmen couldn't score runs on these so called flat wickets. Ha Ha.

    All that Eng proved was that they were better at home. So true for most teams.

  • M.N.M. on November 22, 2011, 8:52 GMT

    Ausi win does 1 thing that it poises Aus/Ind series very well. Aussies beaming with confidence & Indians off late (apart from white-wash in England) have shown good resilience outside sub-continent. Also as my memory goes; in the last over a decade or so India is the only team which has given tough times to the Aussies even on their home turf. So eagerly awaiting some enthralling contests between the two sides..!!!

  • screamingeagle on November 22, 2011, 8:40 GMT

    Excellent match, was worth watching all the way. As for the anti-India comments, I guess people wished that India would go away and lose continuously after the England series. I do get the feeling that SA will want to prove a point when England tours later. That would be fun...watching the wombats and his ilk keeping quiet. :P

  • M.N.M. on November 22, 2011, 8:35 GMT

    Congrats to Aussies ..!!! For living up to the xpectations of closing matches. It was an entertaining contest closely fought. But I still feel Proteas let it slip. D.Steyn, M.Morkel & L. Malinga are the best fast bowlers in the world at present.. But, when Steyn was bowling: his length was a bit short in the 2nd innings, he looked devastating & threatening, in contrast Malinga bowls more deliveries at the stumps. (I think Proteas will have to devise new strategies of winning close matches.)

  • Gordo85 on November 22, 2011, 8:31 GMT

    Dale Steyn played a really bad shot while batting. He should have added another 20 runs or so and that could have won South Africa the match. Cummins bowled really well but I am sure over his journey he will have lots of ups and downs in cricket terms. Sometimes he doesn't attack the stumps enough and keeps on bowling wide however when he bowled out Morkel it showed he can also pitch it up.

  • CandidIndian on November 22, 2011, 8:26 GMT

    Congrats Australia for well deserved victory.SA must be disappointed to finish yet another home series at 1-1 but overall a fair result.Long live test cricket.

  • St.as.ram.rod on November 22, 2011, 8:15 GMT

    So with India visiting, i suppose this is the best chance India has to give Aus a real thrashing in Aus. Reason: Indian Trio batting maestros' probably last trip and they all look in tremendous form. and then to take the names of Shewag, Gambhi, Kolhi, Dhoni can easily be best batsmen in any team so it only enhances the names of THE TRIO.

    As for bowling, really impressed the way Ishant is bowling in flat Indian wickets. and to have Zaheer back. And then to have youths likes Aaron and Jadav. For once really this is THE chance.

  • St.as.ram.rod on November 22, 2011, 8:11 GMT

    Clarke: Most overhyped, Other likes Trott, Kohli are much better. From batting perspective, he has still lots to prove Hussey: he still is Mr Dependable but his short selection in this series will have to be questioned and as it is not many years left in him. Haddin: Better not say anything... though he will do great on Batting paradises Johnson: His bowling is like AK47, too scattered if you donno how to use it. But when he hits, you are dead. But i dnt think he'll get easy chances Siddle: there was no potency in his bowling. Didnt look like taking wickets Lyon: Long long way to go Cummins: As well as he bowled, you need to look at the way he lacked control and only in the second inning since Kallis, he bowled at a line and length. So still has to learn alot.

  • YorkshirePudding on November 22, 2011, 8:11 GMT

    Good to see the Saffa's havent lost the art of choaking at the death, they really should have won this series, ah well at least england get to stay #1 for a bit longer.

  • Ringo44 on November 22, 2011, 8:10 GMT

    Im neer bagging any Aussie again, well done fellas, it was a great match to watch and about time we were on the right side of a close one.

  • Harmony111 on November 22, 2011, 7:21 GMT

    @5Wombats:-

    There you go again. One test win for Oz and you start talking about Australianism. While they played well to win this match where was this Australianism in the first match and in the Ashes? Where was it in the World Cup? Why did they lose to India by 1 wicket in 2009? It is all about odds. You will win some close matches and you will lose some. You now say that you did say this after the Cape Town loss. If Aus had lost this one too then you would have contd with your "DID-SAY" thingy until OZ win a match and then would have talked about this Australianism again. Convenient logic. If Ind is to be called a bad side for not scoring 300 runs, how would you rate Oz who were 21/9? They have been out for <100 thrice since 2010. YOU need to live in the reality of 2011, don't preach others. Oz are going to sink further in the coming months and years. You need to come out of your delusions.

  • Siddiee on November 22, 2011, 7:16 GMT

    @ spence1234 - it was a great match b/w SA & Aus, from where does indian batting line up comes in picture. While you are at it , let me know of a single batting lineup that is fantastic against good bowling attack on a helpful pitch and by helpful pitch i dont mean a pitch which is bouncy and batsman can play through the line but a pitch where ball moves around for good amount of period. Even though your players are bred on these bouncy pitches, i have often seen them struggling against descent fast bowlers. Any reasons for that ???

  • MichaelBevan on November 22, 2011, 7:06 GMT

    Well done chaps. Will be interesting to see where the new selectors panel decides to go. I would be telling Ponting NZ is his last series and offer him a mentoring / coaching role as that's where he is most valuable at the moment. I would give Johnson a spell in the WA side to get back in to form (hopefully). I would get rid of Haddin - everyone is whispering about this Wade character with whom I'm not familiar, but I like Luke Ronchi (as he's a West Aussie) and I think he's capable whilst Timmy Paine recovers from whatever injury has sidelined him in recent times. Siddle I'm not convinced on either, but there's no doubt he's a 110 percenter. Give Lyon another chance. The rest remain... Thoughts?

  • BDHUNTER on November 22, 2011, 7:03 GMT

    They have done it again......."CHOKER CHOKS AGAIN"....SA previously didn't manage to win twice against ENG when they need only 1 wicket to win.......i think Mr. Styen doesn't learn/forget how to bowl yorker in crucial moment!!! i think he must learn from cummins how to bowl yorkers!!!! For Aus i think another paceman needs to be in focus ,he is J.Pattinson ,So along with R.J Harris,P. Cummins will recover the spin weakness with quality fast bowling for them.........

  • Thyagu5432 on November 22, 2011, 6:36 GMT

    Well, that was an exciting day of test match and Aussies truly rose from the ashes. I am also happy that Ponting contributed but not enough to warrant his continuation in the furture team. I hope the selectors would take the bold step of dropping him now. We have had enough of his shady attitude.

  • Gupta.Ankur on November 22, 2011, 6:26 GMT

    Even though aussies got lucky to win this match, i think it doesn't take away the fact their batting is running on thin ice.....

    One 50 from ponting doesn't take away much from the fact that he is on a steep decline and was never close to either sachin in any way...

  • anver777 on November 22, 2011, 6:06 GMT

    Wow !! what a thriller !!! 18 year old Cummins deserved the winning hit in the end after some excellent bowling on debut..... good hard fought win for Aus team !!!!

  • on November 22, 2011, 5:54 GMT

    Well put Daniel Batrig!Congrats.You have watched Cummins closely.he is more thanMOM a Patiotic winner! SreedharanMundanat

  • on November 22, 2011, 5:50 GMT

    Well done Cummins, but to say that he only offered one chance I think is generous. He played without fear and any ball could have gone for four or got him out.

  • 5wombats on November 22, 2011, 5:37 GMT

    This is the reason the world respects and is often astounded by "Australianism". Knock them down and they just get back up. india fans probably had their hopes up there for a while with the way South Africa won the first Test. But although Australia are not the side they were, they are still Australia. We did say after Cape Town that the Aussies would get up and go back in swinging..... You still have to be a darned good side to beat them. So, sorry india fans - it will be business as usual for you once the india team get off the plane in Australia. @Full-Blooded-Wallop - the part about great bowling is right - the part about a "one-off" is not. So, india getting bowled out 8 times for 300 or under was 8 "one-offs" was it? Hysterical. There are more "one-offs" waiting for india in Australia one suspects! @rahulcricket007- noboby cares about 2007 or 2002 anymore. Time to live in the reality of 2011. PS Take your caps lock off.

  • veerakannadiga on November 22, 2011, 5:33 GMT

    Since the day I saw Cummins bowl at Bangalore during the CLT20, I have been shouting hoarse, that he is the future of world fast bowling What he did on debut is just an indication of what is in store. Good that Haddin scored a 50.Ricky also proved a point or two to his bashers.A well deserved victory to Australia. They are on their path to become the rightful No.1 again. (I am an Indian supporter).But one thing guys, this bloke Khwaja cannot play spin to save his life.

  • landl47 on November 22, 2011, 5:30 GMT

    A great win by Aus and a fascinating series. Both games see-sawed to and fro and could have gone either way. It's a real black eye for the administrators that a series which has given so much enjoyment to real cricket enthusiasts has been limited to 2 games to cater to the crowd that couldn't tell a short leg from a fried egg (you never see either in T20). Fantastic debut from Cummins and the Aus side played with the commitment which Aus always shows- they're tough to beat! SA found a promising new star themselves in Philander, so both sides can take a plus from this series. I hope we see many more tests like this in future; this kind of game is why I love cricket.

  • wardyinoz on November 22, 2011, 5:18 GMT

    @randyoz. if you are happy with the state of ozi cricket then you are a very easily please simple man. your team is average at best with indiciplined bowlers a terrible keeper and headless batsmen. good luck

  • StarsnStumps on November 22, 2011, 4:25 GMT

    Wow Go Cummins has nerves of steel and a lion's heart!! what a fighter hope to see him shine in the future the most exciting youngster since Amir ... :( still feel sad for him ... but anyways Good luck to cummins the soon to be fastest bowler in the world

  • Wozza-CY on November 22, 2011, 4:06 GMT

    With all the ups & downs & personalities aside, if you had of said to me at the end of the last Ashes series that after a break, our test team would win 1-0 in Sri Lanka & draw the series in SA 1-1 against a pretty good SAFFA team... I would have taken it! Khwaja, Marsh, Cummins, Clarkes captaincy have all been huge positives as well.

  • ajayrcs on November 22, 2011, 4:01 GMT

    All those criticising Ricky should watch this match carefully especially 122 runs stand between Khawaja and Ponting. Ponting was the main instrument in this partnership. He guided Khawaja to score his highest score in test arena.

  • redneck on November 22, 2011, 3:42 GMT

    great win, great series it should be 3 tests but... i guess theres next time! hats of to south african curators they know how to make test wickets! @dicky_boy mate australians arent west indians! they put country ahead of cash everytime. i guarentee you cummings wont even look at an ipl team unless australia has a nice big off season with no cricket on. which rules out the next ipl atleast as we are touring the west indies at the same time! if you play in the australian team, your going to make enough cash to avoid temptation.

  • Full-Blooded-Wallop on November 22, 2011, 3:14 GMT

    @5wombats: By batting temperament, I meant about collapses. Collapses in bundles.Collapses playing poor shorts. scores of 47 and 96. Great opening starts but then whole team in the pavilion within minutes. India couldn't scored due to great bowling. I agree. But then again it was one-off. Champions shall rise again. And how. Once in a while a check is necessary. Else cricket will become too monotonous. ;)

  • CiMP on November 22, 2011, 3:13 GMT

    Wonderful ending which had all teh ingredients of a good Test. Question marks over the places of Ponting, Haddin and Johnson may be getting lighter. On the other hand the question marks about SA's and Dale Steyn's ability in the fourth innings linger. With a new ball available and the tail enders in the middle how did the world's best paceman fail to finish them must be troubling question for the performance analysts.

    The abrupt end to an interesting Test series without third Test as series decider reminds me of how tv channels in India cut the action and bring in the commercials just as a wicket falls or an over gets completed! ICC is media dictated after all!

  • VivGilchrist on November 22, 2011, 2:45 GMT

    The writer forgot to mention Bridgetown '99 as another of the lost epics.

  • heathrf1974 on November 22, 2011, 2:37 GMT

    Hodra 99 - best comment so far. The wicket produced by the curator was outstanding and offered something for all pacemen, spinners and batsmen alike for all five days. A 10/10 wicket. The Saffies would be disappointed with the loss, they had the better bowling and batting lineups and didn't win the series. Great result from Australia, Cummins was almost a one man show for the Aussie bowlers. Johnson needs to be dropped although he batted well, he's there to get wickets. It will be interesting to see the new bowling lineup against NZ.

  • on November 22, 2011, 2:19 GMT

    Oh my god !! I hate this !! I don want any australian in form until the end of India series !!!

  • Meety on November 22, 2011, 2:02 GMT

    @Randy Oz - "..Australia never lost a test in SA.." I assume you mean series, AND I assume you mean post Apartheid. A good Ozzy side had it's butts handed to them 4-0 in 1969ish by a side that COULD of been the greatest ever assembled - something that can never be proven. @Mooky - there was nothing "average" about any of the innings. They all played a part in a GREAT run-chase. This chase will be referred to for many many years. (Hopefully more so than the score 9/21)! @RightArmEverything - I think the McGrath v Cummins comparison is purely about physical similarities. That's all it could be!

  • on November 22, 2011, 1:47 GMT

    "Australia's victory was a rare triumph in a close Test match - in recent years, they have made an unfortunate habit of losing the epics. Adelaide 1993, Sydney and Karachi 1994, Kolkata 2001, Edgbaston 2005 and Mohali 2010 all trigger painful recollections..." Codswallop.

    Here are some epics you missed - Adelaide 2006 against the poms, Sydney 2007 against India and again Sydney 2009 against Pakistan or even Jo'burg 2006. But then again they aren't 1993 recent.

    Did Cummins get a 6 for in the second innings or did you miss that too.

  • TheLoneStranger on November 22, 2011, 1:44 GMT

    Katich for Hughes, Warner for Watson, Watson (if fit) to number 5, Ponting out, Clarke to 4. Johnson and other chance in Brisbane (only for his batting winning this match). That leaves us with: Katich, Warner, Khawaja, Clarke, Watson, Hussey, Haddin, Johnson, Cutting (to debut on his home ground), Cummins, Lyon/Siddle (depending on pitch; one to be 12th man). If the selectors still don't have the courage to admit the mistake of the previous panel in dropping Katich, another GOOD opener needs to be found. I don't know where Marsh will fit in if he's fit. Perhaps they could try Khawaja as an opener or persevere with Hughes, whose technique is still woeful. and Marsh at 3, but it would be a risky proposition. Warner must come in, so that would leave Katich on the outer for now.

  • rahulcricket007 on November 22, 2011, 1:44 GMT

    TO ALL THOSE ENGLISH FANS WHO ARE CRICIZING INDIAN BATTING SHOULD GO AND LOOK AT THE PREVIOUS TOURS OF INDIA IN ENGLAND IN 2007 , 2002 . INDIAN BATSMEN HAVE THE ABILITY TO PLAY SWING BOWLING . ONE BAD TOUR DOESN'T MEAN THAT DRAVID , SACHIN , LAXMAN ARE UNABLE TO PLAY ON BOUNCY PITCHES .

  • thebarmyarmy on November 22, 2011, 1:35 GMT

    England will be number 1 for a while thanks to Aussie win. Cheers!

  • on November 22, 2011, 1:03 GMT

    1. Haddin-uff work done in this test to survive selection for the next series. 2. Still can't punt on selectors Pointing the exit route to one of the greats. 3. Cummins is going places. 4. Clarke's accounts showed excellent results in the first of the four quarters; but his accounting showed poor results in the fourth, when results were needed. 5. Philander was not a philanderer and didn't squander away the first great opportunity he got. 6. Competition as to which team can perform a mini- collapse in the middle of a great test didn't result in total collapse for either, thankfully 7. Test Cricket won -- great for the game

  • 2_pot_screamer on November 22, 2011, 0:44 GMT

    Hopefully this isn't used as an excuse to hang on to players who should not be there.Jason Gillespie (one of my all time favourite players) scored a double century against Bangladesh but still rightfully got dropped for the next test series. I would like to see a few changes made. Marsh for Hughes,Wade for Haddin and Cutting for Johnson. Johnson needs to go back to shield for an extended period of time and prove that he can take wickets out side the W.A.C.A. Haddin is past it. Hughes simply has not done close to enough.Australia has been carrying too many non performers for too long. Time to replace them with guys who are doing the job at state level and seeing if they can step up.I seriously hope Harris' injury doesn't give a reprieve to Johnson.Ponting may have done just enough to show us he may have something left and Lyon needs to do something soon.

  • samincolumbia on November 22, 2011, 0:08 GMT

    SA has done it yet again!! For fans labeling this the greatest test match, India pulled off a similar win against SA in SA around this time last year. This was after India did the same to SA when they visited India earlier in the year!! Cummins for Australia made all the difference both with the ball and bat.

    As for Wombats comments, England blanked India 4-0, but that was not a choke! Choking was when England got bowled out for 51 against WI couple of years ago!! You blame Indian fans for selective memory...but you suffer from the same. LOL.

  • Mooky on November 21, 2011, 23:54 GMT

    All 3 men ready to be dropped have probably saved there careers with average half centeries. So they will play on a bit longer and Australia will have less and less time to have a settled squad for the Ashes in 18 months If they stick with Ponting Haddin and Johnson, they should plan on sticking with them till at least the end on the Ashes, Perfect sinario this for England

  • g.jeevan05 on November 21, 2011, 23:37 GMT

    Test Cricket at its best!!!!!!Being an Indian,happy to see India at No.2 in the world!!!!!!!!!

  • Cricketteer76 on November 21, 2011, 23:24 GMT

    It was a great series! Long live Test Cricket! I think Australia has a very decent attack to trouble many teams. A major problem for Australia is their openers. They need reliable openers (Hayden, Langer types) who can regularly create good starts and importantly go on and convert to hundreds. Shane Watson is a very valuable allrounder but he should bat lower down the order. He is not a long term opener and the selectors should seriously look into this much sooner. At the start of every Australia batting innings, we know very much for sure that he will get out early at some stage and he won't convert his start into centuries. This will create alot of pressure for Ricky Ponting and the middle order batsmen having to produce the goods most of the time. Phillip Hughes' technique is deficient to survive on difficult pitches which is therfore not good enough.

  • Meety on November 21, 2011, 23:18 GMT

    At stumps on Day 4 I was still very confident that Oz would win. I had 6 predictions; 1. Ponting would get a ton - fail, 2. Pup would make a handy 20+ score in partnership with Ponting to get the total down to around 100 - fail, 3. Haddin, Hussey & Johnson would make valuable contributions - pass, pass, pass, 4. Cummins would hit the winning runs - pass! In the back of my mind though, I thought that on the other hand Steyn might get a hat trick of Clarke, Hussey & Haddin! LOL!

  • Meety on November 21, 2011, 23:13 GMT

    @Nutcutlet - I agree, superb test, destined to be long remembered, but probably not in the top 10 of all time. I think tests like the two tied tests, Bothams Headingly, the Laxman/Dravid all day affair against the unbeaten Ozzys, even the Saffas SCG win by about 10 runs was better. The great thing about this match (apart from the obvious fluctuations) was the context, namely 9/21 @ Newlands. It meant that any total over 100 runs was going to involve a battle of nerves for Oz. == == == The Forgotten Man of the Test Award goes to....... Usman Khawaja!

  • RightArmEverything on November 21, 2011, 23:07 GMT

    Some funny (funny strange, not funny ha ha) comments here. @waza, what1234 what is it about Cummins that reminds you of McGrath? McGrath was a seamer who didn't swing it a lot, Cummins is a very fast swing bowler. Only similarity is the ability to get wickets when it counts. @OoohMattyMatty try to make your comments relevant to the article, it would make them more interesting.

  • Hodra99 on November 21, 2011, 23:01 GMT

    Curators around the world please take note of the brilliant test match wicket prepared by Chris Scott. Wickets like this need to be prepared in more countries and test cricket will have the interest it deserves once more. Long live test cricket!

  • dsig3 on November 21, 2011, 22:45 GMT

    Well done to Philander. I was a bit dubious after the first test as to how good he actually was. He certainly put that to rest, bowls very straight and moves it around. I wish he could give our Ben Hilfenhaus some advice as they are very similar bowlers. Imran Tahir is a great find for SA, he will give teams alot of trouble including England. Mitch won us this match in my opinion, batsmen are there to score runs but mitch really stood up, sore toe and all. His place in the side is still under question but he showed a bit of guts. If it is his last game at least he can be proud of it.

  • MeijiMura on November 21, 2011, 22:44 GMT

    The message for the Australian selectors to take home with them following the 2nd Test in South Africa should be loud and clear - Go with youth!

  • Technical-1 on November 21, 2011, 22:40 GMT

    Hell Johnson can Bat and he can Bowl.. That's the quality you need. John is good for Ausie.. Leave Mitch alone.

  • mcj.cricinfo on November 21, 2011, 22:32 GMT

    Would like to thank both team for putting on a fantastic show, they both gave everything they had to provide such tension I couldn't sit down while watching the final session. Congratulations to the groundsman for producing some of the best pitches, it was a real contest between bat and ball for the whole series. And it's when there is that contest between bat and ball that you see skill, focus and grit rewarded (you need a little bit of luck too). Pitches where 250-300 for an innings is par makes for the best games. Was the ideal situation for two teams to fight it out tooth and nail - what a win for test cricket. Plus the emergence of two exciting fast bowlers in Philander & Cummins, another chapter in the great rivalry between SA & Aus. That there was only two tests is unbelievable.

  • JG2704 on November 21, 2011, 22:21 GMT

    @dicky_boy - I'm not sure what the contract situation is like with Australian cricketers and I'm not 100% sure re our (English) contracted players as to whether they are allowed to play in the IPL or not. Then again I'm pretty sure Watson and Hussey have played IPL. I believe the IPL can do both good and harm. Obviously playing against the best T20 players in the world can help a players skills , but by the same token players can come out of it injured or burnt out. As a Somerset fan , it had a bad effect when Alfonso Thomas came back injured and I feel there was no coincidence that they started the season poorly when AT was out of action and ended it poorly when Trescothick was injured. Also Bopara chose not to play in this years IPL in the hope of enhancing his England chances and it seemed to work. I guess if you're a fringe player it can be a choice of money or country

  • JG2704 on November 21, 2011, 22:21 GMT

    @AcFinor - It was not a weakened Australian side SA played. Australia just no longer have Mcgrath , Warne ,Gilchrist , Haydn , Langer etc so are naturally not as good as they were when the above played for them. Cummings looks a decent bowler though. Australia will hope he maintains it and doesn't become another Johnson who was number 1 not all that long ago

  • JG2704 on November 21, 2011, 22:20 GMT

    Just a thought , does any SA or neutral fan think that SA could have done with an extra bowler or even maybe a Duminy or a Botha instead of Prince? I know hindsight is an easy thing but - and I'm sorry to switch it back to England - but I still believe that England , despite their results would be better with an extra bowler or a bowling all rounder as opposed to a 6th batsman. Prior is decent enough as a number 6 and Bresnan,Broad and even Swann can hold a bat and I always wonder what would happen if one of our pacemen got injured during a test and the strain on the others. I'd like to see either Finn, Tremlett , Onions or Monty etc added to our existing 4

  • aus_trad on November 21, 2011, 22:12 GMT

    Only test cricket can build tension over such a long period, and then resolve it so thrillingly. Not the best of games, the fastest, the most glamorous, the most exciting - and clearly an anachronism in the age of Twitter and iPhone - but surely the greatest. King cricket!!

  • zico123 on November 21, 2011, 22:10 GMT

    this should be the end of Mitchel Johnson, even though he made few runs, but he is not in side as a batter, he has been terribly wayward n inconsistant with the ball, he has been out of form for last 2 years, he is the most inconsistent bowler in the world, he delivers once in 6 months

  • zico123 on November 21, 2011, 22:10 GMT

    Australia somehow scrapped though, but Ponting at prime would have saw them home, not this Ponting, these should be the end of Ponting, as expected he didn't walk off, so selectors would have to take the hard call on his behalf, NZ series is the best time to blood in youth, no place for Ponting anymore who has passed his prime 2 years back

  • dsig3 on November 21, 2011, 22:04 GMT

    Thanks to SA for hosting a great series. Interesting cricket all the way. A 3 test series would be good but I think a 1 all result is a fair reflection.

  • i_witnessed_2011 on November 21, 2011, 21:58 GMT

    What a match. Fantastic to follow such a high quality match being a neutral :) ICC really should think of making test championship as soon as possible. Kudos to both teams!!

  • RandyOZ on November 21, 2011, 21:50 GMT

    Australia never lost a test in SA, India never won one in SA or Aus. This is exactly why we had only 2 test matches. The BCCI just don't care about cricket.

  • RandyOZ on November 21, 2011, 21:45 GMT

    I tell you what the future of Aussie cricket is shining very bright at the moment! Pat Cummins is an absolute star! Cut some of this deadweight and we are going to be back at our rightful place of number 1 very soon! Well done to South Africa too. They've found another star in philander. Imagine how good these guys would be if they didn't have to field two international sides!

  • on November 21, 2011, 21:34 GMT

    Mixed emotions here. While I'm happy we won, I'm gutted that Haddin made runs thus (sadly) continuing the trend of players who were on their last chance making runs to save their spot. How much longer do we have to put up with this?

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on November 21, 2011, 21:34 GMT

    @OhMatty, transitive property could be applied to Cricket? Thanks for the lessons! Cricket is a game of great uncertainities. Don't constrict it with your transitive property kinda approach! If I defeated you and then you defeated wombats then that implies I defeated wombats! LOL..great logic!

  • Ben1989 on November 21, 2011, 21:28 GMT

    Lol@ohhmattymatty,, what is with you??? England only JUST reached 1 after a series at home which they were alwas going to win, how can you say a team is undisputed when they haven't even been challenged yet??? get some common sense, let's see how they go IN India & against SA, then feel free to say undisputed if they don't lose a series, something else which requires some thought is you need to remember just because we beat SL & SA, doesn't mean anything for England, countries play different cricket against each other & our team is quite different now also....

  • Nutcutlet on November 21, 2011, 21:27 GMT

    ERRATUM re: previous post: 1902 4th test Old Trafford, Oz won by 3 runs, then in the very next test, England bt Oz at the Oval by one wicket, after GL Jessop had hit the then- fastest test century in 85 minutes to chase down 263, with the immortal last wicket stand of 15 between George Hirst & Wlifred Rhodes finishing the job. Some series, that of 1902! Quite exciting, I'd say.

  • Angad11 on November 21, 2011, 21:27 GMT

    @spense1324 - dude, this is a Aus vs SA match so lets keep it that way. Dont try too hard on your short term memory which seems to have forgotten 2007 what the illustrious Indian batting line up can do in watever conditions.

  • Harmony111 on November 21, 2011, 21:25 GMT

    @ EVERY ONE:-

    Why this India bashing in this article? Even in the Pak-SL matches, the comments revolve around Ind. One even went on to say that SL are losing these days cos of too much cricket against Ind in 2010. Huh. And may I highlight that it is the fans of the other nations that have routinely viewed anything done by the Indian team lightly. Whether the WC win, the Test or the ODI #1 Rank, the batsmen or the bowlers, Dhoni's captaincy, anything from Sachin, BCCI, IPL etc etc.

    Barring a very small percentage, most Indian fans here have been civil and sporting. In fact, of late it is the Eng fans who have become very very cocky and have even been comparing their team to WI of 80s and Oz of 00s. My take is that ATM, Eng ARE the #1 test team in most conditions and would defeat SA in SA or in Eng. They have already done that to Aus but it remains to be seen if they can beat Ind in Ind. But since that is some time away, I would say that ATM they are the best test team. Only ATM.

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on November 21, 2011, 21:17 GMT

    So, England go to Australia and thump them in their own backyard. But SA can't win against the same Aussies in their own backyard. I really feel sorry for SA for failing to win a series even on home soil. They must be a gutted bunch what with the tag of chokers following them wherever they go, as far as my memory can stretch. But for the majestic innings of Amla, the match would have been over much earlier. SA thinktank should analyse what's going wrong with them. Having said that, wonderful cricket by the Aussies. A monumental win considering that they had to face Steyn, Morkel and Philander. A thorough lesson to the famous batting line-up of India. It's very painful to note that India went to England without much respect for the opponents and the conditions, just the way how England also got badly caned in India in ODIs. Well done Australia and badluck SA. SA need to look into their mental aspects of the game in a very professional manner. Something's wrong with their cricket.

  • on November 21, 2011, 21:16 GMT

    Superb test, chasing down 310 was magical. I was not going to mention choke except - Smith misfielding & Steyn dropping a catch....

  • Nerk on November 21, 2011, 20:55 GMT

    What a vintage year for test cricket! There have been some absolute crackers this year, and we have just added one more to the list. You cant get this in ODIs or 20/20. This is drama of the highest sort, long live test matches!

  • thebigone on November 21, 2011, 20:48 GMT

    nice to see the games between the lesser test sides been so good. eng and ind will have to be on their guard inside 12 month these guys may put pressure on the top 2. tbo

  • Chris_P on November 21, 2011, 20:42 GMT

    Again, these sides have provided a memorable series, something that has been almost a standard between these 2 gritty sides. The Aussies showed their determination to reverse their deplorable effort of the first test. Augers well for the future, they are on the improve.

  • Master_Mind on November 21, 2011, 20:27 GMT

    Here is a food for thought, do you think this win will remove the massive question mark against some player for the upcoming summer tour against India; players like, Ponting, Haddin, Hughes, Johnson (bowling wise)???

  • 5wombats on November 21, 2011, 19:53 GMT

    Fantastic Test match! This is what it's really all about! What a pity there are only 2 Tests!!! Great endeavour by both sides but Australia just had enough. Aus are such tough opponents! Don't know why SA prepared a pitch like that? @rahulcricket007 - considering that india have just come off a 4-0 whitewash against England - your comments about choking are laughable in the extreme. @Full-Blooded-Wallop - surely india fans can have nothing to say about "batting temperament" - seeing as how india failed to post a total above 300 in 8 attempts against England 3 months ago. Or did you forget? You guys really make the wombats laugh!

  • Nutcutlet on November 21, 2011, 19:50 GMT

    To those who are claiming that this is the greatest test of all time (or words to that effect) please realise that this was indeed a superb test match, but, believe me, over the years there have been many that have been just as exciting as this one and just as many even more gripping. Now, if you are serious about finding out about the richness of cricket history, may I suggest that you go and read and find out about those matches? Cricket did not appear just before you, or even your grandfather, was born. There are several test matches won and lost by one or two wickets, or fewer than ten runs, besides the ties. You could begin with Australia v England at Sydney in 1885, Oz won by 6 runs, & England's victory at the Oval in 1902, by 3 runs. Just because they happened a long time ago, doesn't make them less exciting. Saying that is like saying history is boring, because unless we know where we came from, how do we know where we are? Enjoy the journey to the present! Become informed!

  • on November 21, 2011, 19:46 GMT

    this is the best test match in recent times. australian team is in transition phase but still a huge force in world cricket. go oz go

  • OhhhhMattyMatty on November 21, 2011, 19:42 GMT

    So....England MASSACRE Australia with 3 innings victories in Australia and then Australia go to Sri Lanka and South Africa earning a deserved victory and draw respectively. Undisputed WORLD NUMBER 1s - ENGLAND!

  • on November 21, 2011, 19:27 GMT

    Live cricinfo commentary just after tea as follows.. Can you believe these guys comments??

    Right, one session to go. Australia can't win the series, but every other outcome is still alive. Haddin faces Philo. Two slips. "SA scored just one run too many. Can you imagine Aus walking out to bat in the post-tea session of death, on double Nelson AND requiring 87 to win?! I would've placed a bet on a 4-wickets-in-4-balls finish." Hah, Stevie! Even without Lasith Malinga around to do the business?

  • harshthakor on November 21, 2011, 19:10 GMT

    One of the best test matches ever where the pendulum kept swinging in different directions from the start.In the end the Aussie nerves prevailed.South Africa just lacked the killer instinct to wipe out Australia in the end,something characteristic of their temperament.After capturing Clarke,Ponting and Hussey they should have won the game.I give credit to Australia for their great fighting spirit but also credit the Proteas for coming back at every stage to nearly win the game.Both teams bowling attacks staged heroic comebacks skittling through batting line ups.Sad we did not have a 3test series.Overall I feel both teams are not the world beaters they were in their prime.Above all this game was a victory for test cricket.

  • lamanaba on November 21, 2011, 19:00 GMT

    Poor bowling changes and field placements by Smith was the reason for this defeat. It was stupid captaincy. He handed over a winning match to Oz. He brought in Imran very late. What was the reason to give bowling to Kallis and Morkel when Philander and Steyn were bowling well? Also batsmen like Prince Boucher has no place in an inter national team. Bebeto

  • on November 21, 2011, 18:56 GMT

    Should be a third as a decider ! TEST CRICKET IS FAR FROM DEAD ! Test Cricket will last longer than IPL & World T20, if games like these continued to be played. Unfortunately, only 4 Test Teams are capable - IND/ENG/AUS/SA. The others are too far below par.

  • on November 21, 2011, 18:54 GMT

    It was a great win! I believe that Ponting is the epitome of the word 'Resilient' and always performs when it is a do or die match. Good "thinking" bowling by Cummins. I hope they retain Johnson as he can transform into the "Flintoff" kinda all-rounder. Haddin should be replaced by Wade.

  • Full-Blooded-Wallop on November 21, 2011, 18:54 GMT

    Finally the torture ended. Seemed like some T-20 exhibition was going. Apart from one innings from Amla nothing(in batting) was test class.Bowlers were decent. Good debut by philander and cummins.But will be interesting to see how they perform when conditions don't favor them. Steyn as always was fantastic. But batting temperament of both these teams were a pain to watch. Hoping to see some gritty knocks from the legends dravid and chanders tomorrow on real challenging tracks of subcontinent.

  • ian_ghose on November 21, 2011, 18:52 GMT

    Rivetting stuff chums! Can't wait for the 3rd test to start!!..Ohh wait...

  • Happy_AusBang on November 21, 2011, 18:50 GMT

    South Africa have only itself to blame. This match was theirs to lose. They had Australia at their mercy but took their foot off the pedal. They lost too many wickets trying to over attack when the situation required longer innings from batsmen. If they could have managed to bat even an hour longer the match would have been drawn or even won by SA.

  • Charindra on November 21, 2011, 18:45 GMT

    Such a wonderful match, but two points of shame. 1) The near empty stands 2) The lack of a 3rd match. Atrocious!

  • zico123 on November 21, 2011, 18:42 GMT

    this should be the end of Mitchel Johnson, even though he made few runs, but he is not in side as a batter, he has been terribly wayward n inconsistant with the ball, he has been out of form for last 2 years, he is the most inconsistent bowler in the world, he delivers once in 6 months

  • zico123 on November 21, 2011, 18:37 GMT

    Australia somehow scrapped though, but Ponting at prime would have saw them home, not this Ponting, these should be the end of Ponting, as expected he didn't walk off, so selectors would have to take the hard call on his behalf, NZ series is the best time to blood in youth, no place for Ponting anymore who has passed his prime 2 years back

  • BravoBravo on November 21, 2011, 18:36 GMT

    Indeed a very thrilling cicket and the GAME WINS AGAIN. Congratulation to both AUS and SA for providing such HiFi and classic entertainment. I dont understand why IND fans villify every other team by using derogtaory words. They need to accept it, after whitewash in ENG, that IND is below average team. This is an undisputed fact that IND remains the most white washed team in the history of cricket. On the contrary, using terms like pathetic and choker for other teams will add more to IND lacklusture performance against SA, and SL.

  • JG2704 on November 21, 2011, 18:35 GMT

    Wow - amazing series and I concur with most that it's a real shame that it's just a 2 match series. It's a shame we don't find out whether SA would bounce back stronger or if Aus would take the momentum to go on and win the series (if it had been longer) . One thing I would criticise with SA is their lower middle order contibutions from the likes of Prince and Dumminy and the fact that SA were at one point in a position to bat Aus out of the game. Not sure if it's a complacency thing? Their bowling attck is superb which is why I have to give Aus credit for chasing a 300+ score as opposed to saying SA choked it. When Hussey was out I thought that would be it , but after returning from going out I found that Aus had won. Whatever the future holds SA and Aus fans must be pleased with unearthing Philander and Cummings

  • JG2704 on November 21, 2011, 18:25 GMT

    @rahulcricket007 - I have seen SA choke before but I would have to give Australia full credit on this occasion. I left to go out for a swim at tea and just before that Philander got Hussey lbw and being still 94 behind I thought that would be it for Australia but fair play to the 2 guys that most want out of the side for coming good with the bat - Johnson was not out in both inns - even if they should both be dropped from future matches.

  • on November 21, 2011, 18:17 GMT

    It was a absolute great opportunity for South Africa to wrap up the test series by winning 2-0 easily. But, they did not choke , they had done few errors what they could include another specialist wrist spinner " PAUL HARRIS " and that guy must have done the best for South Africa. 310 to chase , that was not hard to chase for professional Aussie, they just played positively.How the Africans bowlers had bowled ? No yorkers !!! No straight three quarter line length deliveries !! The Africans just had given away so many juicy over pitched deliveries what Johnson did drive important majestic shots ?! Dale Styen ! this man has forgotten how to bowl accurately with his great rhythm. Only Philander had tried his best along with Imran Tahir. But Imran Tahir needs to play so many international cricket matches as he could gain experience to dominate over the opposite batsmen and also to bowl cautiously , not over-pitching ! Moreover, this test match was real stunner with breath taking.

  • Beertjie on November 21, 2011, 18:11 GMT

    Fantastic bottle to get over the line, especially from young Cummins and Mitch. Must confess I didn't believe it until it happened. Still, the hard decisions have only been postponed by a few weeks - new blood needs to be mixed with old pro's to take us forward. What a lesson for the new guys like Usman, Nathan and Patty to take into the future!

  • Nutcutlet on November 21, 2011, 18:11 GMT

    Superb entertainment, even for a neutral! Thank you to both teams for their top-notch performances! This is the form of the game that is dying then? Cricket doesn't get any better than this - and yet there are those who prefer the pap of T20! Perhaps some younger followers can now understand what some of us old 'uns have been banging on about now? Will the message that test cricket is worth going to some trouble to protect and nurture now get through to the ICC? We can but hope. Perhaps India and WIndies can follow that for high skill and stern competition? Again, we can but hope, but I've just spotted something fat and pinkish in the sky.

  • spence1324 on November 21, 2011, 18:04 GMT

    @rahulcricket look im an england fan but when I see good cricket I give credit were credit is due and SA did not choke it was just one of dose 50 50 games that could have gone ever way, today it was Australia, tomorrow it could be SA thats the way it go's.Speaking of weak mindedness look no further than india's 'illustrious 'batting line up any hint of pace above 80 mph on a proper' sporting' wicket, and you, me and the rest of the would knows what will happen.

  • allieeb on November 21, 2011, 18:00 GMT

    Long live TEST cricket.I can come up with a fixture list with three tests from the day ozzies got here on Sunday 9 October 2011 and leaving tomorrow 22 November 2011. Go aussies go.

  • chrisu on November 21, 2011, 17:54 GMT

    If this was one of the greatest test matches in modern history why was nobody watching? The last day of a test between two great countries with a result almost certain. I rember pictures of the queues at Lords to get in on Monday. the same at the Ashes. What is wrong with South Africa?

  • Robster1 on November 21, 2011, 17:53 GMT

    Excellent test indeed and what a crying shame that there's not at least a third test - and preferably five. Nothing surpases the best tests.

  • Romenevans on November 21, 2011, 17:53 GMT

    WTH! South Africa looks like dominating in every series and in the end something happens and they never win the series. India did the same to SA in last series and now Aussies. Chokers gotta do something about it ASAP! Gary!!! common man.

  • Peterincanada on November 21, 2011, 17:52 GMT

    @rahulcricket007 - SA didn't choke in Capetown. They easily made a difficult target. Today they just lost a close game. There were many times they missed the edge by a coat of paint but that's cricket. And it was a great one. @Poppa Dom - Since Watson is questionable for Brisbane would you not make Mitch the batting all rounder? lol

  • on November 21, 2011, 17:47 GMT

    THE GRAETEST WIN IN THE HISTORY!!!! OF TEST CRICKET!!!

  • shrastogi on November 21, 2011, 17:45 GMT

    Chokers choked again. Gary or no Gary. Australian morale must have transformed 100%.

  • simon_w on November 21, 2011, 17:45 GMT

    this was a great game (although those calling it the best Test match ever are showing a lack of perspective or education, not sure which).

    It's a travesty that we won't have a decider -- frankly it's a crying shame we haven't got three more Tests to look forward to. SA vs. Aus should be a five-Test series, surely, let alone a paltry two.

  • Yolk_Eater on November 21, 2011, 17:44 GMT

    Australia is always australia. Even though this team is no where near the INVINCIBLES of Steve Waugh's team, they still do not give in sans a fight. Dont know when will the star studded Indian team learn to do it?

  • Quazar on November 21, 2011, 17:44 GMT

    Absolutely unfair to say SA choked. Haddin and Johnson took the game away after tea with bold cricket. Credit to them rather than discredit to SA.

  • Quazar on November 21, 2011, 17:41 GMT

    Brilliant test match! Brilliant "series"! Well contested SA and Australia. Pat Cummins... we all envy you! :) But seriously speaking, a great talent might just have emerged. Really looking forward to India's tour of Australia.

  • nlambda on November 21, 2011, 17:39 GMT

    This is the difference between Ponting's runs being "matchwinning" and Tendulkar's not. From 215/6 the Australian tail got to 310/8. In Chennai '99 (yes, I still remember this) India's gutless tail went from 254/6 to 258 all out. Having a team with a spine makes for a winning team. Hats off to the Aussies for winning this game against Steyn & Co.

  • RohithMedisetty on November 21, 2011, 17:37 GMT

    What a shame that there isn't a series decider. SA gave up a test to play 2 mindless t20's

  • on November 21, 2011, 17:34 GMT

    Today's match vividly displayed why test matches are still alive & kicking. It had drama,& it had suspense. Full credit to both the teams for playing positively.

  • on November 21, 2011, 17:30 GMT

    truely I'm greatly surprised!!!!♥ the Aussies

  • RohithMedisetty on November 21, 2011, 17:29 GMT

    with 18 required the 18 year old entered and knocked off those runs.

  • AcFinor on November 21, 2011, 17:23 GMT

    Brilliant victory. Was a desperately needed one. So the Proteas cannot win a home series even against this weakened Aussie side. I wonder what is it that they don't have! Everybody wanted a third test, and rightly so. However, had it been the old dominant Aussie side, I really doubt if the South African fans would've wanted more of that!! I surely miss the good old days when Australia ruled the cricket world. Still, good to see the current team winning. Love Cummins!!

  • on November 21, 2011, 17:20 GMT

    Very well done Aussies, if only they can control thier batting collapses. Find another fast bowler to partner Cummins. Bring back Bollinger or Nannes

  • roshan.rasane on November 21, 2011, 17:16 GMT

    This is one of the best test series and ICC must have 3rd one. Such a short series doesn't make sense. Recently SA and AUS has provided very good cricket and to bring back fans for test cricket, more such surfaces to be produced.

  • on November 21, 2011, 17:15 GMT

    What morons schedule a two match series between these sides?

  • Behind_the_bowlers_arm on November 21, 2011, 17:14 GMT

    Some cricketers are just golden ...this boy Cummins looks like one of them. Well done too to the men under the most pressure in Johnson, Ponting & Haddin who all contributed when it really mattered. A famous victory.

  • dicky_boy on November 21, 2011, 17:11 GMT

    Mr WAZA. CUMMINS IS EASILY GOING TO BE OFFERED 1.5 MILLION$$ IF NOT MORE FOR PLAYING FOUR WEEKS IN IPL , PREVENTING HIM TO PLAY IN THAT IS UNFAIR

  • on November 21, 2011, 17:10 GMT

    Great test match.Cummins has cummenced his test career in style,he was brilliant on debut.The three aussie's Ponting ,Haddin & Jhonson finally....... made a contribution.Not to forget Philander he really showed this time around (unlike his earlier international perfomances which were very much average) that he belongs to the top level.Overall a very good test series(except from the 2nd day pitch of the first test) ,this exactly what test cricket needs to survive.

  • on November 21, 2011, 17:08 GMT

    who said test cricket is going to die ??? it was one of the best test i have ever seen. but guys any idea about future of mitchell johnson ??

  • Arya14 on November 21, 2011, 17:08 GMT

    congrats to Aussies :) i really loved the approach by Australians in this chase , but they have to careful here,its good that haddin and Johnson helped them to win this crucial tie but because of one small good innings they cant say everything is correct now, they have to search for a good keeper and another fast bowler(there is a long list in the table when we come to fast bowling attack of Aussies).Same way SA have to look for a replacement for Boucher.its a really good test match, these kind of matches will bring more people to the stadium.

  • Samdanh on November 21, 2011, 17:05 GMT

    Great comeback from a team that is in a re-building phase, especially after having contrived to draw defeat from a position of strength in the first Test. Superb team effort. However, Aus need to make few serious changes to the team both in terms of personnel as well as batting order. But for now, Cheers to Australia and Tears to (Pity) the aimless Aus haters.

  • SnowSnake on November 21, 2011, 17:00 GMT

    It is one of those matches where who wins does not matter. In the end, both teams played with a lot of heart. Although I have some criticism for individual players from both teams, this is not an occasion for such criticism. Outstanding test!

  • BlorScouser on November 21, 2011, 16:59 GMT

    Amazing game of test cricket. This game symbolizes everything that test cricket is about, a rivetting contest with the ebbs and flows that provide the sport its name. Tragedy that the administrators have denied the teams a series decider. Long live test cricket!

  • on November 21, 2011, 16:59 GMT

    What a Test match! Probably a fair result in the end, although I think both sides could have won it 2 - 0, but for some madness. Aus had SA trailing by 188, but still lost in Capetown. Up in Joburg, they undid all the work done by the openning pair etc. For SA, having been lucky to come away with a win the last match, they should have outbatted the Aussies in the second innings. Instead, they played loose shots and got themselves into trouble. Well done to the Aussies for taking advantage. Having said that, there is not much to be proud about having just scraped a draw against a rusty South Africa. I would still put SA ahead for now, which might change in the future if the likes of Cummings, Khawaja etc start firing. It was nice to see newcomers such as Philander and Tahir for SA. I still think they'll have more to say in future series. With that kind of bowling, Philander would make any batting line-up dance around. Excellent bowling; basically kept SA in the match all along!

  • on November 21, 2011, 16:56 GMT

    the fighting spirit and tonnes of self belief is what makes aussies tough to beat,these guys can never ever be down..a few defeats are just a few small blips and the people who criticise the aussies are only those people who themselves can't be as tough and as good a fighters that they are..way to go aussies..go aussie..go..well done mates i'm proud of you..you guys are my favourite team..and ponting u shut your detractors mouth once for all..well done

  • on November 21, 2011, 16:53 GMT

    well done Australia,well done johnson

  • chokerjoker on November 21, 2011, 16:52 GMT

    now why shouldn't i use the word "chokers" ??

  • on November 21, 2011, 16:51 GMT

    probably the greatest test match in the history of cricket.wel done Australia

  • on November 21, 2011, 16:50 GMT

    One of the great Test of modern time........ Test match like that is many time more interesting and exciting than any T20 match.....

  • wnwn on November 21, 2011, 16:47 GMT

    Pat Cummins reminds me of a young Glenn Mcgrath. I just hope that Australia look after him so that he doesn't get a serious injury. He should be saved only for test matches and important limited overs matches in the 50 over and 20 over world cup as well as the champions trophy. The IPL and meaningless odi matches should be avoided at all cost.

  • on November 21, 2011, 16:43 GMT

    Great match and series. Crying shame that they had only 2 matches. death to t20!

  • Mitcher on November 21, 2011, 16:39 GMT

    Test cricket! Real cricket! At its incredible best!!! Praise be to south Africa for the best cricket wickets in the world. Always sporting. Offering something for batsman and bowler throughout. Go Australia!

  • rahulcricket007 on November 21, 2011, 16:37 GMT

    SO SOUTH AFRICA CHOKE AGAIN . SOUNDS LIKE CHOKING IS IN DNA OF SA PLAYERS. HADDIN PLAYED GOOD BUT THE SHOTS OF JOHNSON WERE EXCITING TO WATCH.NOW SA HAVE NOT WON A SERIES IN THEIR HOME SINCE 2008. THEY HAVE NO. 1 BOWLER IN THE TEAM . NO.1 ALLROUN DER IN THE TEAM.NO.1 FIELDING SIDE IN THE WORLD .TOP BATSMEN IN THE WORLD ( KALLIS, AMLA ). YET THEY CAN'T WIN A HOME SERIES . REALLY A POINT SA SHOULD THINK OF .

  • drmanoj on November 21, 2011, 16:35 GMT

    bravo australia ! you 've done it.

  • getsetgopk on November 21, 2011, 16:25 GMT

    down with these two match test series a third test here could have been GOLD!!

  • on November 21, 2011, 16:20 GMT

    Ponting and Haddin finally made some runs, and Australia won. Well done guys. Of course the SA bowlers did not bowl with purpose, excepting from the kid in the team. Australia had what to play for. SA played inferior cricket and paid the price.

  • kitten on November 21, 2011, 16:16 GMT

    The players under the hammer, ie, Ponting, Haddin, and Johnson, all performed creditably to win the test for Australia, thereby causing a 'stay of execution' for the moment. I wonder whether this will be a spur for them to carry on from here, and win a few more games for the Aussies. I would love to see that, as all three are very talented players, and I'm sure Ponting when he does decide to call it a day, will want to do so on a high. Let's hope all this has a happy ending.

  • on November 21, 2011, 16:13 GMT

    Fitting End to one of the BEST test series in the last few years (pity it was only a one and half game ;) affair) . Poetic finish with Cummins hitting the winning runs and may be just the 'light' at the end of the tunnel for Ponting, Haddin & Johnson (Albeit for his batting :P) and for the Saffers.... perhaps not d "best" bowling attack in d world yet.. the series win drought continues.. Cant wait for d boxing day test.....

  • on November 21, 2011, 16:12 GMT

    west indies doh have the brains to do this

  • on November 21, 2011, 16:08 GMT

    great win!!!! but still need to get rid of johnson, siddle and haddin!!!!

  • on November 21, 2011, 16:05 GMT

    fantastink win by aussies

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  • on November 21, 2011, 16:05 GMT

    fantastink win by aussies

  • on November 21, 2011, 16:08 GMT

    great win!!!! but still need to get rid of johnson, siddle and haddin!!!!

  • on November 21, 2011, 16:12 GMT

    west indies doh have the brains to do this

  • on November 21, 2011, 16:13 GMT

    Fitting End to one of the BEST test series in the last few years (pity it was only a one and half game ;) affair) . Poetic finish with Cummins hitting the winning runs and may be just the 'light' at the end of the tunnel for Ponting, Haddin & Johnson (Albeit for his batting :P) and for the Saffers.... perhaps not d "best" bowling attack in d world yet.. the series win drought continues.. Cant wait for d boxing day test.....

  • kitten on November 21, 2011, 16:16 GMT

    The players under the hammer, ie, Ponting, Haddin, and Johnson, all performed creditably to win the test for Australia, thereby causing a 'stay of execution' for the moment. I wonder whether this will be a spur for them to carry on from here, and win a few more games for the Aussies. I would love to see that, as all three are very talented players, and I'm sure Ponting when he does decide to call it a day, will want to do so on a high. Let's hope all this has a happy ending.

  • on November 21, 2011, 16:20 GMT

    Ponting and Haddin finally made some runs, and Australia won. Well done guys. Of course the SA bowlers did not bowl with purpose, excepting from the kid in the team. Australia had what to play for. SA played inferior cricket and paid the price.

  • getsetgopk on November 21, 2011, 16:25 GMT

    down with these two match test series a third test here could have been GOLD!!

  • drmanoj on November 21, 2011, 16:35 GMT

    bravo australia ! you 've done it.

  • rahulcricket007 on November 21, 2011, 16:37 GMT

    SO SOUTH AFRICA CHOKE AGAIN . SOUNDS LIKE CHOKING IS IN DNA OF SA PLAYERS. HADDIN PLAYED GOOD BUT THE SHOTS OF JOHNSON WERE EXCITING TO WATCH.NOW SA HAVE NOT WON A SERIES IN THEIR HOME SINCE 2008. THEY HAVE NO. 1 BOWLER IN THE TEAM . NO.1 ALLROUN DER IN THE TEAM.NO.1 FIELDING SIDE IN THE WORLD .TOP BATSMEN IN THE WORLD ( KALLIS, AMLA ). YET THEY CAN'T WIN A HOME SERIES . REALLY A POINT SA SHOULD THINK OF .

  • Mitcher on November 21, 2011, 16:39 GMT

    Test cricket! Real cricket! At its incredible best!!! Praise be to south Africa for the best cricket wickets in the world. Always sporting. Offering something for batsman and bowler throughout. Go Australia!