South Africa v Australia, 1st Test, Centurion, 4th day

Johnson's 12 wickets destroy South Africa

The Report by Brydon Coverdale

February 15, 2014

Comments: 555 | Text size: A | A
Kimber: This is Johnson's universe. We just live in it

Australia 397 (Marsh 148, Smith 100, Steyn 4-78) and 290 for 4 dec (Warner 115, Doolan 89) beat South Africa 206 (de Villiers 91, Johnson 7-68) and 200 (de Villiers 48, Johnson 5-59) by 281 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details


Mitchell Johnson removed Graeme Smith again, but this time it was all about the catch, South Africa v Australia, 1st Test, Centurion, 4th day, February 15, 2014
Mitchell Johnson was too good for South Africa, taking 12 wickets in the match © AFP
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As good as Mitchell Johnson was during the Ashes, he was never this good. South Africa are the world's No.1-ranked side, by a distance. They entered this match having lost only one of their past 19 Tests. Johnson not only dismantled them as a team, he almost dismembered them as individuals. He took a career-best 12 wickets as Australia cruised to a 281-run victory but just as important were the physical blows he landed. South Africa will not forget how intimidated they felt.

As in the first innings, AB de Villiers was the only South Africa batsman who looked truly comfortable against Johnson. The rest were ill-equipped to handle his speed and bounce. He smashed Hashim Amla on the grille of the helmet first ball. He made Ryan McLaren bleed from the side of the head with an accurate bouncer. He jarred Vernon Philander on the fingers, then broke his bat. Those South Africans who merely lost their wickets were lucky.

Johnson claimed 12 of them throughout the match, for 127 runs. He was the first Australia fast bowler since Bruce Reid in 1991 to take that many in a Test. Ryan Harris and Peter Siddle chipped in with two wickets each in the second innings and their contributions were valuable. But this was about Johnson. His pace was matched only by the speed of Alex Doolan's reactions at short leg, where he took two of the most remarkable, reflex catches under the helmet.

South Africa's target of 482 never really looked anything more than a theoretical goal. Michael Clarke declared after 3.2 overs on the fourth morning because he had seen enough from the pitch to know that batting on it would be difficult. There were cracks, there was variable bounce, there was movement, there was danger. South Africa did not manage to see out the day; Australia's sixth consecutive Test victory was secured when Morne Morkel was run out an hour into the final session.

Graeme Smith was left to ponder his decision at the toss, when he sent Australia in and, in doing so, consigned his own men to batting last on a seriously tricky surface. Not that the pitch accounted for all the batsmen. Alviro Petersen edged behind in Johnson's first over of the innings because he had to play at a well-directed ball angling across him. Smith himself departed in Johnson's second over to the first of Doolan's two outstanding takes.

Clarke had placed Doolan in close, but slightly behind square and a touch deeper than usual, and Smith obligingly flicked the ball straight in that direction. Doolan's reflexes kicked in and he grasped the catch with the kind of split-second reaction that was the trademark of another short-leg from Launceston, David Boon. Smith had middled the ball but could only shake his head as he walked off with the score at 12 for 2.

That brought Hashim Amla and Faf du Plessis together and they steadied somewhat during a 37-run partnership. Amla had done well to compose himself after being greeted first ball with a searing Johnson bumper that smashed into the grille of his helmet as he failed to get his bat up in time. Perhaps du Plessis should have been grateful that he was done by a ball that stayed low, not one that rose sharply. Siddle came wide of the crease and angled the ball in, hitting a crack just outside off and skidding into the shins of du Plessis, who was lbw for 18.

Amla and de Villiers looked reasonable for a while but Amla's solid resistance ended on 35 from 71 deliveries when he drove at a Harris delivery that just straightened enough to take the edge through to Shaun Marsh at first slip. JP Duminy stuck around for a while before he became the second of Doolan's victims, this catch even better than the first. Duminy flicked Johnson off the middle of the bat and Doolan, in a more regular short-leg position, did not flinch. Instead, he moved his hands just enough to his left to parry the ball up and clutch it on the second or third grab.

That left de Villiers with only the allrounders and bowlers to accompany him, and the end seemed nigh. Two balls before tea, McLaren was struck a vicious blow on the side of the helmet when he ducked into a 148kph Johnson bouncer. He bled but survived, although when he returned after the break he did not last long, tickling a catch through to Brad Haddin off another searingly fast short ball from Johnson, who at times was unplayable.

The resistance shown by de Villiers ended on 48 when he was sharply taken by Steven Smith at cover off Johnson and from there the rest fell quickly. Robin Peterson was bowled by a Siddle ball that stayed so low it was almost a grubber, and Dale Steyn was taken at slip off Harris. Johnson broke Philander's bat and nearly his hand but did not claim his wicket as Philander remained unbeaten on 26 when the final run-out occurred.

Along the way, Johnson had become the seventh Australian to claim 250 Test wickets and not surprisingly picked up his fourth Man of the Match award from the past six Tests. South Africa might take solace from the fact that the next Test is in Port Elizabeth, where the pitch is generally slower. But they should note that Johnson's finest Ashes Test of this summer was in Adelaide, on a sluggish surface. They have four days to work out how in the world to play him.

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

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Posted by rickyvoncanterbury on (February 18, 2014, 17:48 GMT)

I apologize to all the Saffers out there he (commentarybox) is a troll and did not sound like a saffer.

Posted by Commentarybox on (February 18, 2014, 14:06 GMT)

Now, now, calm down CrikiLeaks! Wanting a South African win doesn't make me one of them. We need to return to a small measure of decorum; perhaps we can start with you.

Posted by Commentarybox on (February 18, 2014, 10:34 GMT)

I wouldn't call myself a sore loser, or even worse, an ungracious winner; it was indifferent to me who won or last. I enjoyed the game, and wasn't unhappy with the result. Now only, I hope to see SA win - to quieten down those swellheads who know more about it than the rest of us do.

Posted by CrikiLeaks on (February 18, 2014, 10:00 GMT)

@Commentarybox - wow.... when it comes to nationalistic, biased, humourless drivel [that clearly doesn't observe any match or the game at large] SA often manages to challenge India on these forums. Yes some of Australia's fans go over the top here and it is unnecessary but the thing that no other biased fan acknowledges is that at least the Australian fans have history on their side. Imagine if SA's record was 10x better or Tendulker's average near doubled with his highest score having 106 added to it - this site would be unbearable. @Paulbaggs - if you haven't been watching, you probably shouldn't comment. Captain G Smith's comments in his post match press conference were also ungracious and did him or his nation no credit. The great news for Australian fans is that he learnt nothing and has very poor analytical skills - if he 'truly believes' what he said.

Posted by pat_one_back on (February 18, 2014, 7:53 GMT)

@Commentarybox, talk about a sore loser, Australia claim they will play well- they're labelled arrogant, then they play exceptionally well, beyond all expectations and you want to call anyone who celebrates this arrogant, wah wah wah... Look forward to you disappearing next test when the pain cuts to deep.

Posted by Shaggy076 on (February 18, 2014, 5:05 GMT)

Paulbags; You might want to have a look for the highlights from the Adelaide test on a pitch that resemble a low bouncing Sri Lankan road. Four were bowled, one LBW and 2 caught in the slips. All to pitched up deliveries. Single handedly destroying the English batsman in the second test of the series before they were completely mentally disintegrated.

Posted by rickyvoncanterbury on (February 18, 2014, 2:32 GMT)

@ Commentarybox on (February 17, 2014, 21:29 GMT) Comon mate harden up it is only one loss, I am sure you will get over it and feel very childish later on, by the way who are you, and where have you been.

Posted by Paulbags on (February 17, 2014, 23:01 GMT)

In previous era's (70s & 80s), there may have been bowlers close to the speed but if you actuallly watch a series the bowling was what would be considered now 4 bad balls an over. If you find any footage of bowling to Bradman it is Sunday league stuff - slow short and wide pretty much every ball

Posted by Commentarybox on (February 17, 2014, 21:29 GMT)

@ all SA fans: Let it go! At least you only ever have to put up with their loud swagger when their team is winning; maybe a little whimper and a whinge, when losing. After all, these are the fickle fans that quietly disappeared, numbed and dumbfounded, when their team tumbled down the test rankings - so quietly, I'd almost forgotten about them. Full credit to their cricketers' recent achievements, but after an Ashes whitewash and a convincing win in SA, and suddenly a whole crop pretentious fans, rowdy and boastful as ever, crawls from out of the woodwork. Lets hope the saffers can come back, if only so we can see this obnoxious bunch scurry off back into silence.

Posted by Adoh on (February 17, 2014, 18:38 GMT)

Yep. Austrlalia are nothing without their fiersome wicket takers, dogged batting centurians and faultless fielding. Oh wait, these attributes sound remarkably like cricket skills.

Posted by Matt.au on (February 17, 2014, 15:27 GMT)

Posted by AllanGavaskar ------- I would like to see how they coped against the well-drilled professional teams of today,

I wonder how many batsmen of today would volunteer to play a test without a helmet, modern protection and a pre 90's bat and have to face the Australian bowling attack, Johnson included?

The poor poms had to against Lillie and Thompson. Believe me, as thrilling as it is to see Johnson bowling now, when you have two just as fast, if not faster and as mean coming at batsmen who were in real danger of being seriously hurt or worse it was something else.

You didn't want to see a batsman hurt but you feared it was going to happen sooner or later and I can assure you the batsmen thought the same.

It was no better for the Australians' facing 4 quicks with evil intent for test after test year after year.

Posted by camcove on (February 17, 2014, 11:22 GMT)

AllanGavaskar understandably takes exception to some of the statements by IPSY. I think he is quite generous in his reaction to what I think is the biggest load of tripe. Many of the great Aussie, WI and Pakistani sides did in that period have two or more high quality quicks. MJ brings to the party similar pace to DKL, Hadlee and Roberts at their peak, to name a few, and has a slinging action analogous to that of Thommo, but as a left armer. (No, I am not saying MJ or indeed anyone else in that era 70s to 90s era - or probably anyone else - was as fast as Thommo). Where are the great batsmen, IPSY asks? I still regard Viv Richards as the best Test bat I have seen, and he is from the 70s. There are a few guys running around or just retired who are or weren't too bad, however - Sangakkara, Tendulkar, Chanderpaul, Ponting, Hussey to name a few. They are or were great. I believe AB de Villiers will also go down as one of the all-time greats.

Posted by AllanGavaskar on (February 17, 2014, 10:30 GMT)

@IPSY: 1. I'm not sure that you can dismiss three and half decades [between the 70s and mid 2000s] of world batting as "poor quality." What/who are your reference points? Sobers? Bradman? These are batsmen from the pre-professional era. I would like to see how they coped against the well-drilled professional teams of today, as well as the rigorous schedule, media attention, etc. 2. "much better quality" than MJ..... I think you fail to note something noteworthy about Johnson - his left-arm "slinging" action and his out-and-out athleticism. The ball is, according to many reports, VERY hard to read as it comes out of his hand. That makes him an excellent bowler, considering the fact that bowlers rely on guile and mystery to ply their trade. His action might be a biomechanical freak of nature, but MJ has capitalised on his natural ability with frightening accuracy and unrelenting intent. That makes him great. Some of your points make sense but others are hard to make sense of.

Posted by Chris_P on (February 17, 2014, 6:03 GMT)

@Jono Makim. Poor ol Albie seems to have selective memory recall. Amazing that he thinks 8 years with a 4-9 record against you is dominating? Should we even mention the '99 World Cup semi?

Posted by Paulbags on (February 17, 2014, 0:16 GMT)

Johnson's is only accurate when he bowls short. They have to start pulling and hooking the short pitched bowling instead of just getting the bat up and playing defensive. If you making him pitch it up he will spray it like he always has.

Posted by SirDon99 on (February 17, 2014, 0:09 GMT)

Poor Albie, he's recovering from a sad loss.

Posted by LeeHallam on (February 16, 2014, 22:25 GMT)

Interesting difference between between this Match and the Ashes: Johnson took 8 top six wickets, the the Ashes he took just 18 in five matches. Not quite sure what that means. Is he getting better? Did England's top order cope better with him, only to find a way to get out against other bowlers?

Posted by Shaggy076 on (February 16, 2014, 22:02 GMT)

I'm not sure why the South African fans are so gloomy, reading the thread it seems to be about South Africa vs India and I believe they won that series.

Posted by ZainE111 on (February 16, 2014, 21:57 GMT)

Lots of calls from Saffa fans for QdK or van Zyl. I think I agree with the coach that it would be unfair to throw them in the deep end especially with a shark called Mitchell prowling about.

Rather play the new guys against the Windies later this year or Bangladesh next year.

Changes are needed - but they must come from the selected 15 (which should have included Kyle Abbot).

Posted by IPSY on (February 16, 2014, 16:08 GMT)

Johnson's devastating performance against SA the No.1 ranked team in the world and the 4th ranked a few weeks ago clearly manifests of the poor quality of batting that has been in world cricket between the 70s and mid 2000s. During that period, the bowling attack for nearly every jurisdiction comprised at least two fast bowlers of Johnson's pace or faster; and of much better quality. In the 70s to the mid 90s, one team sometimes played even 4 of them at the same time - even when helmets were not allowed. But still, to show the great difference in the batting quality in those times as against the jokers around now, the batsmen then are the ones who hold the best records in batting in cricket. Now, a whole team of batsmen cannot stand up to a single fast bowler like Johnson who has some pace, but not as fast or of the quality as some of the 4 pronged attacks in the past. So I laugh, when I hear bowlers records today are being compared with those of the past! Where are the batsmen?

Posted by ABDULLABAIG on (February 16, 2014, 15:28 GMT)

WHat happend to south african team as they always says they are no:1 in test rankings after defeating india. At same venue they performed well, so they can win the matches with SUB CONINENT TEAMS ONLY because SUB CONTINENT PITCHES s are not bounced one. SA easily defeated by Australia without any fighting for score. All players were smashed by M.Jhonson as all SA players are in super form(H.Amla, Followed by G.Smith,AB Devilers,D.Styen,Philander,MC LArren,Duminy all...... played so many no of tests) . But as indian played the matches with Youngsters who were not played not morethan 10-15 matches except MS DHoni, Zaheer khan and Aswin. By seeing this match SA players can play and win the matches with teams those not played the games on bouncy pithces. i am not concern with SA, take every cricket match with full of joy and happiness, njoy but dont write comments those hurt the cricket lovers irresepct of ANY CRICKET TEAM. "CRICKET LIVES ALWAYS TILL THE LIFES ON THE EARTH TAKES PLACE".

Posted by creebo777 on (February 16, 2014, 14:01 GMT)

De kock wasnt pick in the 15men sqaud..can he still be pick??

Posted by   on (February 16, 2014, 13:33 GMT)

how about AB as skipper&Kyle Abbott in for Robbie P?De cock should also be given a thought as alvero is really not capable of facing mitch

Posted by balajik2505 on (February 16, 2014, 13:24 GMT)

Mitchell Johnson has revived interest in fast bowling. From the 90's a lot of bowlers adopted the McGrath technique, in part to manage their workload and partly because batsmen had much better protective gear. There was a shortage of the exciting fast bowlers. I don't count Shaun Tait and Shane Bond because they did'nt last long.The 90's saw Donald, Waqar and Shoaib Akhtar. Brett Lee though express was not exciting. I don't count Shaun Tait and Shane Bond because they did'nt last long. I am a fan of the 70's and 80's Windies more than the 90's Aussies because the bowlers were more exciting.

Posted by Forza_Scuderia on (February 16, 2014, 13:07 GMT)

This same South Africa squad were being lauded a few months ago. Now that they're up against a fierce team full of belief and they're being questioned. Rightly so I would say because as with Australia and Clarke a few months ago, it is the same with South Africa and Amla now. Without the Amla runs South Africa are starting to look ordinary as a batting unit.

Has it ever occurred to some that The Proteas were never that good? I mean the last tour between these sides they got real lucky and that Australian side wasn't as well organised as this one.

South Africa have been flattered by being better than a bunch of mediocre sides over an extended period of time.

Posted by TheBigBoodha on (February 16, 2014, 12:17 GMT)

Well. A lot of people running down SA's recent achievements seemingly on the basis of this one test. I don't see how anyone can justifiably do that. However SA can certainly shut a few of those critics up if they bounce back from this. It will be a good test for them. They certainly do look shot, just as England did in the Ashes. But can they,unlike England, pull themselves together? That is the test I am talking about.

Having a terrifying fast bowler like Johnson really is a massive advantage, especially when you have very good bowlers backing him up. The psychological edge is huge, as we have seen already. Johnson took a wicket with his fourth ball with an absolute brute of a ball to Smith. That set the tone for the entire test - and maybe the series.

Posted by Henry_Crun on (February 16, 2014, 12:16 GMT)

@AltafPatel - for some 4-5 posts you have told us that Australia is employing something called "body language" bowling. You probably mean "bodyline", which Johnson and Australia are definitely not using; look it up, it is illegal. If you really mean "body language" I suggest you read an Allan Pease book. @Albie Hanekom - I admit that some of my countrymen have gone a bit overboard after this latest win, but certainly no more than you and your countrymen, before, during and after the Test. I visited your country during the '70s and loved it, although at that time it had major problems, and through cricket and rugby I have never met a South African I didn't like. The good thing is that as I approach my dotage the chances are that I will never meet you; I'd hate to bugger up a perfect record. Are you South African Cricket's answer to Tappe Henning?

Posted by   on (February 16, 2014, 12:04 GMT)

@Albie, this time 8 years ago you were losing 0 - 5 home and away against OZ.

This time 5 years ago it was 3 - 3 home and away against OZ

2011 it was 1 apiece and 2012 you finally got the better of us 1 -0. We are now 1 up on your boys here.

8 years of domination? Turn it up!

Posted by Sheela on (February 16, 2014, 11:57 GMT)

It seems that of speed 150 k or over by a fast bowler has created problems for England and now South Africa recently and hence if Indian batsmen fail at such level, no one should be surprised. Let us accept reality.

Posted by rickyvoncanterbury on (February 16, 2014, 11:42 GMT)

Regardless of his age, regardless of his record against Australia, the tail looks longer when he is not there, and the bowling looks one seamer short, enjoy your retirement Jacques, I know I am.

Posted by shortsquareleg on (February 16, 2014, 11:19 GMT)

Chronological age should not be the only criterion. Look at Hogg, Hodge and Collingwood for older players and Cummins, Parnell and Southee for those who are younger. Character is a very important quality of whether a player a player will succeed at test level. I'm not a supporter of India , but I have to admire those young guys who have come into the side to replace the 'greats'.

Posted by kingcobra85 on (February 16, 2014, 11:13 GMT)

J Kallis one man does make a difference

Posted by creebo777 on (February 16, 2014, 10:27 GMT)

Dont think playing an all rounder should be consider anymore,johnson makes them look like tailenders,amla out of form,alviro jp being poor,7 batsmen is a must,abdv shouldnt keep anymore even if that means bringing in thami

Posted by JG2704 on (February 16, 2014, 10:11 GMT)

Re SA selection - regardless of who comes in - I wonder if they should replace JP (who for me rarely does that much) and Mcclaren with an out and out batsman and an out and out bowler? Some have mentioned Elgar coming in. From what he did at Somerset (Eng) during his bgrief spell I'm surprised he is anywhere near the SA squad but I guess he is better than he showed in his spell over here. What SA do have is a wicketkeeper who would get in any side purely as a batsman so they could afford to add an extra bowler with the WK adding batting depth

Posted by   on (February 16, 2014, 10:05 GMT)

If India had killer bowlers to intimidate oppositions like All teams have except Ind , lots of Sachin's & Kohli's 100s would have been match winning. .........................Indian bowling has always been tooth less & a fodder for all opposition batsmen

Posted by JG2704 on (February 16, 2014, 9:57 GMT)

@ModernUmpiresPlz on (February 15, 2014, 18:47 GMT) I suppose when it hits a crack it could look like seam movement on 1st viewing.

Re Smith conceeding the game that could be seen as a weak move by the opposition and add to their momentum

Posted by dunger.bob on (February 16, 2014, 9:54 GMT)

@ Albie Hanekom: I can't agree that SA have actually dominated the last 8 years or so. They've been hard as hell to beat and they've also pulled off some great victories I'll give you that, but it's never felt as though they were ever really dominant. When talking about cricket many people forget that over it's 130+ year history there have only ever been 2 truly dominant teams. .. Also, while an 8 year stretch of being extremely hard to beat is incredibly impressive, it's still not the 12-15 years those other sides managed. ... South Africa is a very solid, extremely resilient side that is normally as tenacious as a bulldog on a mission but they aren't the most dominating side in the history of the game. Miles from it in fact.

Posted by   on (February 16, 2014, 9:38 GMT)

Johnson is good because he got mustache back again

Posted by rickyvoncanterbury on (February 16, 2014, 9:34 GMT)

Look everyone knows these forums, supporters celebrate a victory some more than others, when you are not EXPECTED to win sometimes people go over the top, I cannot speak for every Aussie but most know this is not over, the bookies in Australia still have the drawn series as favourite (well mine does anyway) but Geeze common this is SA V AUS we expect a little sledging, it is not T20.

Posted by gujratwalla on (February 16, 2014, 9:26 GMT)

Batsmen of our era are not used to pace bowling of this calibre and strategy hence even the best equipped are undown by it when facing it for the first time.Here is where true greatness comes through.I acclaim de Villiers the best batsman and a great batsman of our age.Simply superb.Amla will not go down without a fight and neither will Smith.If the fury of Johnson was unleashed on the Aussies i don't think rhey have any batsman to cope with him.Besides don't forget Steyn and Morkel!they are too experienced not to learn from this defeat.That is my estimate but it stands to reason how much SA are affected mentally.

Posted by Chanceman on (February 16, 2014, 9:26 GMT)

Like most of the SA commentators who barely acknowledged the reality of the hiding until it was all over and then went searching for every excuse they could muster the pro-SA lot on this blog are deluding themselves or living in the past. Like Brian Lara when the Aussies beat the Windies in 1994 he said it was the worst ever Australian team bla bla. The team only included Warne, McGrath, Waugh, Taylor et c etc. No wonder Kallis retired when he did. Running scared that's for sure.

Posted by ModernUmpiresPlz on (February 16, 2014, 9:03 GMT)

@Albie Hanekom It's true that we lost a few series but the only real hiding was the 4-0 whitewash in India. The rest were pretty close either in terms of the contest (ashes in England) or the final series scoreline. And let's face it, the reason the Australian team was being talked about as being completely terrible is because it's constantly compared to the golden years when Australian cricket dominated the world. If the terrible Australian test side of the last couple of years was coming out of a lesser test nation it would be seen as a pretty good team, but we're not a lesser test nation, we're Australia. We, and everyone else, expect the best.

Posted by sm007h on (February 16, 2014, 9:02 GMT)

Why is everyone saying the Aussie batting line-up is suspect? Look at the last six tests when the Aussies absolutely blasted their opponents. Surely to win by such large margins, not only do the bowlers have to get plenty of wickets, but the batters have to score a large amount of runs!

There is always someone standing up when someone else fails. Look at this test - Haddin and Clarke failed and yet the Aussies smashed SA. Don't underestimate the Aussie batters! This is a totally different team under Boof.

Posted by ChuckerCarn on (February 16, 2014, 8:52 GMT)

Australia on the way up, and not just because of Mitch. They have a coach that unites the team. They have a captain with a great cricketing brain. They have a well balanced attack. They are starting to build a pretty good batting line-up and they are obviously well coached in fielding. South Africa on the other hand are on the way down, still a great side but looking like the great Aussie side of the 90s on its way down. You don't lose a player of the class of Kallis and just not notice and you need a decent spinner. Also everything was against SA in this one, but mostly of their own making, started when GS won the toss. I feel SA will be a different proposition in the second test. Oh, and cry me a river Albie.

Posted by camcove on (February 16, 2014, 8:50 GMT)

Having watched another match where AB de Villiers seemed in a class of his own (particularly in the context of his own side's batting), I am beginning to wonder whether he may challenge Viv Richards in my mind as the best test batsman I have seen. (I don't include Gary Sobers, who probably deserves that ranking, or Graeme Pollock who would also challenge, as I only saw them fleetingly at the end of their careers). Forget inane so-called debates as to the relative merits of the great Sachin and Bradman. Comparing from such different eras is ridiculous, but even then averaging a century in tests puts you in a class above everyone else. I have regarded Viv as better than Sachin, Lara and Sangakkara, with others like AB, Punter, Hussey and Chanderpaul not so far behind. The SA selectors will probably be reluctant to take the keeping duties away from AB de V, but I think it will crazy if they don't. He is superb.

Posted by michael.senthil on (February 16, 2014, 8:50 GMT)

look, i'm an aussie fan- but i'm almost sure they'll come back from this- and the next match will be much closer- de villiers and amla r two class batsman- plus there's steyn, philander- so i think they'll come back- plus they came back against pakistan as well- but go australia

Posted by Mervo on (February 16, 2014, 8:43 GMT)

Geez Albie, talk about one-eyed. Have a cup of tea and lie down. Now how many times have Australia beaten SA at home ...

Posted by Mervo on (February 16, 2014, 8:41 GMT)

If Johnson has an injury, and it seems Steyn is the one with a leg problem, then Pattinson is next in line. Also a fine bowler whom likes to intimidate, unlike Bird and other pie throwers. Wasim Akram must be feeling proud of Johnson as he takes a keen interest in left handers.

Posted by Matt.au on (February 16, 2014, 8:41 GMT)

Posted by ClaudiaSL------The only difference at the moment between Australia and South Africa is Johnson.

I'd add 3 centuries to none.

I'd add outstanding catching and fielding as opposed to mediocre of the same.

I'd add a better all round bowling performance.

I'd add a superior captain. (Seriously, Smith wasn't right in the head by asking Australia to bat after winning the toss.)

Posted by   on (February 16, 2014, 8:37 GMT)

@ albie hanekom you say oz got a hiding from evrry cricket team for the last few years. u serious? we have the most world cup wins in history. the highest win percentage in both tests and odis. unbeaten streak of 16 tests. in fact, we had been at number 1 about three times as long as south africa has.

Posted by   on (February 16, 2014, 8:33 GMT)

what south Africa did wrong - 1) picking a bowler McLaren to replace the batsman kallis 2) bowling first 3) picking philander when he has a terrible record vs Australia. 4) faf batting ahead of ab 5) not realising the form Johnson is in 6) not researching marsh and doolan. or

Posted by Samdanh on (February 16, 2014, 8:27 GMT)

Expect SA either to turn up with dustbowls as Aus cannot play as well on such pitches as well as SA themselves Or they may put up a better show. This was totally unexpected-what has happened in 1st Test. Well played Australia. Best wishes to both teams to play competitive cricket over the next 2 Tests. Will be interesting to see changes that both teams will bring about if pitch conditions are very different to what was seen in Centurion

Posted by   on (February 16, 2014, 8:26 GMT)

@ refraction. What a great comment you made. Wow it just highlights the beauty and class of the people on that arrogant desert rock you call home. Really classy to show your "dominance" by making petty childish personal comments. Im sure you were just as sharp when your team got hiding after hiding from the entire cricketing world the last couple of years. Yeah winners are grinners that's why we've been grinning for 8 plus years in test cricket, you have had a couple of months of it. Check in here after the PE game and we can have another discussion about ozzie "dominance". Hope your left arm spraygun stays on target because we all know what oz performance looks like without his freakish feats the last 6 games. Mate one trick pony comes to mind so when his inevitable slump comes there is nothing left

Posted by Matt.au on (February 16, 2014, 8:25 GMT)

Posted by cccrider----- You can never credibly say impossible, or no hope.

When relating to a cricket match outcome I guess that's true. I certainly see where you are coming from.

I mean who would have thought that Alan Kippax and Hal Hooker would have put on 307 for the last wicket when they did. I know I would have said prior to them doing it they would have no hope. I would have been wrong.

However, when a captain hasn't a definitive chart or crystal ball to say when enough is enough, how else is he meant to know except by his experience, gut, intelligence etc.

He had batted on the pitch the previous night. He went out in the morning and batted on it to make sure no one had poured concrete over it and made it smooth.

He would have checked his bowlers health, made sure they were right to go.

He would have looked into the fielders eyes when batting and knew they weren't right to go.

He knew, as best he could possibly know, SA could not survive.

Posted by fkhawaja on (February 16, 2014, 8:21 GMT)

well be honest , johnson was fast and furious and simply unplayable. southafricans were blownaway. only thing that can save them is weather or injury to johnson. SA should prepare a dead wicket like that in india or pakistan and they might get a draw. i dont see them winning. australia are the best side in the world probably in all 3 formats.

Posted by ModernUmpiresPlz on (February 16, 2014, 8:15 GMT)

@ClaudiaSL Johnson is supremely fit so if I was worried about anyone breaking down it'd be Harris. Steyn always gets credit for being amazingly fit, and he is, but he's no fitter than Johnson, so why aren't we also talking about "what if Steyn breaks down?". He took 6 of the 14 total wickets that SA managed.

That said, even if he breaks down we have worthy replacements in the wings, Pattinson, Starc, Cummins, I can't be bothered listing them all but there are more than just those names. And just to pre-empt a follow up, if Harris breaks down his closest replacement is probably Jackson Bird. He is a seriously good bowler.

Posted by Shaggy076 on (February 16, 2014, 8:06 GMT)

ccrider; Did you watch the game? The pitch was very unpredictable, even if they batted out the 5 1/2 sessions there would have been no guarantee that they would have enough runs. I saw a bit of that shield game via live streaming and it was a flat deck there is a difference. There is a reason it has never been done in test cricket and there is a reason that noone has chased more than 240 on this pitch. It was a lock.

Posted by ModernUmpiresPlz on (February 16, 2014, 8:05 GMT)

@cccrider Go support Sri Lanka, you'll really like Matthews' declarations.

@Appu Dasa I don't think many Australian fans are getting particularly cocky, is it so wrong for the fans to celebrate a win? That said, most of us don't disrespect the exploits of the SA team, it's mostly the SA fans who are busy trying to counter on the back foot right now. Personally, I expect SA to come back firing, and I want to see if Australia can still hold them down. I'm sure the Australian team and Boof won't be getting ahead of themselves either. They know full well that this is only the first match in a 3 test series and their aim will be to win 3-0. If you think Australia will relax from a single victory here you really don't know anything about Australia. They aren't going to take the foot off the gas so if SA come back strong it will make for riveting viewing.

Posted by ClaudiaSL on (February 16, 2014, 7:58 GMT)

The only difference at the moment between Australia and South Africa is Johnson. What if Johnson gets unfit? With the toll his body is taking at the moment with effort and speed, he would get unfit soon.

Posted by   on (February 16, 2014, 7:57 GMT)

Didn't expect such a meek surrender! A weekend of cricket lost! Hope SA will show some spine in the coming matches.

Posted by Dan_Son on (February 16, 2014, 7:56 GMT)

@ Mr.CricketJKNotHussey - well put. JP is another who needs to do some soul searching or clear out. I think the likes of Smith, Kallis, Steyn, Amla, de Villiers, Morkel and Philander have been carrying the team. With Kallis gone, the load is getting heavier.

Posted by Matt.au on (February 16, 2014, 7:56 GMT)

Posted by rickyvoncanterbury on (February 16, 2014, 7:31 GMT) @Albie Thanks mate, it is nice that there are people that still wish us well, good luck to your team too.

lol that was very funny.

Posted by ModernUmpiresPlz on (February 16, 2014, 7:55 GMT)

@cccrider Actually the pitch was playing up a lot when Clarke declared. If they kept batting it's possible they would have got rolled for maybe 20-50 runs in an hour, and make the SA team feel good for at least the next match, they might have even batted a bit better. The declaration was more foot on the throat than not declaring. The play you're suggesting is pretty much what Angelo Matthews would have done. If you think there was hope in chasing down 480 on THAT pitch, and let me repeat for good measure, ON THAT PARTICULAR PITCH, you are completely crazy. It wasn't a slow Adelaide track, it wasn't a flat, hard Perth track. It was a god damn nightmare. Mitch could have taken the innings off and they still wouldn't have gotten anywhere near 300.

Posted by Refraction on (February 16, 2014, 7:54 GMT)

@Albie Hanekom....lol, luving the animosity, one thing 2 say is THAT WINNERS R GRINNERS, and losers like urself can please themselves, the only question is what hand will u use 2nite? Oh and after u have pleased urself, gone in 60 seconds, takeaway look @ statistics between SA vs Aust over last 20 yrs, it speaks for itself!!

Posted by Unomaas on (February 16, 2014, 7:51 GMT)

2 bad decisions cost SAF this match.

1) Anyone with 2 cricketing brain cells to rub together suggested we go in with 7 batters and 4 pace strike bowlers for Centurion. The 7 batters was to negate MJ. We didn't, so we got mauled! We had one to many bowlers with the effect that JP (and to some degree Robbie P became) obsolete. 4 Strike bowlers + part time bowling from JP and Elgar would have been enough. Instead we had a tail that started with JP.

2) Smith made a bad decision on the toss! History aside, its a bowling paradise. You never bat last on this wicket if you can help it! Why would Smith want to bring the Aus spinner into effect by batting last? It was a totally incomprehensible decision Smith made by fielding first.

On a side note, the brute that Hash got first up from MJ, I think Hash's beard saved him by absorbing all the shock :P. Go's to show that excess facial hair might be beneficial in some instances. Bring on P.E and lets see if SAF can bounce back!

Posted by   on (February 16, 2014, 7:49 GMT)

@bren19 yea beat whos in front of you aussie got beaten in england and india before winning ONE series against england in australia. i seen the scorecard hence why i said they had a good win.

Posted by Chanceman on (February 16, 2014, 7:49 GMT)

Do I hear the sound of SA whingeing??

Posted by cccrider on (February 16, 2014, 7:48 GMT)

Shaggy wants to poll imaginary fans. Don't you have the courage of your convictions? And determining the results of an imaginary poll? Oh, please, its too ridiculous for words.

Posted by cccrider on (February 16, 2014, 7:41 GMT)

Shaggy, Qld chased 470 in a shield match that very day! Got there with 5-down. My point is that you can't credibly say no hope, particularly in comfort AFTER the event. WI in the 80s were a great team that were utterly ruthless - and had a dynasty as a result.

Posted by Shaggy076 on (February 16, 2014, 7:36 GMT)

Appu Dasa: We are used to these predictions heard the same thing from the English supporters after the first test.

Posted by Shaggy076 on (February 16, 2014, 7:31 GMT)

ccrider; History has nevver seen it happen it was never going to happen. clarke made the right move, 3 days between tests and Australian bowling last our bowlers now get an extra day to freshen up. I think if you polled a 1000 actual test cricket followers you might find one other person that supports the theory that South Africa actually had a chance after that declaration.

Posted by rickyvoncanterbury on (February 16, 2014, 7:31 GMT)

@Albie Thanks mate, it is nice that there are people that still wish us well, good luck to your team too.

Posted by AltafPatel on (February 16, 2014, 7:30 GMT)

Aus know very well that body-language bowling is the only weapon to save their test cricket.

Posted by AltafPatel on (February 16, 2014, 7:29 GMT)

@hruv Sirohi Don't you think collapses in ranking rather looms on India ! They already got in ODIs and now turn for Tests ! Worry about your own boy...World is eagerly waiting for India's ranking collapse.

Posted by cccrider on (February 16, 2014, 7:26 GMT)

Matt - Shaggy said :'It was impossible, there was no hope for the SOuth Africans to win.' I said there is no such thing as a guaranteed declaration. And there isn't. You can never credibly say impossible, or no hope.

Posted by   on (February 16, 2014, 7:20 GMT)

keep on talking aussie boys and girls, the "overrated" SA team that lost only 1 series in 8 years will surely just fold and make all the same mistakes come PE. Because lets be honest winning 1 series out of a million like you guys makes you "the real number one". Yeah that all makes sense so 'undeserving" of SA to be ranked the best they only cleaned up the rest of the world over and over again for some years now. So lets see if this "undeserving" and "overrated" cricket nation with "overrated" players like Steyn and Philander (averages of 22 and 18 is purely due to luck), and even worse batsman like Smith (9000 runs @ 50 surely 8500 of those were just lucky nicks) will just bow down because like we all know the "aussies are always" the best no matter if their first win in the entire 2013 came in December and 1 series win in a million is definitely proof that they are the best not 25 from 26. Yes all of this will surely happen.... KEEP DREAMING AND STOP SMOKING WHATEVER YOU ARE

Posted by AltafPatel on (February 16, 2014, 7:18 GMT)

Wish SA bowlers be lethal rather than generous to Ausi batsmen showing skill of body-language bowling.

Posted by shayanamjad on (February 16, 2014, 7:04 GMT)

This is what happens if u bow down to an opposition out of the field (big 3) a Psychologically down opposition was not deserving to put up a fight even Congrats to ausies

Posted by Matt.au on (February 16, 2014, 7:03 GMT)

@ cccrider ---- Shaggy - there is no such thing as a guaranteed declaration as you suggest. No such thing

I thought shaggy076 explained it pretty well.

I'll add in support of his argument that no side has ever scored more than 250 odd in the 4th innings at Centurion to win lose or draw.

Also, Clarke went out and batted on the pitch immediately before declaring. He'd seen enough he knew what he was doing as usual and the result proves that.

Shaggy076 stated what Clarke knew, Sth Africa had no hope.

Posted by Skittled on (February 16, 2014, 7:01 GMT)

@ Barneybasher, I'm with you 100% mate, I've always wondered why they don't mention the wickets left from the declaration in the match summary, would give people a much better indication of how the match played out if they did.

Posted by rickyvoncanterbury on (February 16, 2014, 6:59 GMT)

@Internationalcricketfollower my post was meant for Appu Dasa

Posted by milepost on (February 16, 2014, 6:54 GMT)

Wow, the 3-0 predictions by informed cricket followers are looking ever more likely now. Australia are peerless,

Posted by   on (February 16, 2014, 6:53 GMT)

win or lose south Africa is the best team comparing Aus.........!

Posted by wapuser on (February 16, 2014, 6:49 GMT)

It's over for SA. They are no longer a number 1 side. A number 1 side does not loose like that in their own back yard. Their bowling, batting and fielding is pedestrian. I really hope they can bounce back, but I doubt it.

Posted by yuvi_gladiator on (February 16, 2014, 6:45 GMT)

@James Kris so is SA without steyn and world without obama :D

Posted by InternationalCricketFollower on (February 16, 2014, 6:30 GMT)

I never rated P&P to be honest (Alv Petersen and Robin Peterson). So I think SAF needs to do these changes:

- Bring De Kock in for Alv Petersen and make him keeper too! Not only De Kock deserves a shot for his amazing track record, this also makes AB to focus on his batting.

- Please replace Robin Peterson with Imran Tahir or Dane Piedt.

Posted by   on (February 16, 2014, 6:30 GMT)

My advice to the Aussies and their fans is not to get too cocky about this victory. One win does not make a summer in South Africa. South Africa has the means to hit back come second test. Steyn was off color. My guess is that South Africa will win next two tests because Aussies have become too haughty. May be SA will change their batting with some going out and new blood in.

Posted by cccrider on (February 16, 2014, 6:20 GMT)

Shaggy - there is no such thing as a guaranteed declaration as you suggest. No such thing. Clarke has a habit of not being ruthless enough. Take sending in England in Perth - which almost bit Australia back. Keep the foot on the throat. The idea of a declaration - like the 80s WI side - is to put the dial to misery.

Posted by Shaggy076 on (February 16, 2014, 6:18 GMT)

muzika_tchaikovskogo; If countries had these players why are they not playing them now? Quick bowling is not new - its just the other countries dont have anyone who can impact like Johnson. It took Johnson 10 years to perfect it so it is certainly not easy to do.

Posted by alipk52 on (February 16, 2014, 6:15 GMT)

Australia, get to number one rankings please before arriving in UAE for a series against Pakistan, the no.1 demolishers will be waiting there, for this match I am still learning whether it's impact of recent series against Pakistan and they started batting like them or SA batsman got some tips from recent India's tour to SA, this scoreline of SA looks very similar to India's overseas score and Pakistan's batting card.

Posted by Shaggy076 on (February 16, 2014, 6:14 GMT)

MikeNQN; I remember that series well as I recall South Africa were still unable to beat that batting line up. I think we are better than that now so its going to be harder for you guys.

Posted by trumpoz on (February 16, 2014, 6:11 GMT)

So we smashed South Africa in one test - there are two more to go. I'll be celebrating if/when we win the series. If South Africa are truely a number one side they will bounce back and win the next match - great teams find a way to come back.

Can't wait for the next test.

Posted by dunger.bob on (February 16, 2014, 6:01 GMT)

@ Barneybasher: Why not indeed? I love it. Here's something else about it. Ages ago someone said 'yeah, well our side declared in the first innings, so it was an even bigger thrashing than it looks" or something along those lines. Under your system anyone can see, at a glance, that well yeah, they did declare, but they were nine wickets down at the time anyway.

Posted by Shaggy076 on (February 16, 2014, 5:56 GMT)

ccrider; A batting line up of Hayden, B Richards, Bradman, Tendulkar, Lara and V Richards with Gilchrist as the keeper bowlers Hadlee, Akram, Dev and spinner Vettori wouldnt have chased down 480 on that pitch with our attack. It was impossible, there was no hope for the SOuth Africans to win. The declaration was very sound, with no hope of a loss. The highest chase ever was 60 runs less than this target and this pitch was not a flat Perth track, or a belter of an Adelaide wicket it was an up and down pitch where you only have to put enough balls in the right place to get wickets.

Posted by alisaqib610 on (February 16, 2014, 5:53 GMT)

Wow! I never expected the world's number one team to be destroyed like this. Mitchell Johnson was at his best and the South African batsmen were more or less at his mercy. It seemed that only AB De Villiers could play him and the others would just get out. This has been an incredible turnaround by the Australian team and if Johnson can continue bowling like this Australia may well make it back to the top of the rankings. It is going to be hard for South Africa to come back in this series looking at the way this just got out. Hardly any of them showed any resistance. However, congratulations to Australia on winning this test match and wish both teams the best in the coming matches.

Posted by   on (February 16, 2014, 5:49 GMT)

This is a good start for our Aussies, but they need to keep their feet on the ground ad grind it out in the coming Test. I would not change the team unless it is to play Watson for Rogers, if he is fit and can take some heat off Harris and Johnson by tying up one end for a period of 5 overs. Warner and Smith need to bowl more overs and hustle through them too. Lehmann was very wise in not changing a winning team, so it is easy as she goes. The Proteas are a good team and will come back fighting so we need to be brutal in the face of any fightback and keep our intensity up every step of the way, and occasionally chip the opposition about past chokes, but do not overdo the sledging, which should always be saved for the Poms and Kiwis.... :)

Posted by muzika_tchaikovskogo on (February 16, 2014, 5:49 GMT)

Incredible performance from Johnson. I hope he's able to do this consistently for at least another year or two. I also hope other sides take the cue and unleash their own battery of quicks. It'll be great to see batsmen made to work for runs.

Posted by challagalla on (February 16, 2014, 5:47 GMT)

Goodness. Johnson is incredible. I fear for my fellow indians when they tour australia next.

Posted by MikeNQN on (February 16, 2014, 5:43 GMT)

@ mamboman - 3:16 GMT: Although I totally agree with you, it is also worth noting that South Africa has not beaten Australia in a home series for 44 years. Saying that, I still think the Aussies have big problems with their batting and favour SA to win the next 2 tests. Remember, it was only a few years back when SA had Australia 9 for 19 (47 all out).

Posted by Matt.au on (February 16, 2014, 5:40 GMT)

Posted by Thegimp It would have been interesting if it was NZ touring and whether he would have seen out the home summer?

Yep, I think he would have been putting the pads on for sure.

Posted by Barneybasher on (February 16, 2014, 5:39 GMT)

Well done Aussies. Don't forget the margin was much better than 281, there were six wickets to spare as well. I suggest that they should be reported as such. Eg Australia won by 281 runs and six wickets. Tells the dominance better. As a more extreme example England lost the second ashes test by 218 runs. Seems a bit closer BUT the Aussies declared twice and actually won by 218 runs and 10 wickets. Why not?

Posted by Matt.au on (February 16, 2014, 5:34 GMT)

Greatest_Game --- SA's leadership was exposed without Kallis.wn, spinners leaking runs, & ineffective field settings, they look frustrated & at sea.

I understand that a player with Kallis' experience would be missed on field. That's a given.

I can assure you though it's not very often a team loses someone of Kallis' experience whilst having a player with 107 tests as captain. I repeat, 107 tests as captain.

Smith has a VC with 90 tests under his belt. AB has played more tests than Rogers, Warner, Doolan, Smith, Marsh and Harris combined.

Smiths' leading bowler has 70 tests under his belt. Morkel has played over 50 tests. Amla 74.

Despite losing Kallis Sth Africa couldn't have asked for a more experienced group of men to lead them against Australia.

When such an experienced group of leaders break down, as you say they did, it goes to show the intensity that Australia came at them.

When the leaders are under such pressure and can't cope - God help the others.

Posted by cccrider on (February 16, 2014, 5:30 GMT)

To One-down. Of course Clarke is the captain. What a revelation. I am entitled to make a COMMENT. And I did - in 1 line. Clarke will not have a dynasty like WI of the 80s if he continues with declarations that allow hope.

And a RANT - is what you do in your second paragraph. Go on and on, line after line with witless nonsense. Learn the difference.

Posted by AllanGavaskar on (February 16, 2014, 5:24 GMT)

MJ is without a doubt the most enthralling Australia bowler since Shane Warne. They are worthy of comparison because both have the ability to rapidly change the direction of game, to turn it on its head as it were. Actually turn almost all batsmen on their head. MJ's brilliance gives Australian cricket back its credibility and allows us to see who are the truly great Batsman. If only we could see Clarke up against MJ, so we could see who is better out of he and AB De Villiers. This team might not have the star power of Waugh's and Ponting's Incredibles but they are just as thrilling to watch at the moment. I think everyone can see now how mediocre and conservative the Saffer's (v India) 460 run attempted chase was in reality, when they had a chance to etch their collective names into the monument of Test Cricket History.

Posted by rickyvoncanterbury on (February 16, 2014, 5:22 GMT)

@ anonymous who said 'boy do i hope the saffers come back and win the series to shut these aussies up! they beat an overrated england team and one good win over SA and their suddenly the best in the world, what a joke!'..... it is not just aussies but thanks for anger the world needs more!!

Posted by   on (February 16, 2014, 5:06 GMT)

sa are on the downhill now dey stayed no 1 for somtime but like evry other no 1 team in team in d recent past dey are also coming down dre downfall was started by pakistan and india and now aussies doin d finishing it was a great period for sa but i dnt thnk dey shud compared to d mighty windies and invincible aussies dose teams were in their league of dre own and saffers dnt match dem

Posted by DanTas on (February 16, 2014, 5:03 GMT)

I've been watching/following Test cricket for half a century. MoJo's bowling in the recent past, but in this match in particular, has been the equal in terms of speed, venom and downright nastiness to anything I have seen. Long may it last. Am a bit concerned though, that our other bowlers are becoming just bit players and there is too much reliance on the moustachioed one. Here's hoping MoJo doesn't succumb to injury!

Posted by dunger.bob on (February 16, 2014, 5:00 GMT)

@ bappcric on (February 16, 2014, 0:52 GMT) : Well, good for you mate. Stick to your guns. The only problem I can see with it is that you've eliminated about 99% of the worlds sports. Just about any sport requires stamina and endurance and strength can never be under estimated. .. Even lawn bowls takes a certain amount of endurance because it's mentally tiring. Trying to get that wobbly old thing close to that other tiny little thing takes some doing let me tell you.

Posted by disco_bob on (February 16, 2014, 4:52 GMT)

@mamboman, re mental disintegration... SA will not self destruct for no reason as England wouldn't. And there's the rub, because unless you have a bowler who can match Mitch toe to toe with good back up, then there's no choice in the matter. If your batters CANNOT, play Mitchell's pace and accuracy, then you'll get hammered over and over and mental disintegration is not negotiable, it's inevitable. Cook, and Bell are fine batsmen and over 10 innings they were unable to cope. Either you can cope, like ADdV or KP, OR you can't. But you definitely can't learn on the fly.

The mental disintegration comes about because there are hundreds of thousands of people watching all over the world what is supposed to be the number one team, and the pressure is excruciating. You saw how Cook decided, OK enough is enough, none of this waiting like a rabbit, I'm coming out and showing the lads why I'm captain. He came out took a swing at a throat ball and was promptly caught in the deep. End of plan B.

Posted by ChrisGTD on (February 16, 2014, 4:50 GMT)

Well done Australia!...As a South African you need to commend a team when they do well......Look, we had a off game, South Africa usually does not start a test series so good so I am sure they will bounce back.....I have said it before, Ryan McLaren has nothing special in him, He does not give us any variation. Alviro is out of form so lets hope he can get some runs over his belt to gain some confidence. As much as I am a JP fan, a average of 32 is just not good enough in test cricket. Our back up batsmen Dean Elgar was also troubled by Johnson before so I am not that confident of his ability against fast, short pitch bowling. Think Parnell will come in for Mac so lets see. For the Australians, I thing Hughes should replace Rogers........Lets see what happens in P.E!

Posted by Biggus on (February 16, 2014, 4:47 GMT)

@Jagger:- Always felt we were a good chance after the Ashes to have a crack at the Saffers mate, and conceding that the Saffers were favourites pre series doesn't really contradict that. I just play my cards closer to my chest as I get older.....saves the after game blushes when you get one wrong. I don't want any changes to the team for the next game either. Steady as she goes I reckon.

Posted by one-down on (February 16, 2014, 4:31 GMT)

@mamboman : wish it was Christmas time... cos it would have been nice to send you a copy of the DVD with the highlights of the 1999 WC match displaying the tremendous 'mental fortitude' shown by two of SA's finest; i.e.Klusener & Donald... if that is not "mental disintegration" then what is? perhaps it was that match; that mad moment that gave meaning to these two words? you can easily search for that "special moment" on a popular video hosting website... I have said this before and say it again: "against Australia... South Africa ALWAYS find a way to lose!!!" Kallis had the gift of foresight & decided to call it a day when the going was good... he did not stay around till the going got tough!!! :) A swagger is only good if you can back it up with real action... talk is just that... a lot of hot air!!! :) The ball is well & truly in the Proteas court... let's see how they bounce back!

Posted by bren19 on (February 16, 2014, 4:29 GMT)

@Michael Watkins - They can only beat who is put in front of them. One could say the same about SA. They claim to be number 1 but they were demolished in 4 days by a lesser ranked team - and they say they are the best in the world - what a joke. Oh, and by the way - look at the scoreboard.

Posted by Aashiq.kb on (February 16, 2014, 4:22 GMT)

He He He ! The mighty Aussies are back!!! Back with a Bang!! Its good for Cricket!! Happy for Mitch Johnson as well... Hope he can continue like this for at least couple of seasons!! Go Aussie Go!!! :)

Posted by Great_Lion on (February 16, 2014, 4:15 GMT)

next test Dale steyn will come hard at aussies.If you follow the dale steyn closely,you know these type of situations he is in real hunger.He will generate more pace and seam in next game and if australia underestimate him, they will destroy themself.Ok folks, we are witnessing here the two best fast bowlers of our era are bowling in same match.Best of luck to steyn and johnson in next match.

Posted by Jagger on (February 16, 2014, 3:49 GMT)

I honestly didn't think I could get as much satisfaction from a non-Ashes cricket match.

All you young staffers should count yourselves lucky. You've just had a lesson on how far an Aussie will go to hunt down a tall poppy. Especially the kind who tells everyone how good it is with no substance to back it up. Lesson over.

@biggus - promise to never again write us off, mate!

Posted by Biggus on (February 16, 2014, 3:35 GMT)

@Ol_Wobbly:- Actually I also thought AB De V's batting was sublime in both innings and I can promise you I'm not biased towards SA.

Posted by disco_bob on (February 16, 2014, 3:29 GMT)

@Greatest_Game, yep I think it's time to realise that a genuine all rounder is a luxury but with strong batters and bowlers, it's not even close to being a necessity in Test cricket. One day perhaps.

Posted by mamboman on (February 16, 2014, 3:16 GMT)

Before we get too carried away here, this South African team is highly unlikely to mentally disintegrate the way the Englishmen did this summer. They have a better captain, an attack much better capable of addressing the weaknesses in Australia's batting and batsmen who are more cohesive as a team and will play each other out of tough times. This South African team is an altogether different beast from the unlamented English. They'll come swaggering back!

Posted by   on (February 16, 2014, 3:13 GMT)

A misfiring Johnson makes the Aussie attack good but a Johnson at his best takes the attack to a different level. Mitch is amazing and he makes it easy for Australia to defend any total. But in the Mitch mayhem let us not forget Shaun Marsh and Smith. They came in at a difficult time and set up the stage for the Mitch show.

Posted by   on (February 16, 2014, 3:13 GMT)

we just live in his world :(

Posted by one-down on (February 16, 2014, 3:08 GMT)

@cccrider : the result (in less than 4 days against the #1 team) validates his decision... mind you... you can rant all you want... Clarke is the captain & it's his decision to make :)

@Ramachandran Narayan : do you believe in Santa Claus & the tooth fairy (seems it's obvious you do!)... suggest you read about the cricket history between WI v Ind.& you will find when Bedi declared so Holding & co.could not maim the rest of the batsmen :) also when/if you have the chance check with Gavaskar how Marshall & co bounced him at the Chepauk... he was hit on the head by the "gentlemanly" Windies; bet Mohinder Amarnath has a story or two :) have a v.strong feeling you were not even born then! And, as the adage says "fortune does indeed favour the brave"... it's got nothing to do with luck... everybody is lucky in their own way... it's what you do with your good fortune that is important... we Aussies are v.good at managing our "good luck" :) :) :)

Posted by   on (February 16, 2014, 3:04 GMT)

boy do i hope the saffers come back and win the series to shut these aussies up! they beat an overrated england team and one good win over SA and their suddenly the best in the world, what a joke!

Posted by   on (February 16, 2014, 2:51 GMT)

The First Para says it all. I still believe SA has edge over AUS but its just Mitch and Aus team dedication put them over the SA by a huge margin. England came to Australia with the Mentality of they can win again but after loosing first test they lost the mental Confidence. Lets see what SA will do. Any first loss over a competitive team in a competitive series will make you Devastated.

Posted by crichammer on (February 16, 2014, 2:36 GMT)

as much of a tear as Mitch is on lately....his performance at age 32 with all his previously well documented physical issues...points to some serious questions

Posted by rickyvoncanterbury on (February 16, 2014, 2:32 GMT)

All this talk about Australia being a one man team is all well and good we all saw the world class performance from Johnson, ... BUT... when Smith won the toss and had the chance to set up the game he gave that chance back to Australia, (the perceived weakness in the Aussie batting prevailed) had SA rolled Australia for 150 to 275 the pressure on the bowling unit would have been enormous, the problem was the one man team scored 397 runs, of which Johnson contributed 33 and the only other conceivable chances Haddin and Clarke contributed 23 runs to that total, then the army of one (Johnson) rolled SA for 206, that gave Australia a first innings lead of 191 runs and that was where the game was won, so if Australia are a one man team than he is Marsh, Smith and Johnson..... by the way the Aussie batting finished 14 for 687 .. that always makes a bowlers job easier... 49 runs per wicket (Johnson, Haddin, Clarke = 73 runs for the game).

Posted by   on (February 16, 2014, 2:25 GMT)

Rsa is not a side which will be scared like eng...yes they have been outplayed in this match. ..but they will come harder next time... especially Dale,ab,hash..... I have a feeling that steyn will turn the table nxt time

Posted by Pavinasen on (February 16, 2014, 2:20 GMT)

This would have demorilised SA,who are not used to being bullied in their backward.This is worst,they were given a good beating and and I am not sure that they will recovery from this hiding in the coming 2 games.I am calling a 3-0 witewash

Posted by   on (February 16, 2014, 2:16 GMT)

Australia going to be the number 1 team in all format of the game. 1)Best fast bowler/destroyer in the world: Johnson,2)Agressive bowler: Starc, Johnson, Cummins, pattinson. 3)Best run chaser: Faulkner,Bailey, 4) best stricker: watson, Finch, Warner, Bailey, Maxwell, Faulkner, Cutting . 5)best allrounder: Watson,Faulkner, Maxwell 6)Cool players:S smith,Harris, Siddle,voges,

Posted by   on (February 16, 2014, 2:14 GMT)

so Johnsons avg has gone down from 32 to 27.50, by the end of this series could well be under 25!! talk about having good Year, should be under best 3 when this series ends

Posted by AussiePhoenix on (February 16, 2014, 2:05 GMT)

Who cares about MJ's economy rate? People focusing on this are missing the big picture. He took 12 for 127, so effectively he bowled out a team (10 wickets) for less than 127. Which team wouldn't want that? Realism versus the statitician.

Posted by   on (February 16, 2014, 2:00 GMT)

Yikes. Johnson is without doubt the best bowler in the world right now, no one wants to face him, except ABDV, great battle between those two guys. Where will the momentum end?

Posted by   on (February 16, 2014, 1:58 GMT)

its nt about aussies vs proteus.its only abt johnson....with him aussies can regain their no.1 ranking...but without him n haddin aussies is a big zero....

Posted by mondotv on (February 16, 2014, 1:52 GMT)

I think Clarke must have been sorely tempted to declare the night before so no surprise he didn't wait long in the morning. Once Australia's lead stretched past 350 it became a bridge too far on that pitch. I suppose even Clarke isn't immune to the mental scars left by Perth and Adelaide in the series 2 years ago because I feel against any other team he'd have unleashed Johnston and Harris for 25 minutes the evening before in a gamble to pick up a couple of quick ones before stumps. We are talking about the same Captain who declared behind the WI in the WI. That was actually a much braver decision. Instead he did the next best thing and pulled a surprise declaration the next morning, caught SA on the hop and was rewarded with 3 wickets before lunch. Clarke's out-Captained Alister Cook and now he's ahead against Graeme Smith. Still 2 tests to go but the signs are good for Aussie fans.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (February 16, 2014, 1:45 GMT)

As an England fan, it's a little heartening to see the current #1-ranked team doing almost as poorly on their home turf against Australia. That said, it doesn't make England's performance any better and it also suggests that Australia are heading towards the top of the rankings, which is not something any England fan wants to see. I think the most worrying thing for non-Australian fans is the fact that the Australian batting still looks a bit shaky and yet they are winning fairly easily. I think that it's safe to say that Mitchell Johnson is the biggest reason for that but certainly not the only reason. What chance England may have had in the recent Ashes they threw away by dropping catches in Adelaide and SA did themselves no favours giving the fast-scoring Warner so many lives when time was so critical. Australia, on the other hand, are gobbling up every half chance that comes their way. That says something about their dedication to the task.

Posted by yuvi_gladiator on (February 16, 2014, 1:44 GMT)

SA has to go all aggressive in the next test and then hope that the Australian batting fails, thats their only chance. Australian bowling looks different class at the moment, even the batting is looking so strong which was not the case in first half of the ashes. also its hard to understand who is selecting the SA team. clearly both peterson's, mclaren are club level at best. duminy is just asking to be dropped and plessis has only played to save matches till this point, not good enough to be the number one side, signs have been there for everyone to see even when they played in UAE. Aussies they have just dismantled the two top sides in a row

Posted by Mr.CricketJKNotHussey on (February 16, 2014, 1:40 GMT)

@marcs Thanks for the feedback. i chose Parnell, because currently, he is the only person in the SA squad who could replace Mclaren. I guess if they do choose to get de Kock in, they might consider someone else too. Morris could be an option but sadly he is injured. Tahir is a fairly unpredictable player though. He did well in Pak mainly due to their weak batting and the pitch assistance.

Posted by mondotv on (February 16, 2014, 1:38 GMT)

Well as predicted by me yesterday SA lost before the end of the 4th day. I thought Sid's would get a few more on that pitch but I did predict he'd get bowled's and lbw's and that's exactly what he did. SA can moan and complain all they like about how "unlucky" some of those dismissals were but as I said yesterday they'd lose before stumps and it wouldn't be their fault it would be Smith's for sending Australia in. Perfect hindsight? Nope - I'm just from the Chappelli school - if the pitch looks like a greentop and the day's overcast and you win the toss you think about sending the opposition in. Then you say to yourself "don't be stupid" and "We'll have a bat thanks..." - In other words @ Test cricket level you bat first - it's an enormous advantage - the stats tell us that quite clearly. Now if Smith looks at the pitch and thinks maybe I'll send them in he'll have the fear factor as well - do I want to face MJ on this? Its conceivable that he'll send Australia in again.

Posted by PakCricZindabad on (February 16, 2014, 1:33 GMT)

A good win for Australia. However, lets not forget that SA are the #1 ranked test team for more than 1 year. I think SA's positives from this match were that Lyon is not a big threat, they got a feeling of Johnson's pace & bounce, & realized that Siddle is the one who swings the ball, & Harris is not consistent w/ line& length. SA started to play Johnson well in the 2nd innings, the false shots & brilliant Aussie fielding cost them. Now that SA have seen how Australia operate, I think that the rest of this series will come down to batting. Johnson was expensive, & SA started to play him better, Amla & ABD were the standouts & Aussie batsmen did not struggle against SA bowling.

Posted by heathrf1974 on (February 16, 2014, 1:20 GMT)

Mitchell was amazing on a wicket that was getting more difficult but far from unplayable. I have never seen this from an Aussie bowler (I was too young to see Jeff Thomson in his prime). I guess English fans may not feel so bad now about there team's future. South Africa may bring in Elgar for someone and replace McClaren with a specialist bowler.

Posted by pat_one_back on (February 16, 2014, 1:06 GMT)

Enormous kudos to Clarke for yet another clever declaration, SA would have been deep in thought over how they'd achieved 4th innings turnarounds in the past, steeling themselves for the battle later that day, possibly on lunch then all of a sudden their at the hostile crease. Bowlers thrive on the confidence shown aggressive declarations, Aust were not thinking Adelaide, if the past crossed their minds it was possibly Eng's Sydney capitulation in an eerily similarly played out test. Brilliant bowling, great captaincy (how good was Doolan's placement to Smith) and now top order runs are coming, Aust are unstoppable in what's now all round form.

Posted by SaracensBob on (February 16, 2014, 0:56 GMT)

I take my (English) hat of to Mr Johnson - a truly awesome performance! Credit to the Aussies for sticking with him. Remember when he first started in test cricket? He was mighty quick but when he released the ball he had no clue where it was going to go. He sprayed it all over the place making it impossible to set a field for him - so he took not very many for lots. But by God, he's got it now! If the Aussies can sort out their top order batting and the likes of Peter Siddle and Ryan Harris can continue to give MJ support then they could be pretty much unbeatable for the next few years. Good to see the fortunes of the 'big' teams ebbing and flowing - that's what our great game is all about.

Posted by bappcric on (February 16, 2014, 0:52 GMT)

In today's world, I DO NOT like to acknowledge anybody's superstardom where a MAJOR part of the superstardom is achieved on the basis of any of the three qualities - STRENGTH and/or STAMINA and/or ENDURANCE. Only superstardom gained on the basis of skill and finesse matters to me any more.

Posted by Thegimp on (February 16, 2014, 0:43 GMT)

@Matt.au...I posted something similar about Kallis retiring earlier and let's just say, the feedback was interesting. All I can say is, would an Australian player voluntarily retire weeks before the Ashes? This is South Africa's Ashes on home soil and a great player should want to see it as a crowning glory. Not saying he wasn't a great player, stats alone confirm that but he saw something that most of us see at the end of our careers, the desire to face this kind of bowling fades. It would have been interesting if it was NZ touring and whether he would have seen out the home summer?

Posted by ThreePIllarTales on (February 16, 2014, 0:37 GMT)

This has been a savage and thrilling Test! The interesting point in fast bowling...the 150kph has always been the magical mark. I remember Ahktar pushing his body to get that speed along with Lee. Along came Steyn, Morkel, Johnson etc. High 140s to 150 seems regular but the issue is accuracy. I wonder how long MJ can keep this up even with short spells.

Posted by __PK on (February 16, 2014, 0:32 GMT)

matchfixerpkn, were you watching the Ashes? Johnson wasn't always on song, not every innings, every game or every spell. Clarke swapped him out of the attack whenever he went off the boil and you know what happened? Siddle or Harris got wickets! Harris is the No2 bowler in the world, remember. Ramachandran Narayan obviously never watched the Windies in their prime because they bowled a lot of short stuff. That's where the limit on bouncers came from.

Posted by pat_one_back on (February 16, 2014, 0:16 GMT)

As resiliant as SA have proven over recent years, the chances of recovering from this pants down slapping are next to nil. Aust have enough technique to stifle this stale SA attack and SA have but one batsmen who can survive MJ a while, and only provided the balls been softened a bit (by pitch & flesh more than bat). Laughable optimism that folk have rated AB as the leading batsmen of this test (@greatest_game) for SA yes but his efforts don't nearly square up to Marsh or Smith, Warner even who rode his luck to a ton. AB showed resolve but influenced nothing ultimately, SA will find a better balanced team by next test but that just means more raw meat for MJ to tenderise.

Posted by CM1000 on (February 16, 2014, 0:15 GMT)

Reading these comments is like deja vu from the Ashes, with many trying to say its because the batsmen facing Johnson and Co are out of form / under performed. It's not the batsmen. Smith, Amla, du Plessis, AB, Cook, Trott, Pietersen and Bell are some of the best batsmen in the world. But in his current form, Johnson is one of the best ever and would have created havoc in any era. Cause and effect.

Posted by   on (February 15, 2014, 23:56 GMT)

Not sure he is bowling as well in this test as he did in a couple of recent tests. The second innings in particular he seemed well down. The two balls at Amla and McLaren aside he wasn't up to his normal high standards in the 2nd innings - yet still got 5 wickets.

After his opening burst in the 1st innings it was noticeable that pace was down and he rarely troubled the 150 mark (though still operated at 147 ish a lot) and the number of balls well outside off stump that could (and were) left comfortably was noticeably higher throughout the whole test - but particularly in the second innings.

I wonder why he's taking it a little easier on South Africa?

Maybe he's tired at last? The worlds batsmen can only live in hope...

Posted by dunger.bob on (February 15, 2014, 23:55 GMT)

People talk a lot about momentum in sport and we have a beautiful example of it right here. This Aussie team has built up such a head of steam there're like a rocket on rails. It started in England for the final two tests there and doesn't appear to be over yet. In England Steve Smith found some form and Harris found some fitness. In Australia Warner, Haddin and Rogers started making 100's and Lyon found some confidence. .. So far in SA we've seen 2 new players injected into the batting and neither has disappointed. .. Has this team reached it's peak or is there more improvement in them still? .. For me, this was about as good as I've seen ANY Australian team play. It's hard to imagine Johnson can maintain that sort of strike rate, but, and this is the thing, the others have been taking the wickets when MJ has a quiet spell. We saw it time and again against England. Everyone chipped in with wickets and the momentum barely slowed down, let alone stopped. Can SA keep RH,PS & NL out?

Posted by one-eyed-but-keepinitreal on (February 15, 2014, 23:51 GMT)

Having had a lot of success against South Africans during the recent Ashes series I am very surprised that people were questioning Australia's ability to compete against South Africa.

Posted by TheBigBoodha on (February 15, 2014, 23:50 GMT)

@Masking-Tape: "SA are yet to prove themselves or win any big games. One of the most overrated teams going around."

Wow, that is really ungracious. I'm an Aussie, and you just can't say that about a team that has had as much success as SA have in test cricket over the past five years. Yes, SA were rather lucky to win in AUS last time IMHO, but they took their luck and made it count. That's all anybody can do.

Having said that, I am going to talk myself up here. Before this test on Firodose's "SA are more ruthless than ever" article I said that there was a remarkable similarity between the way SA media and fans were seeing this series and the way Engalnd's did before the Ashes in AUS - already forgotten that the winning scorelines did not reflect the truth of the way the series were played.

Posted by Macker60 on (February 15, 2014, 23:27 GMT)

Big_Chikka, There were better and Faster Bowler the MJ, but they did not a C Mcdermott, as a Coach, and a Captain bowling them in short burst, to maximize there effect, The Aussies are bowling to a Plan, But to those thinking that this Attack is nothing with MJ think again, Until resonantly Aust have been able to get there fastest Bowlers on the deck for any considerable period, And when they did they over bowled them, The biggest fear other counties should look out for is we have several faster Bowlers recovering from injuries and about 6 more taking wickets in the Shield comp. Hence the reason for some lower shield average recently. Note Several years ago Australia notice that we were running low on Fast express paced bowlers and started to address that fact, Look out because MJ is not the Quickest Lefty and there are 3-4 Right hand that are taller and Faster. We also have several Swinging stock bowlers taking 40 plus wickets each year.

Posted by Shaggy076 on (February 15, 2014, 23:02 GMT)

I think a few supporters judgement of South Africa is way over the top. Australia would love for there record over the last 6-7 years and if you look in terms of rankings we would love there record in the last 2 years. As such they are #1 and deservedly so. What Australia has done in the last 6 tests is played cricket at a level above all other countries, the size of the margin against the worlds #1 and #2 side (England were #2 before we smashed them and deservedly in front of India as they beat them home and away) have been huge. Looking at this test some people were very harsh on there reporting of England. As South Africa are #1 for good reason they will fight back, AB is pure class and Smith and Amla also capable of big tons, Steyn, Philander and Morkel also quality so wouldnt be declaring this series over yet. However, the Petersens and Duminy have been weak links for a while and Mclaren cant come in before 7, pick him as a bowler or don't pick him. Replace these guys and game on.

Posted by Gary5 on (February 15, 2014, 22:54 GMT)

SA Supporter !: We must make some tactical and team adjustments (as few as possible obviously). If we lose the next test we lose the series. Wayne Parnell in to replace Ryan McLaren is key - home ground and more aggressive. AB to 4 and Faf to 5 or 6 might be good, only if we take the gloves from AB - he is the only option at 4 for SA in the longer term and as good or better than Jacques. The conservative plan would be to give Thami the gloves and drop Peterson. The more risky but probably more strategic option would be to bring in De Kock, replace Alviro, and take the gloves, even with his lack of experience - this means a change to the squad, but we need to respond to the Aussie threat positively, given the need to counter their strong bowling attack - we have little to lose with this option? Thami stays in squad as original, Alviro goes - we cannot act softly at the expense of our response in test cricket! We are number one - let's fight to keep it!

Posted by   on (February 15, 2014, 22:45 GMT)

When South Africa was batting it was brute of a pitch but when Aussies batted with 3 centuries and one almost a century pitch suddenly flattened. It's a simple case of getting steam rolled by Johnson.

Posted by Forza_Scuderia on (February 15, 2014, 22:44 GMT)

@James Morton Blackmore. If we exclude Steyn, South Africa's other regulars (Morkel and Philander) took all of 2 wickets. I can similarly say remove Steyn from the South African setup and things are even more bleak than Australia.

Posted by DragonCricketer on (February 15, 2014, 22:40 GMT)

Great game. MJ heading for greatness. But don't forget the batsmen, Marsh, Smith, Warner, Doolan. A great team effort. I'm expecting centuries from Clarke and Rogers next test with Lyon to get more wickets on the slower pitch.

Posted by   on (February 15, 2014, 22:28 GMT)

darren lehman is as big a reason as MJ that australia are winning. the man is a champion bloke. he loves australian cricketers more than australian cricket and loves the game. and the players know it.

Posted by xtrafalgarx on (February 15, 2014, 22:23 GMT)

Johnson is clearly the only beast in world cricket with the ball. There is no way 135kph outswingers can outdo this.

Posted by Ol_Wobbly on (February 15, 2014, 22:16 GMT)

So much for Mark Haysman's comments on Foxtel about de Villiers' abilities. Every time he hit a boundary in his (short) innings Haysman went into raptures. Sure, de Villiers is all class, but he's not the Second Coming. Tone it down, Mark. Your bias is showing.

Posted by Johnny_129 on (February 15, 2014, 22:12 GMT)

Don't want to say,"I told you so" but I did tell you so!! ;) Being top of the cricket tree is Australia's devine right! Aus has dominated cricket for most periods with few exceptions - Only during the WI era were Aus not top for any length of time. I knew Johnson would destroy SA - At his best, there is no bowler quite like Johnson. SA talk about Steyn and Philander but these guys mainly play in very friendly seam conditions that help their bowling. Steyn has struggled in India while Philander is predominantly untested outside SA. Johnson is way quicker, far more hostile and intimidating!! It's still early in the series to say so but I think SA are done - It is the way they lost that will make it hard for them to come back. SA have been bullied and battered - They are mentally scarred. I don't think SA will recover from this beating. In fact, this loss will start a steady demise for SA.

Posted by   on (February 15, 2014, 22:06 GMT)

Amazing performance. Seeing Mitch bowl at the ground today was incredible. A treat for any cricket fan, even though he's not on my side! I hope South Africa can bounce back. Let's see some grit boys, we know you have it. If there's a way to beat the Aussies, it's only South Africa that can do it.

Posted by   on (February 15, 2014, 21:51 GMT)

I think big mustache is very lucky for MJ.

Posted by warneneverchuck on (February 15, 2014, 21:38 GMT)

Johnson at the moment is the reason of defeat and he wil be in all SA batsmen mind throughout the series.

Posted by   on (February 15, 2014, 21:31 GMT)

i hope south africa get their act together in game two or the world never hear the end of this! Aussie arent that good a side they just have mass confidence pushing them at the moment their batting line up is weak and so is the bowling apart from johnson.

Posted by   on (February 15, 2014, 21:19 GMT)

Welll done mitch wow ur quick great performance eveeryone praising johnson n marsh n doolan also warner but why not steve smiyh gor his hundred don't u guys see he is getting better n better

Posted by milepost on (February 15, 2014, 21:09 GMT)

It's pure carnage and it will continue for 2 more tests. England fans hoping to schadenfreude their way into a happier state, it's going to get worse for SA from here.

Posted by Avicenna on (February 15, 2014, 21:08 GMT)

As long as Johnson would keep this evil mustache of his, he will continue haunting the batsmen all over the world.

Posted by Greatest_Game on (February 15, 2014, 21:07 GMT)

@ Matt.au notes that "A lot of posters are mentioning how much Sth Africa are missing Kallis - of course they do," but continues to ask the question "How much of a difference would he have made considering his record against Australia?"

Its not Kallis' batting, bowling or fielding that would have made the difference. The SA players don't know test cricket without Kallis. Smith looked clueless. Some looked like they had little idea of what to do, & could not bat, bowl or field! Kallis' presence in the team was huge, & I don't think Smith realized just how much his captaincy relied on Kallis' 19 years of accumulated wisdom.

The only player who looked assured batting was AB. Morkel, Philander & Steyn know their jobs, but if the bowler rotation & field settings cause doubts in their minds, they are not going to be effective. With catches going down, spinners leaking runs, & ineffective field settings, they look frustrated & at sea.

SA's leadership was exposed without Kallis.

Posted by Matt.au on (February 15, 2014, 20:53 GMT)

Posted by ModernUmpiresPlz --- @Matt.au so speaking from a logic standpoint...

Firstly, I'm glad to hear you weren't serious.

Secondly, from a logic standpoint, declaring his 4th innings to forfiet the match simply would not have entered his mind, not for any reason. It just doesn't happen.

Declaring the 4th innings of a match to save your batsmen from harm because a bowler is bowling fast is declaring you, as a captain, your team mates and ultimately your country are cowards - in my opinion.

The Sth Africans' might be disconcerted, worried, intimidated and have scared eyes at the moment but I doubt very much anyone that has made it to test cricket level is a coward. Being scared and running away is cowardly. Being scared and staying and fighting is what legends are made of.

Posted by   on (February 15, 2014, 20:48 GMT)

Australian team is performing really well. good to see young guns warner, doolan, smith and marsh performing well against quality fast bowlers. I hope Australia give phil hughes extended run in the side as an opener. rogers despite having done well needs to be replaced soon. I would be very surprised if Watson plays ahead of marsh or doolan. haddin should continue playing for Australia for the next 1-2 years. we have exciting young keeper batsman sam whiteman coming through in domestic cricket. we have got some exciting young quicks as well like pattinson, cummins, starc, hazlewood. we also have okeefe, muirhead and zampa as spinners.

Posted by Bounder on (February 15, 2014, 20:47 GMT)

I don't think Aus needs to change this team. Another clean sweep won by 11 players only?

Posted by Greatest_Game on (February 15, 2014, 20:47 GMT)

@ disco_bob. re Duminy & Watto … and other passengers!

As soon as a team loses the passengers become very very obvious. They do stick out like a sore thumb, don't they. I think SA is now facing the questions Aus has been wrestling with, both in terms of players, coach & ten ethos & identity! Aus seems to have resolved many of them.

I'm not sure how quickly, and how smartly CSA will adapt. If they have any smarts, they will take a close look at the Aus team's recent rebirth, and the lessons that can be learned from it's remarkable recovery. If they shuffle the passengers around, it will be little more than moving the deck chairs on the titanic.

Posted by Matt.au on (February 15, 2014, 20:34 GMT)

Posted by disco_bob----------- I'm still loling at the comments about how it was a bit of a risky declaration with nearly 2 days to play.

The most runs ever scored on this ground in the 4th innings is 250 odd. That's not in a winning cause that's all games. His declaration was about as risky as Tiger Woods missing a two inch putt.

I think the only reason Clarke batted this morning was to get into the minds of the Sth African openers and beyond.

Sth Africa most likely thought Australia would declarethis morning on the overnight score and would have been preparing to bat first thing.

When he continued batting they would have breathed a sigh of relief. Once he didn't declare they would have been mentally preparing for him to bat for an hour or perhaps even a session this morning.

To declare when he did would have caught them way off guard - brilliant captaincy, simple as that.

Posted by Penny_Panther on (February 15, 2014, 20:32 GMT)

We just needed an Aussie coach to get us back to where we belong.... and thats No 1

Posted by cooljack_143 on (February 15, 2014, 20:31 GMT)

SA are lucky they aren't playing 5 test series. Waiting for oz be No 1 in all formats:-)

Posted by VillageGreen on (February 15, 2014, 20:29 GMT)

These Auusies have answered the big question: they are the real thing. SA have yet to answer the question: are they the best?

Would things have panned out differently if the pitch and a couple of unlikely catches had not shortened a few in the 4th innings, or if catches had been taken in the 3rd?

SA will rightly hope there is room for improvement. But Australia has tasted blood and has feasted on it.

I'd like to see 2 inclusions for the next Test: Watson for Rogers (unlucky), and Kallis for anyone … if Marsh can jump on a plane and play his first Test in a couple of years on a ground the No1 Test nation 'own', surely Kallis can drive up the road after he scored an imperial century just last month?

Kallis: your country needs you … you chose the wrong time to retire and you should rectify this or be remembered so.

Should be a 5-Test series…No 1 vs the challenger … its what we all love to watch.

Posted by   on (February 15, 2014, 20:25 GMT)

Well in the lead up to this series we had many South Africans telling us Australia would be facing a different beast to England and would be found out. Well, on this evidence, South Africa are finding out the hard way what this reinvigorated Australian outfit are now capable of. This is brutal attacking cricket and it's getting better and better for Australia.

Posted by correctcall on (February 15, 2014, 20:23 GMT)

Wiley Boof versus unknown Domingo seems central to the outcome. Do not let up Boofer - ensure their doggedness and negativity does not allow them to wriggle out from under the foot that is on their throat.

Posted by   on (February 15, 2014, 20:18 GMT)

How did Johnson maim and hurt the world's best South African side in this fashion? This man is a 1-man wrecking ball that makes the opposition bleed, breaks their sword (I mean the bat) etc., etc. Quicks are known to bully lesser sides; but this man Johnson is terrorising the world's best side as if they belonged not in International cricket but in a school yard at best. Wow! Mitchell. I have to say you were kinder with the poor Englishmen. Now I know why they say that SA-Aussie cricket rivalry is the savagest of them all and Johnson's carnage is ample proof of that.

Posted by Matt.au on (February 15, 2014, 20:17 GMT)

A lot of posters are mentioning how much Sth Africa are missing Kallis - of course they do.

But: How much of a difference would he have made considering his record against Australia?

29 tests played for 7 wins. Folks, that's less than one win in 4 tests ratio.

Batting average of 41.22 which is nothing to sneeze at but well down on his overall average.

Bowling average of 37.56 which is well above his overall average.

The above figures were when he was at his best and obviously a younger man. I doubt he would have retired if he thought it was going to be any easier against Australia this time.

You don't often see players, on home soil, retire midway between series played a few weeks apart.

I think he knew in his heart that if he played, Australia would come at him very hard and, at his age now, he just wasn't up to the fight.

I'm not calling him a coward, he's one of the greats - I'm calling him a realist.

Posted by csr11 on (February 15, 2014, 20:14 GMT)

Mitchel Johnson - you terror, you beauty.. where have you been hiding this guy Aussies? On a side note - The aussies are back - and in the words of Kimber - 'they are out to get your babies'.. their re-emergence though is surely a positive sign for cricket.. no matter which country you support - whats the sport without a great opponent.

Posted by Mintsweety on (February 15, 2014, 20:07 GMT)

What a game, well done aus!

Posted by ModernUmpiresPlz on (February 15, 2014, 20:06 GMT)

@Matt.au Well I'm not serious, I know they would never do it, but the truth is that Steyn and Morkel didn't actually have to face MJ at the end because Clarke took him off. It would have wrecked the series if MJ broke Steyn's bowling hand or rib or something. Almost happened against England when Johnson hit Broad on the foot but he recovered in time. It's not like they were ever gonna win from there anyway unless Philander and Steyn both hit a double century, so speaking from a logic standpoint...

Posted by Bounder on (February 15, 2014, 20:03 GMT)

Accolades to Mitch...mighty performance, best of an age. Also to team mates...solid bowling from Sids, Ryno, & Lyon (even Davey kicked in with a coupla tidy ones..medium pace now?) Just about all bats stepped up, special mention for deb Doolan...great stuff with bat & fielding in front of your family all the way from Tassie. Boof & Billy Kid to be congratulated in helping to turn this team into worldbeaters. Of this test match, one of the most memorable scenes in my mind was after 3 and a bit overs into the 4th day, Pup, much to everyones surprise, scurrying up the "tunnel" ahead of Marsh, singalling "YOUR TURN". Dedicated and decisive captaincy. After having personally sampled the morning's offerings...:::We no bat no more, you take this bitch of a pitch:::. No doubt a clean up by days end was in mind....and easily achieved.

Posted by Chris_P on (February 15, 2014, 20:00 GMT)

@ James Morton Blackmore. Thommo used to have a high economy rate, but if you asked batsmen whether they wanted to face him or a tight trundler who never gave away runs, guess who they would have taken? If you saw the game, many of the runs scored off him were edges that flew just wide or over the slips cordon to the boundary. On a different perspective, if they went to fieldsmen, the Boks would have struggled to have reached 100 runs. No one, & I mean no one from any country lines up to looking forward to facing this type of bowling.

Posted by TommytuckerSaffa on (February 15, 2014, 19:53 GMT)

@ DickCam Yes it was unlucky. And if you have ever played cricket, which I doubt. You would realize that in any form of the game, if the ball keeps 3 inches off the ground and hits your wickets - its unlucky.

Was it unexpected? No, of course it wasnt. And yes it was Smith to blame for bowling first but the fact remains it still is an unlucky way to get out. And if it was an aussie, it was still unlucky.

Posted by   on (February 15, 2014, 19:48 GMT)

All this talk about the SA batsman not not folding like england did. They folded faster then superman on laundry day and looked scared. Hughesy in for Rogers when the times right. Welcome to the new world order!

Posted by   on (February 15, 2014, 19:41 GMT)

Not good planning by SA they should have groomed an all rounder after 2011 world cup to replace kallis (although he can't be )but still a guy much in the same vein and they haven't had a good spinner since the beggining and neither have they produced many left hand seamers (which they have now in Hendricks Parnell ).So basically its only right arm seamers of exceptional quality. Of course MJ was the biggest factor in the loss but lack of vareity in bowling would made it very easy for Aus batsmen to pile on scores as they are generally good players of pace.

Posted by   on (February 15, 2014, 19:40 GMT)

I think boof is real master behind dis oz win. D atmosphere dat iz created by him in dressing room is meritorious. Don't forget when he was coach of Deccan Chargers in IPL they were d winners, also Queensland Bulls in Sheffield Shield, Brisbane Heat in BBL, etc. Every oz player iz just praising boof, I hv seen domestic level cricket of top nations like Aus, Eng, SA and Ind and really it's Australia's domestic level which iz most competitive. And again Aus hv started playing tough cricket. guys it's not easy to come back from situation where aus were two years earlier. WI hv played fantastic for a decade then aus for 15 years almost. I thought australian cricket was over when India won world cup and India will going to rule for next 5-7 years but fortunately now, Aus iz back again I think they hv to concentrate more on second test and then 3rd. Aus iz already no 1 in ODI, 3rd in test and if they won this series they will be no1. Then they should concentrate on 20-20 world cup .

Posted by AlSmug on (February 15, 2014, 19:37 GMT)

I read many posts here that go on and on how MJ aint that good Sth Africa had an off test to that i say pfft.... here are the facts Sth Africa were spanked they were not just beaten, they were blown off the park , MJ ruined a lot of careers in the ashes and he is at it again in sht africa, that sums it up. Sth africa will lose this series and at home proving Australia are the best test playing nation currently in the world

Posted by ModernUmpiresPlz on (February 15, 2014, 19:35 GMT)

@likeintcricket Lyon looked better against SA in SA than either Ashwin or Jadeja to my eyes. Why should a good spinner need a spinning track to prove himself? Shouldn't a good spinner be able to do a good job on any track?

Posted by disco_bob on (February 15, 2014, 19:35 GMT)

@Greatest_Game "...it is not good enough for him to keep his place in the team! He simply has not lived up to his promise, and does not convert his starts..."

Sounds a lot like Watto.

Posted by Matt.au on (February 15, 2014, 19:34 GMT)

Posted by ModernUmpiresPlz On another note: Does anybody think Smith should maybe have conceded the match instead of having his best bowlers go out there in Steyn and Morkel to have a bat.

You wanted Smith to declare the 4th innings and lose the match by virtual forfiet? I need to know if I missed some sort of jest in your comments or if you were serious before I comment further.

Posted by disco_bob on (February 15, 2014, 19:32 GMT)

I'm still loling at the comments about how it was a bit of a risky declaration with nearly 2 days to play.

Posted by Masking_Tape on (February 15, 2014, 19:26 GMT)

Couldn't be more happier for him. He's very like able. Unlike Dale Steyn who gets on the nerve at a times. I hope the Ozzies white-wash these guys. This SA team is nothing but talk. They are yet to prove themselves or win any big games. One of the most overrated teams going around.

Posted by   on (February 15, 2014, 19:23 GMT)

Well played Australia and well bowled Mitchell Johnson. A fast bowler at its peak is a delight to watch...........

Posted by Rooboy on (February 15, 2014, 19:20 GMT)

How funny is it, to think back and remember it was only a few months ago that the English fans were gloating about how pleased they were to see Mitchell Johnson in the Australian squad.

Posted by likeintcricket on (February 15, 2014, 19:19 GMT)

Genuine fast bowling always wins you matches no matter where you play and against whom you play. Though they are still without a quality spinner and they are really looking for it desperately but their fast bowling is without doubt number one and at current form MJ (third great MJ after Magic Johnson and Micheal Jordan) is the best fast bowler around. I still like to see them play against best spinners on spinning tracks but like I said the kind of fast bowling they home they can win anywhere. Despite some courageous words from SA fans I don't see SA can fight back against this awesome Australian bowling.

Posted by ModernUmpiresPlz on (February 15, 2014, 19:06 GMT)

@James Morton Blackmore A lot of runs were through third man or certainly not bad balls though, he just bowls at high pace with very attacking field settings so it's bound to go for some runs here and there. He also doesn't have lots of run savers in front of the wicket or anything like that because he's inviting the shots and trying to draw a false stroke, so that cost him a bunch too. I think when you average just over 10 in a match the run rate is pretty irrelevant though, don't you? I'm sure if he went for a few and didn't take any wickets the field settings would change, and invariably the run rate he conceded would go down.

Posted by lee_man on (February 15, 2014, 18:57 GMT)

Expect SA to bounce back, despite all the talk of doom and gloom. As I said in a previous post, a warm up series against the Indian trundlers could not prepare SA for MJ's pace. Windies won their first and only test in SA under similar circumstances. Admittedly, though SA did not lose that series only because Gayle and Edwards (the chief tormentor with his pace at that time) both got injured in the second test with SA on the ropes.

Posted by yuvi_gladiator on (February 15, 2014, 18:57 GMT)

@swauzzie im glad the people currently selecting the team are smarter than you, otherwise marsh or Doolan would never be in the side in the first place, so let them make a call on watson as well

Posted by   on (February 15, 2014, 18:56 GMT)

OMG this guy Johnson seems to remind us of the days of Thompson and Liliee, Roberts, Croft , Marshal , Holding and Garner and not so long ago Alan Donald and Wakar Younis . Fast bowling at its best will always win test matches . The question is who really win test matches, genuine fast bowlers or great batsmen. Remember WI dominated during the era of Croft, Holding , Marshall, Roberts and Garner , Australia dominated during the days of Thompson , Lillee and lately McGrath , South Africa rise to the top started with Allan Donald on the contrary both India and West Indies were down even when they had Tendulkar and Brian Lara. Kallis Please am begging you to come back to save the day and night for SA

Posted by ModernUmpiresPlz on (February 15, 2014, 18:47 GMT)

@JG2704 What I don't understand about that point of view is that if a ball hits a crack and moves away off a good length on an off stump line and takes an edge, that's a cracker of a delivery. If it keeps low and goes under the bat it's unlucky. Also, I've seen batsmen keep out the kind of ball that Faf got out to by planting the bat into the ground just in time. It looks ugly as hell but I've seen it done, especially when everybody knows the pitch is playing up and it's probably going to happen sooner or later. I think it's props to the bowler to bowling it at the stumps as well, though, you're always taking a risk by putting the ball onto a batsmans pads.

On another note: Does anybody think Smith should maybe have conceded the match instead of having his best bowlers go out there in Steyn and Morkel to have a bat. Did he think they could genuinely save or win the match with 300 to get off 100? Looked like a risk of broken hands/ribs/face/collarbone/arm/foot for no apparent return.

Posted by   on (February 15, 2014, 18:44 GMT)

Wow, great game for MJ. However, I would be a little worried if I were Michael Clarke and the Saffers do find a way past MJ. Firstly, as hostile and accurate as he was, he still conceeded the highest run rate in both innings. Secondly, Harris and Siddle combined, bowled near on 60 overs across both innings to share 5 wickets. Where would Australia be without an inform MJ. As a Saffer, I have to say that the boys were behing the 8 ball and deserved to lose. They were clearly not at the races. Too many loose shots gifted wickets and sloppy fielding cost them dearly in the Aussies 2nd dig. Looking forward to P.E to see how they respond, otherwise they can kiss this series goodbye.

Posted by mukesh_LOVE.cricket on (February 15, 2014, 18:30 GMT)

steyn seems to be slipping from his usual high standards , and as usual if he slips this overrated SA attack fails to make any impact , India also showed this in the first test in SA. iam saying overrated because morne morkel is good only in patches like broad , philander is basically a medium pacer who depends on pitch much like shane watson the bowler but only much more fit , and their spinner , well nothing much to say about that beacause there is no real spinner, mclaren is just an average bowler , so basically its a question of steyn firing or not !

Posted by JG2704 on (February 15, 2014, 18:28 GMT)

Well played Australia - excellent start to the series.

SA have shown boucebackability in the past. It will be interesting to see what happens in the next test. Kallis is just one cog in the machine but sometimes when one cog is removed , the machine does not run so effectively.

Posted by JG2704 on (February 15, 2014, 18:25 GMT)

@DickCam on (February 15, 2014, 11:54 GMT) He was unlucky because the ball that got him out kept low. Yes these things even themselves out but Faf's dismissal was unlucky for him regardless of whether or not Smith made a poor decision at the toss

@Assertive-Indian on (February 15, 2014, 13:38 GMT) Problem is that spin is probably one of the wekest parts of SA's game.

@Michael Oehley on (February 15, 2014, 14:17 GMT) Absolutely brilliant post there bud

Posted by   on (February 15, 2014, 18:23 GMT)

Please don't get Watson back

Posted by ModernUmpiresPlz on (February 15, 2014, 18:20 GMT)

@aahahaa If he could bowl unlimited bouncers per over and set a circle behind square on the leg side he'd take 20 wickets every match at an average of about 2. You only get 2 and lots of bowlers simply don't aim them that well. For some reason Johnson's radar on the bouncer is amazing now, it's like it's laser guided and follows the badge on their helmet. It's hard to replicate, even if you're trying.

He also got Alviro nicking both times, Duminy and Smith caught at short leg, bowled McLaren and had AB caught off false shots twice (admittedly the team was already toast by then in both innings), which is 7 of his 12 wickets.

Posted by mukesh_LOVE.cricket on (February 15, 2014, 18:17 GMT)

Well i guess SA is finding out what England did in last Ashes and this win proves a few things to the world-- Clarke is world's best captain , genuine FAST BOWLING can win you matches no matter who your opponents are , and Aussies have the BEST ATTACK IN THE WORLD just like Clarke said ,I always knew they would be really really good team if they could get a couple of batsman to support Clarke ,looks like they found them in marsh and doolan , now get hughes in when Chris rogers retires and they will be back as the worlds best, congrats from an Indian fan

Posted by   on (February 15, 2014, 18:15 GMT)

lolz even saffers are jus good on flat tracks. genuine pace undone them guys not even putting up a fight. steyn morkel guns need ti be reloaded if need a match up with Mr mitch. love to give the credit where its due.

Posted by swauzzie on (February 15, 2014, 18:14 GMT)

@Torbjörn Swenson I certainly hope so! Leave Watto out for Another test please! Did we need him? NO!

Posted by aahahaa on (February 15, 2014, 18:08 GMT)

@Adrian Thomas Bob Willis ? save your time and breadth

Posted by swauzzie on (February 15, 2014, 18:06 GMT)

@Srilanka-rules I agree with you partly. But I hate to be the one to tell you. SL are Always going to be a mediocre test team with the likes of Angelo at the helm. Just look at the last game against Bangla. That was a test they could've & should've won! He didn't even try to win it! But Mathews muffed it up by stupid captaincy. If the Lions are to rise, they'll have to get a real captain!

Posted by RandyOZ on (February 15, 2014, 18:02 GMT)

South Africa World No 1 cricket team? Haha, I think not. Bunch of pretenders! We know who the true number 1 team is now! Absolute demolition job; outplayed in every facet of the game! Australia back to our rightful place at the top of the World cricket tree!

Posted by JG2704 on (February 15, 2014, 17:59 GMT)

@Mitty2 - yeah , know where you're coming from.

I have always liked Clarke as an on field captain and Lehman seems to have galvanised the side. Even in the England Ashes , we saw good things which suggested that the return was going to be a close thing - contrary to what Botham predicted. I really didnt understand his prediction as we had just witnessed a hard fought Ashes in England. When India whitewashed you I could understand the 5-0 prediction even if I felt that would never be the case. I suppose you have to give Smith much credit for his lonevity as a player/captain but I remember when England were briefly number 1 and there were so many comms saying how undeserving we were even though from 2009-11 we beat everyone bar SA away which we drew and SA seemed to be drawing most of their series and many were at home depite the hissy fit brigade saying otherwise. Anyway , I still think SA can come back strong and you cant write them off but great result for you today

Posted by   on (February 15, 2014, 17:56 GMT)

To sum up that match - wow. You can't take away the efforts of Mitchell Johnson, but that was a fantastic effort by the whole Australian team, possibly even better than their performances in the Ashes as they were playing the world's #1 team on their home soil.

It wasn't just Johnson's bowling, they out-played South Africa in every facet of the game. Three very good centuries by the Aussie batsmen, great supporting bowling by the rest of their attack, and almost faultless fielding - can you believe those two catches by Alex Doolan? They are the signs of a team on top of its game.

The difference in this team under Boofa Lehman is chalk and cheese; self-confidence and positive play is king.

Posted by Chris_P on (February 15, 2014, 17:53 GMT)

@hhillbumper. Agree, I think many comments directed at England were unwarranted as well. You do not become a poor side overnight.

Posted by   on (February 15, 2014, 17:51 GMT)

Only one result from here. As Bob Willis said after the match - come beginning of March SA are going to be mighty glad it was only a 3 test series, not 5 which we (the Poms) were consigned to. 3-0. No doubt. Only AB can play MJ, and he can't do it on his own.

Posted by   on (February 15, 2014, 17:50 GMT)

Australia are on a high.Mich is simply the most lethal fast bowler given his current form and rythem.But dont expect a whitewash like thing.Dale is a tough customer. He will leave no stone unturned to change the course of the series with the abilities he possesses.Aussies are uncomfortable against reverse swing.Remember simon Jones and the untold miseries he caused in that particular Ashes to the baggy greens.So qulity fast, reverse swing and a quality off spinner should be there in the minds of the proteas when they go into the second test.

Posted by aahahaa on (February 15, 2014, 17:49 GMT)

i said this before i will say it once again. first and foremost SA has to get Morkel or DeLange or Hendricks or whoever to bowl bodyline which Johnson is doing rignt now thebowlers are not "hurting" their opponents enough letting them to score which is taking the game beyond them. unlike the Ashes just gone by this series is evenly poised except for the one bowler. remember in a combat you have to simply "hurt" your opponent in body and mind to win. key word is hurt. lets see who breaks Mitchell Johsons forearm eh Clarke ??

Posted by   on (February 15, 2014, 17:48 GMT)

The South African ship took a real surprise at the super cyclone named Mitchell Johnson. He bowled at eerily fast pace and made the batsmen bleed. Amla took a serious blow on the grill, McLaren's blood drenched the pitch and the team sank to the bottom of the sea without any notable resistance. Only AB De Villiers kept his head strong and tried to keep the mast working. Graeme Smith resembles Sourav Ganguly at this point of time and would bounce back when nobody expects him to do so. With Shane Watson raring to go, the second Test might be harder for the Africans. The Australian camp is all set to celebrate a well deserved barbeque today. The next round of hunting is not too far away once they are finished with it...........

Posted by   on (February 15, 2014, 17:47 GMT)

Clark is really good at declaring innings SL captain Mathews should learn from him.

Posted by Chris_P on (February 15, 2014, 17:38 GMT)

@ tinysteelorchestra. The last time we played the Boks over there, an 18yo fast bowler dismantled a stronger batting line-up than this present side by bowling quicker than Johnson with wicked movement. He is now 20 & maturing moreso. 20! Pat Cummins is coming back, look out batsmen!

Posted by Chris_P on (February 15, 2014, 17:37 GMT)

@ ModernUmpiresPlz . Agree, you never rule out the Boks, they do have bottle & they didn't achieve their recent record by luck. Kallis's retirement though has definitely impacted them.

Posted by Chris_P on (February 15, 2014, 17:36 GMT)

@Hello13. You do realize we beat Sri Lanka at home, you know, the same side India haven't beaten there since 1995! Wait, forgot about the selective memory recall you guys have. Continue with the comedic relief in your posts.

Posted by Chris_P on (February 15, 2014, 17:36 GMT)

@ SurlyCynic. It's only one test. #1 status doesn't change with losses or even series wins. I have no problem with the Boks @ #1 as this reflects their sustained efforts over a period of time. As I said with England, you don't become a poor team overnight, the Boks are still a quality side. Clarke's declaration was a massive play, it clearly rattled the openers & paid immediate dividends. Go you good things.

Posted by ModernUmpiresPlz on (February 15, 2014, 17:34 GMT)

@TheBowlerHoldingTheBatsmansWilley I'm of mixed opinion on who should be replaced and what if any reshuffling of the order should be done based on the pitch and how Rhino pulls up etc. But I think the main thing now is that the problem we have is too many guys have scored runs. We've gone from George Bailey to this, in one test match. If I look back to that then I realise it really doesn't matter what the order is for the next test, it will look infinitely more respectable than the one we had in the ashes.

Clarke, Haddin, Rogers all no shows and we made 687 runs with 6 wickets in hand. If you told me that would happen a month ago I wouldn't have given you the time of day.

Posted by Mr.CricketJKNotHussey on (February 15, 2014, 17:32 GMT)

@iessua Which is why I said that I am not taking anything from Johnson or Australia. I was simply stating that SA is the current No. 1 for a reason. They have consistently down well for the past few years and even when they had bad matches (see loss against Pak and the first test against Ind) they always came back stronger. I understand the impact Johnson has had and that it will take a lot to overcome the fear he produces, but SA is NOT Eng. I believe they will bounce back, and even then, Australia will probably win, but my only point was and is that the aussies should not get complacent. Just because they won this match doesn't mean SA is going to submit the others. Expect a fight. I could be completely wrong, but its a logical assumption based on the past few years, not delusional. The changes in personnel will make a difference (Johnson was one too before the Ashes). Oh and just because they are No. 1 doesn't mean they can't ever lose, otherwise they would stay No. 1 forever.

Posted by Batmanian on (February 15, 2014, 17:32 GMT)

The Siddle riddle, the Peter paradox: he wouldn't be in the top five pacemen in Australia, yet if you had to pick a World Test XI, he'd be there at the heart of the attack. The greatest team bowler of all time

Posted by Iceman29 on (February 15, 2014, 17:31 GMT)

@Srilanka-rules: you are embarrassing yourself here in this forum...this is the two most best teams in the world right now...your team and my team wont even come close to this level....so show some respect to these teams..afterall SA were phenomenal for the past couple of years now its time for Aus to take over...give credit where its due....this is not Ind or SL forum for your Info....

Posted by ModernUmpiresPlz on (February 15, 2014, 17:26 GMT)

@forward_diffence Actually now that I have some perspective with watching some SA batters tackle Johnson, especially in the first innings on a pretty decent deck (2nd innings was a nightmare) I think a lot of the top/middle order of England handled him quite well comparatively. Carberry played him ok after the first round the wicket fright he had against MJ, Bell played him pretty comfortably, KP was really only getting done by Siddle most of the time and Root didn't score much off him but at least he didn't look like a deer in the headlights. Only Trott and Cook got a hiding and Trott only played the one test. It was more the fact that once he got into the English tail they were done and dusted. Every time. But can you really blame them? In the top order the wickets were pretty evenly shared between the Australian attack. Against SA Johnson broke the top order... twice.

Posted by AussiePhoenix on (February 15, 2014, 17:19 GMT)

#1 lesson? Never underestimate Australia. SA got seriously TOLD in this test. 4 Days to turn things around before the next one? Mmmmmmm - nup. Come March Australia will be bak home still partying and SA will be scratching their heads, 'how did that happen?'

Posted by Narabavi on (February 15, 2014, 17:18 GMT)

Both Domingo & Alviro simply not deserved to be a part of this world no.1 team !

Posted by Zycr9 on (February 15, 2014, 17:17 GMT)

and it took 4 days to bring SA down to earth by ONE fast bowler .. MJ... this shows.. any team will struggle against quality fast bowling..and SA got hammered in their own backyard...Aussies looking very dangerous....they are playing well as a team..... watch out SA..u r the no.1 team so play like one.. winning by 281 runs is a comprehensive victory for Aus.. congrats Aussie mates..

Posted by x3rx3s on (February 15, 2014, 17:17 GMT)

@Sridhar Reddy - replace Philander? Do you even watch cricket?

Posted by   on (February 15, 2014, 17:16 GMT)

now time has come for SA to get rid of Robin Peterson, Alviro peterson and maclaren with Tahir, DeKock and De-lange otherwise they should be ready for complete whitwash.

Posted by   on (February 15, 2014, 17:15 GMT)

Great display of old fashion fast bowling by Johnson. Proteas off late had become very cocky and especially at home they are very biased and delusional about their capabilities. They are badly missing Kallis in the middle order and need a quality spinner to provide variety to their attack. But a great display of how to dismantle a unit like SA by Aussies, kudos to them they have bounced back and are on their way to be a good solid unit..

Posted by   on (February 15, 2014, 17:13 GMT)

Great display of old fashion fast bowling by Johnson. Proteas off late had become very cocky and especially at home they are very biased and delusional about their capabilities. They are badly missing Kallis in the middle order and need a quality spinner to provide variety to their attack. But a great display of how to dismantle a unit like SA by Aussies, kudos to them they have bounced back and are on their way to be a good solid unit..

Posted by Karthik78 on (February 15, 2014, 17:12 GMT)

Pak fans always rate their ODI series win against SA as best and after their whitewashed Test series against SA in SA (0-3). It was created impression like SA is best side in the world. But Aus simply won against them and make that statement as stupid and how Pak did their worst play. At least India played better Test series than Pak in SA.

Posted by   on (February 15, 2014, 17:09 GMT)

Saffers missing Kallis probably more than they thought. M.J. incredible. He has even got the Australian batsmen batting well! Aus just might have found a number 3. batsman in Doolan....

Posted by iessua on (February 15, 2014, 17:08 GMT)

Mr.CricketJKNotHussey should be Mr.DeludedJKNotHussey. This is a massive loss for SA, possibly their worst ever in their cricket history as; Centurion was their fortress, they only took 14 wickets so Australia could have won by 500 runs, they will be mentally scarred from this battering, AUS won in all 3 facets, they have lost 1 test from the previous 19 and they are supposed to be the no.1 team in the World. You can all talk about selection and this guy or that guy should be in, but it will not matter. SA have already lost the series 3-0 and despite AUS not being official world no.1 at the end of this, i think SA should respectfully renounce the no.1 spot to AUS

Posted by phunny_game on (February 15, 2014, 17:07 GMT)

Being a neutral fan, i still feel if Steyn gets worked up, he can cause much more problems just like Mitch did. If he is used in short spells like Mitch and used as the intimidator, instead of making him a workhorse, he will blow the steam out of Australia in no time...

For now, Mitch just keep makin 'em dance buddy... Complete annihilation !!

Posted by TheBowlerHoldingTheBatsmansWilley on (February 15, 2014, 17:07 GMT)

@ModernUmpiresPlz - Agreed with optimism. Everyone can talk bowling unit (which is performing), but the partnerships forming is impressive over last 6 tests. All (except of course Doolan) have scored centuries of multiples in some cases.

Next test, Watson will need to come back in (either that or Henriques). I say this as Australia got off lightly (again) in the total number of overs. I was reading the Australian medical staff use the number 35 per match as the reviewable number on physical impact in playing next test (that's in the case of Harris more so),. So in saying that and even in light of his solid start, I would drop Doolan for Watson and make the change clean.

On SA, De Kock for Alviro and Parnell for McLaren.. You could change Robin, but is Tahir that much better?

Posted by ModernUmpiresPlz on (February 15, 2014, 17:06 GMT)

@Srilanka-rules Really? You've beaten us in one test series... ever. We beat you away and at home in 2011 and 12/13 respectively when our team was at its absolute worst and yours was more or less the same as it is now, well you still had Mahela and Sanga and that's the main thing. You also used to have Murali but we still beat you in Sri Lanka. In test cricket I still think England would beat SL to be dead honest, unfortunately. SA would be a no contest.

Posted by plabon on (February 15, 2014, 17:06 GMT)

Dumny must be replaced. Now SA will feel the need of kallis.

Posted by   on (February 15, 2014, 17:05 GMT)

The overrated SA batsmen can pile up huge totals against MINNOW INDIAN BOWLING..................They choke against quality & in big games

Posted by   on (February 15, 2014, 17:05 GMT)

Great display of dismantling process by Aussies and Johsnson. But this serves right for proteas, who have become very cocky in recent times and they are overly biased at home and are very delusional about their capabilities. They are sorely missing Kallis in the middle order and they need a quality spinner who can bring some variety to their attack. But great display of dangerous fast bowling by Johnson...treat to watch...

Posted by Great_Lion on (February 15, 2014, 17:05 GMT)

Oh my god... this is really scary stuff by johnson.How many players in the world who can play against Johnson.AB devilliers is one, probably sanga ,kohli can add that group. feel sorry for other batters.

Posted by anton1234 on (February 15, 2014, 17:01 GMT)

I think De Lange needs to lengthen his run up or else I can see he will be injured on a regular basis. It was okay for javelin throwing but not cricket. In javelin you will only throw a few times each day but in cricket a bowler needs to bowl many deliveries during a day's play. A very short run up and bowling 90mph, will put too much strain on the body. A longer run up will decrease the load on the body as it will improve rhythm.

I really can't see how this series will be anything but 3-0.

Posted by forward_diffence on (February 15, 2014, 16:56 GMT)

MJ's fitness level is really amazing...Really hot style bowling..And against England is it is not that much of a effort due to they don't have capable batsman. But against SA it is some effort against the lights of Amla and AB...

Posted by marcs on (February 15, 2014, 16:56 GMT)

@Mr.CricketJKNotHussey: Great comments. Decock should have been given a chance during the India series itself. Well, better late than never. However, I slightly differ in my opinion regarding Parnell's selection; that he has not proved himself with the umpteen number of opportunities that were provided to him. What about Morris or Imran Tahir. I thought that the later was good against the Pak and Aussies are not great players of spin either. Also Port Elizabeth is a supposedly slower wicket

Posted by Iceman29 on (February 15, 2014, 16:56 GMT)

Respect MJ.....one of the most notorious bowler in planet earth right now....

Posted by   on (February 15, 2014, 16:56 GMT)

Mitch is awesome...credit goes to him, marsh& smith. For SA...replace Albino, Robbie, Philander with young talent. Amla should open with smith. Try Merchant De..Lange in second test

Posted by   on (February 15, 2014, 16:54 GMT)

Being a sa fan i am really upset.still i believe they will back,there past record tell so.now question about kallis.macleren can not be a replacement of kallis.its a wrong idea.this is my due respect request to cricket sa "don't try to replace kallis".Rather find out some perfect solution.replace alviro with decock.think about no 7.i prefer a specialist batsman at no 7.go ahead sa,go ahead.

Posted by IndCrab on (February 15, 2014, 16:49 GMT)

Against the brutal Windies Attack , Mr Sunil Gavaskar used to score century after centuries,,,,,,, Maco , Holding , Croft , Garner ,Roberts , Baptiste , Danile....... one Mitchel Johnson ,,,, bloggers born after 1980's start talking abt moustache man. Our batters will show you how to bat against moustache man,,, the very face of Harbajan will demoralize aussie team....

Posted by ModernUmpiresPlz on (February 15, 2014, 16:48 GMT)

@SeanB At the very least they should bring them in and ask them to try and kill them in the nets. It's the only way they're going to have a chance at figuring it out. You don't start playing Johnson well by sitting in the team meeting and having a chat about it between matches.

@TheBowlerHoldingTheBatsmansWilley No doubt. Marsh gave a chance early and took advantage of the drop, but importantly he played his second innings very well. Then Australia had enough runs and tried to hit some and the ball went all over the shop and he got out, no major issues there. Doolan's second innings was the kind of solidity we haven't seen at 3 for god knows how long facing a fresh fired up Steyn, and Steve Smith's innings, as far as I can remember, gave up no real chances, just a little luck with an inside edge or 2 I think and your usual nip away but beats the bat stuff that every batsman has. The way those guys played is what makes the optimistm more than just wishful thinking.

Posted by Srilanka-rules on (February 15, 2014, 16:47 GMT)

Looks like the so-called no 1 team is a fluke. Can't even handle bouncers in their own backyard is really pathetic.

Srilanka also pulled off a victory in their den. This just shows they are very vulnerable and chokes constantly.

England and SA are on decline and this era belongs to Australia and Srilanka. We have some amazing talents in Chandimal and kusal perare. Watch out for the rise of the lions.

Posted by   on (February 15, 2014, 16:46 GMT)

being a fan of steyn expecting for years now.. only thing that i want after seeing Johnson's performance is a strong reply for SA.. (TIT FOR TAT)

Posted by marcs on (February 15, 2014, 16:46 GMT)

SA are a great side but I can only pity them because they are up against a resurgent team and a terrific fast bowler who is at the peak of his career. Mitch's pyrotechnics takes me back to the days of Ambrose, wasim and waqar who used to dismantle the opposition with sheer pace and accuracy (not to mention that the later were also sultans of swing). I still remember Alec stewart's words during the test against windies whence they were shot out for 46 and Alec just mentioned that "we don't know what came and hit us".Same must have been the situation for the SA's. You just need to admire the opponent and keep moving on. SA are a class team with their own set of fast bowling gems and am sure they can make a match out of the remaining two tests.

Posted by   on (February 15, 2014, 16:45 GMT)

Well honestly this has been an emphatic performance by Australia. You couldn't possibly ask for more than beating the number 1 test team in 4 days by an incredible margin at their own back yard For me the first over Johnson bowled to Smith summed up the winner. The X Factor Johnson possesses kind of stucked in on South Africa. No Batsman looked calm against him except for Ab deVilliers. Ruthless aggression is what you need that's exactly what Johnson brought. The Two Petersans should be dropped. Quinton is a fabulous young talent and could easily help Smith at the top order, Imran Tahir as a spinner holds much more threat and is a lot more attacking.

Posted by   on (February 15, 2014, 16:44 GMT)

it was really good to watch Mitchell's action

Posted by page8383 on (February 15, 2014, 16:39 GMT)

Saffas have been smacked right between the eyes here. They need to shake it up and bring in de Kock and dump McLaren or Peterson. Probably McLaren.

Posted by   on (February 15, 2014, 16:35 GMT)

I thought SA will win the game before the series started. But MJ force blew them apart... the momentum with the Aussies now. will be really tough for the Proteus to make a come back.

Posted by TheBowlerHoldingTheBatsmansWilley on (February 15, 2014, 16:34 GMT)

@Tony Grainger... "Replace Parnell with DeLange" - Parnell is not playing in 1st XI... "Replace Ryan McLaren with Q DeKock" - DeKock is a Batsmen/Wk

Clearly you don't watch.

Btw - De Lange is injured and Kirsten turned down the England offer for literally 'suitcases' of money, which is something's s we all know, the CSA do not have..

Posted by   on (February 15, 2014, 16:31 GMT)

Does Alex Doolan field at close in positions in domestic cricket too ?

Posted by cooljack_143 on (February 15, 2014, 16:30 GMT)

I knew THIS WAS COMING..After Kallis retirement this is bound to happen.All these years SA enjoyed his all round performance esp giving stability in the middle order.OZ ARE not IND mate,SA arent gonna get any Freebies this time like the way IND bowlers did give them.SA were all over the moon after the 2nd test & IND series they won both ODI & Tests.Lets see, If that man ever gets to go punch his fists in the air with full blood in this series,I doubt ever,you know who I am talking abt??? For me Lehmann & Clarke captaincy wins matches for OZ.Its a team effort not MJ alone.

Posted by   on (February 15, 2014, 16:29 GMT)

@ Paul Rone-Clarke, not sure how much cricket you've seen from Aus over the years but it's not unusual for the Kookaburra not to swing... it's going to be even harder when it is hot and dry. The balls seemed to age pretty quick on this pitch too. Vern and Steyn both swung it a little on the first day but it wasn't for long, or exaggerated.

@Tony Grainger, Maybe they should pick De Lange so we can all find out. The only thing is, it takes a good bit of experience and an awful lot of planning to bowl the way Johnson is. He also has that unusual action that seems to make it harder still to play him. There's plenty of blokes around at the moment that can hit speeds like Johnson does, Finn, De Lange, Roach, Morkel can all hit 150 K's pretty regularly, but it's not quite the same, is it? Bring De Lange, bring Hendriks too, but i'm not sure they are going to be anymore dangerous than Steyn.

Posted by   on (February 15, 2014, 16:28 GMT)

A repeat of Headingley 2012 will be seen in the last test.But Saffas,DONT BRING BACK IMRAN 'THE SELF DESTRUCTED CAREER' TAHIR.

Plz dnt change your squad.Learn something from MJ.He will challenge Dale Steyn.

Good luck & wishing you a happy collapse from the rankings.

Posted by gimme-a-greentop on (February 15, 2014, 16:26 GMT)

Well played Australia, a thoroughly deserved victory. Hard to see how SA are gonna bounce back with this specific team, they looked outgunned, except for AB, Amla in patches in the second innings and the 3 main pace bowlers.

Posted by anton1234 on (February 15, 2014, 16:25 GMT)

I would like to see SA play one (or both) of De Lange or Abbott in the next two tests. As for Johnson, I guess Lillie was a good judge when he said Johnson was a once-in-a-generation bowler. Shame he couldn't find the consistency a few years earlier. He is 32 now, so probably has another 2 or 3 years. I wish he was a few years younger because he is great to watch.

Posted by SeanB on (February 15, 2014, 16:24 GMT)

SA need the fastest bowler they have - like Kyle Abbot - to attack the Aussie batsmen. That could be the only way to avoid 3-0!

Posted by shortsquareleg on (February 15, 2014, 16:24 GMT)

Chronological age should not be the only criterion. Look at Hogg, Hodge and Collingwood for older players and Cummins, Parnell and Southee for those who are younger. Character is a very important quality of whether a player a player will succeed at test level. I'm not a supporter of India , but I have to admire those young guys who have come into the side to replace the 'greats'.

Posted by steve48 on (February 15, 2014, 16:23 GMT)

I don't think it is just Johnson's pace, its the left arm angle and how good he is at hitting the right length for his trajectory to target the batsman physically, so DeLange won't have the same impact just because of his pace. I don't think any left armer has ever been this quick, and so he is testing the head alignment and stance adjustment needed to be made like nobody else can, including the left handed batsmen !

Posted by   on (February 15, 2014, 16:21 GMT)

Spanked and them some! Based on this game Aus was definitely the better team in all departments

Posted by 2.14istherunrate on (February 15, 2014, 16:21 GMT)

SA looked extremely vulnerable through this match. They fell prey to an Austrlalian formula which worked well in the '90's and has been resurrected since Lehman was brought in and Johnson resurrected. The formula is based on all out attack.It helps having an extremely fast accurate left armer who is terrorising batsmen for a living. But much of their recent success has been no less based on batting aggression. They have stopped reacting to bowling and started getting bowlers reacting to them.Warner is a very good initiative grabber and lays the foundation for oversize totals which are then rendered impossible by the quicks bowling to attacking fields and given licence not to be boring. Runs are made at bout 4 rpo and wickets taken at 10/65 overs. Johnson is quick and accurate but at what speed does it become this hard to play.90 is only 1mph above 89.93 only 4 mph higher than 89. Though it seems critical,if looked at logically it is only a matter of maths. Reactions are the clue.

Posted by TheBowlerHoldingTheBatsmansWilley on (February 15, 2014, 16:16 GMT)

People saying Johnson the only difference, aren't watching the game and deluded

Batting Aus 3/100's, 1/50's SA 0/100's, 1/50's

Johnson as he said needs a platform to bowl from. Great all round performance from ruthless Australia

Posted by aahahaa on (February 15, 2014, 16:14 GMT)

to me the first innings partnership between Marsh and Smith was the one which hurt SA the most in this test. so, if it was up to me 1. I would select bowlers who can get me wickets at crucial times, even if they go for 10 an over ( which Petersen and McLaren is not nor is JP Duminy and Parnell. now Morkel (like Finn) is a unique case, he doesnt get many wickets but can intimidate but someone has to instill in him that.) 2. assuming the opposition is out to hurt you literally , I would select batters who can stand up to a fight (which A Petersen, JP, Elgar is clearly not). and Smith poor batting and very poor captaincy. SA got the team wrong and to make it worse played badly. you can have all the pep talk in meetings, but if you are not up for it you, more often than not, don't win. 2 things learn fast to get out of Johnson's rising deliveries and get Morkel and DeLange or whoever to hurt them back and befor I forget for your own sake take them bloody catches.

Posted by Great_Nate on (February 15, 2014, 16:13 GMT)

@Tony DeLange is injured and hasn't been bowling more than a few overs in a row for almost a year. He is not in the same class as MJ, even if he wasn't injured.

Posted by   on (February 15, 2014, 16:07 GMT)

At last mj wins the battle of pace

Posted by ZkAneela on (February 15, 2014, 16:06 GMT)

Well i m a big fan of South Africa but today they are completely out played by a fantastic and brilliant performance by Aus and mostly single handedly MJ.I hope SA came back in the series but by keeping this performance in mind I dont think so.Still keeping fingers crossed.

Posted by sergio11 on (February 15, 2014, 16:03 GMT)

from a neutral point of view..its tough for SA to bounce back..simply because of the form their top order batsmen are in..they will bowl better next time around thats for sure but batting is the problem...having said that if their is any team who can bounce back after a thrashing like this,no doubt its SA..i like to see AB at 4 and Faf at 5...for Aussie i donno where they will slot Watson now..lol..every one played well..and Rogers cannt be dropped aftr one unsuccessful outing....may be Watson resting for another games?..donno..its kinda routine stuff these days to say ;well played Johnson!! and ofcoz well played Marsh and Smit...

Posted by   on (February 15, 2014, 16:02 GMT)

MJ deserves every accolade he is getting but I really think that the whole bowling unit, including Lyon, deserves a huge wrap for their ability to tie up both the Eng the SA batters and get crucial wickets. The opposition batters keep looking for weak links in our line up to attack and there is none. On the other hand the Aust have targeted their opposition first change bowlers and spinners causing Cook and Smith to continually fall back on their tiring strike bowlers. Unlike Andersen and Steyn when MJ comes back for a second or third spell the batsmen have been contained and he is fresh to pounce. Still not celebrating yet. I think at home SA have the ability to come back a lot harder then England did. Great start however!

Posted by stormy16 on (February 15, 2014, 16:01 GMT)

Ok Eng were poor but SA are no pushevers and they were blown away and probably having a few nightmares. Johnson is a blast from the Winides of the past- just plain fast and scary! Its hard to imagine that any team would beat SA with pace as they have the best attack in the world. Its also hard to imagine that Aus would have 3 to SA none, hundered but thats how good the Aussies were. SA made two serious tatical blunders, first was playing 6 batters and winning the toss and bowling. Like the Ashes, I doubt anyone would have thought Aus would win by such a big margin and Johnson would be such a big fear factore but full credit to Aus.

Posted by Sir_Ivor on (February 15, 2014, 16:01 GMT)

Right now Australia is in the midst of a patch where they cannot go wrong and look unbeatable. How else would you explain Shaun Marsh coming from the standbys and scoring that great 100 in the first innings. That apart. I have never ever known South Africans to drop so many catches. The other thing is all the Australians have been in peak fitness right from the Ashes series. That and Johnson's continued good form and one knows that they look unbeatable right now. De Kock looks good and is swashbuckling. Maybe that is what is needed to unsettle the Aussie pace trio. Parnell could also prove pretty handy, But whatever they do, it looks tough to encroach upon the purple patch of Australia after the setbacks they have had over the last 2 years.South Africa must find some way of countering this juggernaut.

Posted by   on (February 15, 2014, 16:00 GMT)

certainly SA supporting big3.shame SA

Posted by wapuser on (February 15, 2014, 16:00 GMT)

What can you say about Johnson and the Ozzie team in general? 7 months ago Johnson was out of the team and a dubious selection for the latter Ashes series. At that time he was bowler who was yet to reach his potential. To the credit of Craig McDermott and possibly Dennis Lillee and the Ozzie coaching panel in general, this guy has had an epiphany. NOt only that, he's almost singlehandedly turned the fortunes of Ozzie cricket on it's proverbial head. Not just his sublime bowling efforts but also inspiration for the rest of the team. Has he now reached his potential? I think the answer is a categorical YES!

Posted by anton1234 on (February 15, 2014, 15:57 GMT)

I think Watson will come in for Rogers in the second test with Doolan moving up the order to open. Or they may think Doolan is the right long term number three and therefore have Watson rejoining Warner at the top of the order.

Posted by Akhter786 on (February 15, 2014, 15:57 GMT)

Too much to worry about for SA. Well i m not sure any changes will help much. It is MJ all across. Is there any batsman in this Galaxy who can play MJ in this kinda form?

SA have to come to the terms asap. If this series they loose they nomore shall be called Number one. Though they may retain the ranking but who would care if they get another such beating in this series.

Posted by AltafPatel on (February 15, 2014, 15:57 GMT)

Remove let Duminy and get rid of all. He is reason of all problems for SA.

Posted by TommytuckerSaffa on (February 15, 2014, 15:56 GMT)

Once again. Well played Ozzies. Changes need to be made ASAP, I prefer losing to Australia with our best team on the park.

Robbie Peterson - International Test crickets worst spin bowler needs to be dropped. Alviro Petersen is hopelessly out of form with multiple failures, De Kock comes in to take the Gloves so AB can bat higher up the order. De Kock can also be used as a good opener or No.7 McLaren is not Kallis and his batting is not good enough. He should be replaced by a specialist bowler. So Elgar or Van Zyl in and Abbott or Hendricks in.

SA need to be a little more intelligent on selection and start selecting specialist players like Australia do. At the moment, the SA team is full of bits and pieces players who are not very good in doing one job properly.

Posted by   on (February 15, 2014, 15:55 GMT)

I was the president of the "Mitchell Johnson should never be picked again fan club" but I will gladly retract my stance and have egg all over my face. In the form he has been in lately no one can play him. When he is on song batsmen are genuinely scared of him. Let's hope he holds this form for a few more years. With the team slowly evolving around him things are looking good for the Aussies for the coming years.

Posted by tokoloshe on (February 15, 2014, 15:51 GMT)

Well done Oz. Going to take a lot to come back from a bashing like this but with the right players, I think SA will come back. Mitchell Johnson is a beast at the moment. No-one could play him.... Bring on the 2nd test.

Posted by   on (February 15, 2014, 15:51 GMT)

Will it be the end of graeme smith's captaincy era?

Time will tell but it is on the cards!well played aussies.

Posted by AltafPatel on (February 15, 2014, 15:49 GMT)

When Aus beaten India 4-0, everyone started to believe days are back for Ausi but they seem wrong when washed 0-4 in India. Same for Eng when they won in India 2-1 and Ashes 3-0, people started to believe them the best and all of sudden they come on ground 0-5. Outcome is form is temporary but class permanent and so for SA who lost only one series in last 8 years. In 2011, they lost to SL badly by 208 runs but came back strongly in next match winning by 10 wickets and winning series as well. So people, don't judge the outcome in hurry, if SA loose series then you surely will have time to cheer but first lets wait and watch without showing your expertise to forecast the series result...

Posted by Big_Chikka on (February 15, 2014, 15:44 GMT)

congrats to aus, and johnson in particular, he's the difference between the two sides at the moment, thought saffas would win 2-1 but at this rate, could be aus 3 - saffa 0. regarding the effect of lehman, i think he's less political and more performance........just a thought.

Posted by mmoosa on (February 15, 2014, 15:42 GMT)

Im not sure if theres ever been a bower like Johnson in cricket history..there have been quicker...Lee,Shoaib,Thommo...there have been left armers who swung it more than him...Akram,Vaas...however the combined arsenal of express pace,left arm angles,rearing throat deliveries and bounce out of nowhere plus difficulty in picking up and odd swinging delivery is something i cant recall.Possibly Brett Schultz in that one season before his knee injuries was similar. I wouldnt say modern players are not used to express pace...no batesmen of any era could handle express guys since there have been so few...Patterson,Devon Malcolm,Thommo,Lee,Akhtar,Waqar,Zahid,Johnson,Tyson...

Posted by   on (February 15, 2014, 15:41 GMT)

Quinton De Kock may be very talented but he has a long way to go as a person. He is at a tender age and facing MJ at his best would hardly be the debut he would look for. One match against the Australian and I reckon he ll consider quitting cricket. The Aussies have been know for their sledging.

And I see a lot of people calling for drastic measures. Calm down people, this was the same team that held the No.1 test side, surely it ll take them time to settle after Kallis' retirement. Wayne Parnell in for Ryan McLaren ought to be enough changes for the next test match. The batsmen showed they were getting better at facing MJ in the second innings. Maybe not Graeme Smith and Alviro Peterson so much but surely the same players should be persisted with. Neutral fan from Pakistan.

Posted by   on (February 15, 2014, 15:40 GMT)

IPL critics should know that this great bowling of Mitch is again so wonderful to watch because of the confidence he gained from playing in IPL after Australia kinda let him go when he was struggling. As Mumbai Indians fan, Mitch gave us great memories. Best wishes to you brother!

Posted by AltafPatel on (February 15, 2014, 15:39 GMT)

It was complete body-language negative bowling Johnson but sure pitches in rest series will not have uneven bounce and SA will have strong plan against him.

Posted by   on (February 15, 2014, 15:39 GMT)

Reminds me of the buzz about Lillee and Thommo

Posted by Wallace16 on (February 15, 2014, 15:38 GMT)

Good Start to the series. Expect South Africa to bounce back. What are the pitch conditions for the second test? AB impressed as usual. if they can find away to handle Johnson we can expect an exciting series. Maybe 2-1. Either team could win.

Posted by Puffin on (February 15, 2014, 15:38 GMT)

MJ has really put his game together recently: I remember him being an occasional threat, now we get this brutal assault, great fast bowling.

As for the SA openers, 17 runs from the pair of them from two innings isn't good enough.

Posted by AltafPatel on (February 15, 2014, 15:37 GMT)

Wish Rudolph, Elgar, Tahir and Abbott get chance in place of A Peterson, Duminy, A Peterser and Morkel. In the past the said they want to develop reserve pool, this is best time to apply the plan and development done so far.

Posted by Digimont on (February 15, 2014, 15:37 GMT)

..and the bad news is..Ryan Harris does not have two poor games in a row. He was well below his best.

Posted by ModernUmpiresPlz on (February 15, 2014, 15:36 GMT)

I can't believe how quickly Johnson's career strike rate and average has come down since his return to test cricket. He'd already played 50 tests and I think his avg was over 31 at that point, and now he's into the mid 27's in 6 tests. Absolutely ridiculous. Hope he can keep this up for a while yet, I'll definitely miss watching it when the day comes.

Posted by ZCFOutkast on (February 15, 2014, 15:35 GMT)

Just a reminder to my detractors. My prediction was 3-0 whitewash, no contest between Mitch&Steyn, Proteas blown away, with ineffective Steyn&Morkel pasted all over the pitch. To think the diagnosis was I'm mad!

Like I said then, so it proved - "The Proteas attack suffers from the same delusion that afflicted ENG. They think their attack is as good as it was! Only AUS seamers have other gears left to go!"

The sooner they realise this the better for everyone. Starting with chucking poor Morkel far away. He is all arms&legs plus little else now. A shadow of his former average self. The last time he took a fifer, his 3rd wicket was when AUS had 500 on the board again bullying this attack 2 years ago, when Faf stole a draw. Before that it was against a NZ ODI selection masquerading as a Test batting order. He's had more wicketless&single wicket innings than he has taken more than that. Time to say goodbye! PS Andrea&Sarah!

Mitchell Guy Johnson the boss!!! Learn from him...

Posted by tinysteelorchestra on (February 15, 2014, 15:34 GMT)

Wow, I really didn't see this coming. As a shellshocked Pom I thought the Ashes whitewash was just about the England team being rubbish. But MJ destroyed the world no.1 team in their own backyard and at a ground which has been their equivalent of the WACA. What Australia are achieving this winter is miraculous and remarkable. Hopefully it means the return of the genuinely fast, frightening fast bowler, which I and many others probably thought was gone for good. Congratulations to the Aussies (yes, from a Pom), let's see what the Saffers can do to respond. I kind of hope they have more shots in their locker than England turned out to have. The only consolation for those facing Australia in the future is that MJ is already in his thirties!

Posted by RDLikesCricket on (February 15, 2014, 15:34 GMT)

Wow!!!! What a team Aussies have become now.... Great going... Must be something to do with what Darren Lehmann has got into the team... Johnson must be relishing bowling under such circumstances.... For SA the loss of Kallis must be hurting... I reckon more than the batsman, its Kallis the bowler whoz left a big hole to fill... Interesting to see how they bounce back...

Posted by creebo777 on (February 15, 2014, 15:33 GMT)

De lange,de kock not pick ...so i dont know why people want them in,abdv shouldnt keep anymore, 100 overs as keeper and had to bat in the 7th over in both innings

Posted by neelabhsamvatsar on (February 15, 2014, 15:32 GMT)

What I suggest SA should do now is to look back at how they were dismissed? Remove alviro petersen, he is not playing well.Bring de kock at his place. Mclaren should be replaced by Imran tahir.Hashim Amla should do opening as he is right handed and can handle johnson well.Whenever we play a bounce delivery, either we should bend down or play it with our eyes on it.Steyn, Morkel and Philander should improve their bowling.Du plessis should also be trained as no bowler takes any wicket .A batsman commit a mistake and wicket is taken by bowler.

Posted by   on (February 15, 2014, 15:29 GMT)

Wow Sleeping Giant finally woked up........ BVeware Rest of the World as I get the gut filling of Australian Domination Part 2 start

Posted by   on (February 15, 2014, 15:28 GMT)

This is the habit of Australia. Had anybody thought that this same Australia team will bounce back like this? Last year they were down, and they were in the process of rebuilding the team. Now they are like Ghost. Who would have thought that Mitchell Johnson will become a beast. First they destroyed the England and now they are in the process of finding out a new players to build a new team. Now they just beat world no.1 in a matter of 4 days and Australia didnt allow SA to come back in any circumstances. Its awesome. Im a India fan, but i love to see Aus vs India series. I am thrilled to see this kind of bowling attack, attack which were in 80s. Mitchell Johnson.. beast and only beast. Clive Llyods team in 80s, kapil's devil, Steve Waugh's team in late 90s and Ricky's team in mid 2000s... now will this Clarke's team make into this list? definitely, may be

Posted by phunny_game on (February 15, 2014, 15:27 GMT)

@ Paul Rone-Clarke : Well, frankly mate, i did see a few deliveries swing when Dave Warner was bowling... loll :P

Posted by SL-USA-Lions on (February 15, 2014, 15:27 GMT)

@ Adam Kroll...

It has happened before... Don't forget the past Great Bowlers...

@ Everyone...

AUS is playing really well as a team... I hate them all together but respect is deserved where it's due...

See what can be achieved with ONE good fast bowler bowling with real aggression, intimidation, pace, line & length...

I could only imagine what the great WI pace quartets were like in the '80s....

More than anything Cricket is a thinking game...

That combined with some talent creates an UNTHINKABLE FORCE...

Posted by hhillbumper on (February 15, 2014, 15:27 GMT)

guess the Ashes whitewash doesn't seem quite so bad now.

Posted by JOHNCSPACE on (February 15, 2014, 15:26 GMT)

Hey, Common played badly, smashed, outplayed this round.. Next game could be Lyon or Smith or Harris or Rogers who knows, Johnson will always be there this series to rattle and role, sit back and enjoy

Posted by Rajesh.Kumar on (February 15, 2014, 15:26 GMT)

The way SA players capitulated today, it seems as though they are already scarred. Will they now have the guts to walk out to bat against Mitch Johnson again? Best bet for Saffers is that their bowlers also give a hard time to the Aussies, and get them out for low scores. In a low scoring test match, any team can win. But the way SA bowlers bowled in this test, it doesn't look that they will trouble Aussie batters in any way. A whitewash beckons SA, and that too at home. Many SA careers will finish at the end of this series...

Posted by   on (February 15, 2014, 15:26 GMT)

Well, well!

This was a clinical dismantling (of epic proportions) of the so-called number one Test team in the world. Saffers number 1? Can anyone seriously say that that is the case after the gladiatorial whipping they endured at Centurion this week?

Mitch Johnson is, hands down, a one-man wrecking crew and a primal force to reckon with and there is nary a team on the planet at the moment that could tame him! The punishment he inflicted on England in the recent Ashes whitewash was clearly no fluke!

Well done, Australia! Well done, Mitch Johnson!

Posted by MAYURESHmagic on (February 15, 2014, 15:23 GMT)

Hope Ishant Sharma will become Johnson for India. He need speed and swing of Johnson.

Posted by Diaz54 on (February 15, 2014, 15:23 GMT)

Adam Kroll....you obviously do not know other bowlers of earlier era! Don't assume anything just go back and check it out. Actually India v West Indies...India actually declared because they wanted to prevent batsmen getting hurt! West Indies in 1970 and 80 did not come individually but in fours...all genuinely fast, then Waquary and Wasim and Shoaib. Shoaib against New Zealand in Sharjah sub continent wicket,,was something to watch when he reached 100 mph...it is official. Well done though to Mitchell Johnson!!

Posted by switchmitch on (February 15, 2014, 15:21 GMT)

....and if ONE Mitchell Johnson can have such an impact on the game, just imagine the standard of test cricket in the 70s and 80s....when almost all teams had an intimidating, tearaway quick (or two)! It also reflects the top quality of batsman-ship in that era....

Posted by Bernadino on (February 15, 2014, 15:20 GMT)

What a comprehensive win by Australia. Apart from the first session South Africa were always on the defensive and fell further behind with each session. We knew Mitchell Johnson was intimidating but this was awesome in its ferocity. This was not a fast pitch by SA standards, but certainly faster than the dry sub-continent pitches. However, the extreme pace of Johnson has fared very well on slower pitches in Australia and it will be interesting to see what happens in the next match where the pitch is historically slower and turns more. Nathan Lyon will be more of a factor perhaps.

Posted by pick_at_the_seam on (February 15, 2014, 15:19 GMT)

oh boy!

This is getting better and better.

Posted by   on (February 15, 2014, 15:19 GMT)

Mitch Johnson you beauty! You are probably the closest to the famous Caribbean pace quartet whose fables we heard from our elders while growing up. This coming from an Indian supporter.

Posted by Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas_Atheist on (February 15, 2014, 15:17 GMT)

Congratulations to Australia for this brutal victory. SA has been deeply scarred. We could clearly see that their players have scared eyes while playing and now with this caning they have scarred minds too. I always thought SA batsmen are weak against quality pace and bouncers and this result just shows that they still didn't learn how to play quality pace and bounce. Is SA, with such a weakness, the deserving no.1? I think - Yes. Because the ranking is based on consistent performances over time. But it won't be long before they are brought back to their knees. I never wanted a visiting team to win games just so visiting team's fans don't go around bragging. Can't help but be left in awe and applaud Australia for this annihilation of SA on every front - game, body and mind - both on and off the field. Would now love to hear some opinions from Steyn about scared eyes and scarred minds lol. Mitch - Just wow. Discovered his mojo in IPL, carried it to ODIs and then to Ashes and then to SA.

Posted by InfiniteWhite on (February 15, 2014, 15:15 GMT)

MJ vs Misbah will be a mouthwatering contest. And it's coming faster than you think.

Posted by switchmitch on (February 15, 2014, 15:15 GMT)

oohh! And I thought only our Indian batsmen were ill-equipped to play fast bowling! Complete humiliation of the top test team in the world. They can only hope to compete if MJ is taken out of the equation. With him the team, I don't think Aus will lose any match on this tour.

Posted by pitchItup on (February 15, 2014, 15:14 GMT)

I have said it before, I would have Johnson any day over Steyn. Steyn has a greate record but when both are in song, Steyn is not a patch on Johnson. In addition, it appears for all the bravado, South African batsmen cannot really handle short pitched fast bowling and neither could England's, so why single out the subcontinent batsmen.

At least India beat Australia at home, South Africa looks like it is going to get smashed at home.

Posted by Mitty2 on (February 15, 2014, 15:14 GMT)

SA fans, Ryan Mclaren has 330+ FC wickets... I don't think you can dismiss him that easily.

Also, I think I owe CA an apology. Their ridiculousness in selecting technically adept but run deficient batsmen who are perennial under performers has worked perfectly. Doolan had a perfect debut and his 89 was all class. Marsh's 140 showed the mental grit of a test batter who actually has mental grit. His 140 belied the whole issue of only having 9 FC centuries in 13 years. Their undermining of the Shield may of worked very well on this instance, but it should never be done again. Although, I'm quite content with the thought of Doolan being at 3 for the next half decade if not more.

Posted by shortsquareleg on (February 15, 2014, 15:13 GMT)

From a neutral: Hughes in for Rogers for Aus. Drastic times for S.A. require drastic measures! De Kock in for A.Peterson, but I don't like two left-handers to open. Smith is often out caught nicking behind.Should de Kock be WK.? ABD to captain and in at 3 or 4; Amla at 3 or 4. Faf at 5 and Duminy at 6 .Not sure about McClaren. R.Peterson out, but does S.A. have a world-class spinner, who can stem runs and take wickets? Same three seamers, but they should bowl more like Johnson. Then see how the Aussie batsmen respond!

Posted by   on (February 15, 2014, 15:13 GMT)

Fine performance MJ. But the margin was so great I reckon they'd have won even without him.

Posted by BradmanBestEver on (February 15, 2014, 15:12 GMT)

I have the highest respect for MJ's character. fr a long time, he was ridiculed by opposition-team supporters and by many Aussie-team supporters, including me,.. and he showed us all the best way that anyone can demonstrate what he is made of: by performing well.

Congratulations MJ, you are a man of very strong character and you are well on your way to being the greatest fast bowler of all time

Posted by   on (February 15, 2014, 15:12 GMT)

Marchant DeLange can bowl at 150KM/ph much like MJ, can the Aussies handle that pace......

Posted by ScottStevo on (February 15, 2014, 15:10 GMT)

@iceman29, I think it's clear that it's not all down to Lehman, it's just highlighting the negative impact Arthur had on the team, the squad and anything to do with cricket in Australia. On the flip side is that these Australian players were never anywhere near as bad as they'd been portrayed.

Posted by InfiniteWhite on (February 15, 2014, 15:08 GMT)

It's safe to say that SA were 'Swann's verb+ed' by the Aussies. For me ABdV to SA was what Broad was to England, the most competitive player. Surely some of their players have been scarred by MJ and now I think they need to bring some new fearless, unscarred players a la Stokes to the team and face MJ heads on. QdK springs to mind. The biggest problem is MJ, so they should lengthen their batting to 8 if necessary. Even this won't be enough if MJ drops a bomb in the middle. Couldn't help to think that with this current line-up, it's 5 out all out (worse than England).

Posted by Mitty2 on (February 15, 2014, 15:06 GMT)

Just like to bring up the whole us not losing a series in SA for over 44 years thing. I saw some saying that had no significance. I saw some saying that we had no chance despite us drawing against SA with a far inferior team in 2011 (and in way less form). And I even saw some who tried to dismiss our 5-0 annihilation of England by suggesting that we never win away games. Well, there you go.

Posted by   on (February 15, 2014, 15:05 GMT)

Mitchell Johnson's bowling is the most exciting thing I've seen in test cricket in my life, he took a wicket every 3 overs, I've never heard of that happening before. I think we're witnessing bowling that will go down in the history books.

Posted by   on (February 15, 2014, 15:05 GMT)

When I saw the team that had been picked much like quite a few of us we said it was not up to scratch, WD Parnell is useless, Ryan McClaren is being set to fill big shoes in Kallis' retirement!

Replace Parnell with Delange, he is obviously fit enough having just being bought for the IPL & replace Ryan McClaren with Q DeKock...who was whom said his bowling is like fireballs.

England were hoping to entice Gary Kirsten to coach England but the question is then if he is fine to go there why is he not fine to coach South Africa?

Posted by JayPeg on (February 15, 2014, 15:01 GMT)

Well done Johnson and Australia. SA were simply pathetic, which has been apparent for a while now but not exposed as badly as this by anyone. Perhaps the SA team is now starting to mirror the mediocrity of its administration. If SA still is #1 then they will need to show it in the remaining 2 games, but somehow it's difficult to see where they are going to find that extra from.

FdP is not a test #4, Duminy has shown nothing for a long time and does not deserve his spot, Amla is off form, Smith is in decline, Alviro is not consistent enough, de Villiers should concentrate on his batting and give up this obsession with the gloves, and so it goes on.

Thank god the rugby is back on, at least I can switch to that ......

Posted by xtrafalgarx on (February 15, 2014, 15:00 GMT)

@Biggus: TO me it's simple. Watson has to miss out. The team played well, and he got injured. In winning teams, there are always good players unlucky not to be playing but that's just the way it is.

Posted by ModernUmpiresPlz on (February 15, 2014, 15:00 GMT)

@Thegimp Yeah, AB is pretty much way the best batsman in the world. Handled the movement well, didn't chase any moving balls just played the line, no trouble against MJ's pace until he had to just try and hit it or he had Robbie P swinging away at the other end giving him zero confidence, dealt with a couple that kept low too. Used his feet well against Lyon, back foot shots, front foot shots, every shot in the book, never looked like getting out from ball 1. Wish we had him but unfortunately he's South African I guess. Still good to watch.

@Riz000 Of course it's not, we don't have a Shane Warne do we? If we did then nobody would have picked SA to win this series.

@Albie Hanekom That's true, I haven't ruled SA out of coming back in this series, I'm not one of those people. It's not so much that we won 6 in a row, it's how we've won them. It's been pretty impressive. We have to win this series to go second above India but I still think we're better even if this series is a draw.

Posted by jb633 on (February 15, 2014, 15:00 GMT)

Got to say that was a top performance from Aus. I think a lot of sides are just simply not used to facing express pace. in the modern era there has been a real shortage of genune pace. Johnson is blowing batsmen away with sheer pace. Got to say it is great to watch and good for the game. SA looked scared and weak (just like England did).

Posted by   on (February 15, 2014, 14:59 GMT)

Never seen so many matches won more or less on the back of one player. Aussies probably would have won Ashes without MJ, and might have won this match without him - but they might not. Siddle and Harris bowled well, kept straighter lines and were more consistent in every respect than Steyn and Morkel. Aussie batsmen also made the most of their position - but only after the now very familiar early stutter. Just like in the Ashes the Aussies several down for not many early on - always rely on player from 4 downwards to pick up the pieces, and most have taken a turn.

Did one ball swing conventionally all match? Saw some reverse later on, but again like the ashes, didn't see even MJ with his slingy low arm swing a ball conventionally, even under cloud cover on days 2. Nothing moved a millimetre, That isn't right surely. The ball is SUPPOSED TO SWING for a bit. What's up with these Kookaburra's? Not good for cricket. Is swing is being engineered out of the game by ball manufacturers?

Posted by gladiatorgannicus on (February 15, 2014, 14:58 GMT)

congrats Australia.awesome Mitch.hope SA come back strongly. from an Indian fan.

Posted by   on (February 15, 2014, 14:58 GMT)

Its funny how everyone think that it was England who suddenly played badly against the Aussie.

Well now SA suddenly played badly too.

Aussi must be very lucky team that suddenly all the opponent they play suddenly got weak.

Posted by   on (February 15, 2014, 14:57 GMT)

A severe hiding. And let us not forget to add to this result - both Australian all-rounders are absent and injured. Either James Faulkner or Shane Watson will play in Port Elizabeth to restore balance to the arsenal

Posted by SnowSnake on (February 15, 2014, 14:57 GMT)

Congratulations, Australia. Make it 3-0.

Posted by   on (February 15, 2014, 14:56 GMT)

Forget Watson. He's had more chances than hot dinners. The team is better with out him.

Posted by   on (February 15, 2014, 14:55 GMT)

Aussies back to their vintage form. awesome bowling by johnson. im sure SA hav no chance to win or draw d series

Posted by R_U_4_REAL_NICK on (February 15, 2014, 14:54 GMT)

Congratulations Australia. A mouth-watering series was anticipated, and boy what a cracking first game to start things off. Loved the little cameo from Vernon Philander at the end there! Genius of Morkel to get himself run-out so he didn't have to face Johnson! I'd expect SA to bounce back and show much more resolve next game, but honestly it's looking almost impossible to shake-up this Australian side. Moaning about being over-dependent on Johnson is not only twaddle (pretty much every player is contributing well), but it ain't going to solve anything either. My advice to the South Africans would be to regroup, come up with some contingency plans (both batting and bowling), and don't fall into the trap of trying to emulate Australia. Johnson is on fire; so be it! Morkel and Steyn shouldn't just simply try to copy/match that; instead, concentrate on what works for them, and pitch the ball up. Warner isn't going to get as many lives every game. Roll on next game!

Posted by lillee4PM on (February 15, 2014, 14:54 GMT)

Just a joy to watch MJ smashing South Africa to bits. I can't see the safas coming up with a "plan" to counter-act Johnson's pace in the next four days but they will be working hard to make sure they bowl better to the Aussies in the next test. This might even things up a bit but Aus still have a massive edge and all the momentum.

Posted by Gt500 on (February 15, 2014, 14:53 GMT)

People- don't forget about south Africa's bowling attack - they couldn't eve get Doolan and Marsh out cheap - they only got on tour cause Aust haven't got much else to pick . ( Hughes) Doolan has hardly scored a domestic run all summer - and made Steyn & com look impotent ....

Posted by SurlyCynic on (February 15, 2014, 14:53 GMT)

As an SA fan, firstly congrats to Aus. Johnson was awesome, operating at a level few have reached in the history of the game. Not great to see your team get destroyed but as a cricket lover it's good to see real pace as it's so rare. Good to see Marsh getting runs too.

From an SA perspective my heart sank as soon as I saw McLaren and Peterson in the team. Bits and pieces players. Peterson's 'spin' is no better than Duminy's in SA so replace him with a batsman like Van Zyl or Elgar. Philander is a containing bowler once the ball is old so the 4th seamer needs to be Parnell, Abbott or Beuran Hendricks, maybe De Lange in the longer term.

But it's also clear that this team is coming to the end of it's cycle. Kallis gone, Smith near the end, Steyn has more niggles and can't ramp it up as often as 5 years ago. Young talent needs to be brought in soon to rebuild.

But whatever we do, if Johnson bowls like that again, particularly if the pitches have variable bounce, then Aus will win 3-0.

Posted by Manoj1234 on (February 15, 2014, 14:52 GMT)

This test series will be a whitewash! SA didn't feel confident even against the Indian attack. Now they got to face the real deal. Also SA bowling is just not that good. Want to see India Australia play 10 tests back to back in India and Australia

Posted by fair_paly_1 on (February 15, 2014, 14:51 GMT)

With Australia's resurgence, it's gonna be tough for SA to stay at the top.

All those who say, in India's defence, home teams always win what about Aus thrashing SA? I wonder what they could possibly say other than Aussies were way better throughout the whole match in both bowling and batting. Good teams win home and abroad - that's a fact. WI did that when they were the best and so did Australia.

Posted by   on (February 15, 2014, 14:51 GMT)

SA were shattered not destroyed pathetic performance

Posted by M-UMAiR on (February 15, 2014, 14:51 GMT)

Salute you AUSTRALIA team, Salute You LEHMAN, Salute you Mitch. plz carry on, there are 5 games so for in the series.

Posted by Iceman29 on (February 15, 2014, 14:50 GMT)

What is the secret of Darren Lehman? How did this guy change the hopeless Aus team to an unbeatable side...got to give full credit to that guy...almost all the players in the current Aus team have played and failed already before... but the coach has turned it upside down.....Johnson's form is the ultimate thing in this team....well SA hope you had a good run as number 1 team your days as the number 1 side has been counted....

Posted by sssugat on (February 15, 2014, 14:50 GMT)

Wow another thumping win for the Aussies.They are returning to the same brutal form which they had been known for till 2008/2009....and Mitchell....he is the Fina of cricket....he is the man of destruction and explosion.Every English man and South Africans were having the bitter taste of him.I seriously hope for his same magnificent form in the One Dayers and T20.I think the Aussies will retain the ODI wc once again because in a year time they will be boosted so much that they will become almost invincible as they used to be in the past....Come on Aussies!!!!

Posted by navinrajpal on (February 15, 2014, 14:49 GMT)

As an Indian, I am extremely happy for all the success Mitch is getting. Felt really sorry for him when he was getting all the negative press few years back; one episode even involving his mother & his girlfriend. I was very excited to see him doing great for Mumbai Indians last IPL. To most of us, he has always been a once in a generation bowler. Great to see him realize his potential. At the moment, he is the only difference between Oz & SAF, NZ, English bowling attacks.

Posted by   on (February 15, 2014, 14:48 GMT)

Mitchel Johnson has to be the BEST TURN AROUND ever happened in world cricket. He's bowling as if he is shooting bullets from a shotgun at the heads of batsmen.

Posted by Captain_Tuk_Tuk on (February 15, 2014, 14:47 GMT)

@woody3 Its really nice of you calling Australia second best for me they are invisible. Yes they can have a bad day and might loss odd game but currently Australian side is unbeatable under normal circumstances :)

Posted by   on (February 15, 2014, 14:46 GMT)

@Riz000......mate, I'm english and witnessed my team get blown away by Johnson in the ashes, and mark my words, Pakistan could have 11 Saeed Ajmals with the batting talent of Javed Miandad to boot, and it would make no difference, A Mitchell Johnson led Aussie attack would currently blow any team away allowing the Aussie batsmen to build imposing totals with little pressure...not having a dig, just being realistic :)

Posted by matchfixerpkn on (February 15, 2014, 14:46 GMT)

- only michel johnson was the difference between two side.... - no batsman in world is comfortable against real pace with bounce... this is clearly one man show ...m johnson.

next tip....if m johnson is not playing in next match. other 3 ausie pacer will look pretty ordinary ...same as steyn and co.

Posted by   on (February 15, 2014, 14:46 GMT)

First round to Johnson. Expect Steyn to come back strongly though. One of those rare series where fast bowlers are attracting maximum attention. Great advertisement for test cricket. I doubt we'll be taking about a 'Steyn vs Johnson' in a T20 game. Long live test cricket.

Posted by Rajesh.Kumar on (February 15, 2014, 14:46 GMT)

What must be hurting SA fans is that they have been so thoroughly outplayed and defeated in their own home. If they were being humiliated like this in Aus, I could grant them some leeway. But being defeated in your own home, playing in grounds which were prepared by your own curators, as per your own strengths, is really bad. Be mentally prepared for a 3-0 whitewash.... I don't see it any other way, except if rain intervenes...And the way your batters got out today, is really horrifying. This no longer a contest....

Posted by Happy_hamster on (February 15, 2014, 14:44 GMT)

glance_to_leg on (February 15, 2014, 14:22 GMT) I have to agree with your comments, Australia are looking stronger and stronger and I was terribly wrong is underrating MJ, when on song he is a whole different commodity to other bowlers.

Posted by ModernUmpiresPlz on (February 15, 2014, 14:44 GMT)

Well... I guess we won't see any of the people who predicted a 3-0 2-0 or 1-0 series victory to SA again.

I still think SA can fight back in this series so I hope they show some heart in the next match. Even if they do, though, great signs for Australian cricket. Doolan and Marsh played great, Doolan's 2 catches at short leg show how cool and calm he is to stay down and move to catch the ball that close to the bat, as well as his ridiculous reflexes. Seriously impressed. Smith with a solid century, Doolan's solid 89. It's starting to come together in the batting order now, just what the doctor ordered. 300 run win where Clarke, Haddin and Rogers all did more or less nothing of note. Unimaginable 6 months ago. Well played boys, looking forward to the next match. Hope it's a goodun.

Posted by   on (February 15, 2014, 14:42 GMT)

MJ reminds me of Thommo is his pomp....slingy action, fearsome pace, unusual bounce and real imtimidation.....Fair play to the man, he's been through the mill through his cricket career with his character called into question, he's matured now and showing the rest of the world what Dennis Lille saw in him 10 years ago

Posted by   on (February 15, 2014, 14:42 GMT)

That was a very impressive win .... what ever Mitch is on I want some

Posted by AltafPatel on (February 15, 2014, 14:42 GMT)

Hope SA include Abbott in second test in place of Morkel.

Posted by   on (February 15, 2014, 14:41 GMT)

Now South Africa need to think how they will respond to Australia who truly have outclassed them in this test. When you look at the last 6 tests that Australia have played it was not weak opposition as far as England is concerned - they are a very good side as are SA. It is really that Australia are playing way above anyone else right now. I predicted after Australia's win in Brisbane that with Mitch at the head of the Aussie attack if he continued to dominate as a beast of a fast bowler that he really is, Australia would dominate. And that is what has happened since then. Australia are on the way to the top no matter how everyone else whinges about it. Sit back and enjoy the ride (to the top).

Posted by AltafPatel on (February 15, 2014, 14:41 GMT)

SA desperately need de Kock and Elgar in the squad for Duminy and A Peterson.

Posted by AltafPatel on (February 15, 2014, 14:40 GMT)

The pitch was not sporting, one ball bounces over keeper and second below the knee. But still the question is why SA attack could not utilize the pitch condition !?

Posted by Ethan81 on (February 15, 2014, 14:39 GMT)

Wow what happened to the great South African Batting Line up, like their " GREAT " English Counterparts they had no answers to Good Quality Fast Bowling specially Short stuff ( and we all thought it was JUST THE INDAIN BATSMEN, at least those blokes know how to play Spin ). Austarlia is going to be invincible this World Cup if Johnson stays fit and plays to even 80% of his potential.

Posted by Biggus on (February 15, 2014, 14:39 GMT)

Phase 1 complete, two to go. Who would have thunk it eh? A year ago we were a mess. Can we leave out Watto now? I don't want Doolan dropped and you can't dump Marsh surely?

Posted by PrasPunter on (February 15, 2014, 14:38 GMT)

Dont think we should get carried away - Boof wont certainly let that happen. SA has lost the first test and came back strongly to win the series in the past. So I will wait till we get further in this series !!! But for now, am gonna enjoy a sweet Aussie victory !! Super show, Aussie Boys !! You rock !!

Posted by siddhartha87 on (February 15, 2014, 14:36 GMT)

really enjoying this. Haters kept on criticizing MJ and likes of Marsh and Smith.I remember some predicted that Steven Smith can' t even score 100 runs through out the series.

Anyways it's only 1-0 .I hope Aussies win it by 3-0.

P.S- captains like Matthews should learn from the brand of the cricket that Clarke's men are playing at the moment

Posted by Rajesh.Kumar on (February 15, 2014, 14:36 GMT)

I feel that SA's slide down the ranking has just begun. Anyway they were # 1 for a long time. Bad thing about being the number 1 team is that you can go only one way, and that is down. Without Kallis that slide will be quite fast. One ABD cannot bail the team out..., you need a few more reliable batters whom you simply don't have right now. And Amla was found out when Indians traveled and his bad run is likely to extend in this series as well.

Posted by BradmanBestEver on (February 15, 2014, 14:35 GMT)

So that is 6 tests on the trot. And 6 floggings to boot.

The Aussies have assumed their rightful place as the the best cricket team in the world.

Posted by TommytuckerSaffa on (February 15, 2014, 14:33 GMT)

Well played Australia. We were totally outplayed and a lot of soul-searching needs to happen to turn this around.

The Selectors have to respond, we cant keep carrying sub-par players and all-rounders in this team any longer. I'm not saying that with changes we will beat Australia but at least be more competitive. The way the two teams are playing, Australia on evidence is the superior team.

Posted by Riz000 on (February 15, 2014, 14:32 GMT)

To all the Aussie' fans Just calm down i cant see this Australian attack being same as 1997-2006 no way take Mitchel Johnson out of the current squad guaranteed Australia will loose wait until you play Pakistan in Dubai you wont be laughing then try playing our spinners Australia will have no idea which direction the ball is coming from lol Pakistan will easily beat Australia in test or odis just watch..

Posted by Int.Curator on (February 15, 2014, 14:31 GMT)

Well that SA team can't beat Australia!

Has SA got a team that can beat Australia?

Posted by   on (February 15, 2014, 14:31 GMT)

@ modern umpire, yeah the rankings are correct because its based on more then 6 games. if it was only a ranking based on 2 months the of course Australia would have a million points and Johnson double that. He is about 20 times better then Siddle at his best I agree but after a longer period of success it will show on the rankings sooner rather then later. Otherwise every 2 weeks you'll have a new number one team just based on a recent win. If oz keep this up for a year then they will deserve nr 1 not just 2 months of goos cricket after years of horrible below par cricket

Posted by Proudly_SA.47 on (February 15, 2014, 14:29 GMT)

I do not think that this performance makes South Africa weak or undeserving of their No.1 ranking. This Aus team has been nothing short of brilliant, they have out-played and out-smarted SA in all aspects. There is not one player that I fault in this SA team, although the bowlers should have done better. SA was just ouplayed by a better team. Some might blame it on Kallis not being there, I think that's nonsense. Kallis wasnt scoring that much during his last few matches or contributing with the ball and, but SA was still playing outstanding cricket. To me though the only big difference in this test match has been Michelle Johnson, he's been devasting, a marvel to watch. There's a big difference between facing someone at 140km/h compared to 150km/h, at 150km batters become indecisive and are always at two minds.. SA has got to do alot better than this if they want to stay in this series. They have the potential to. How you face Johnson will be the big question

Posted by   on (February 15, 2014, 14:27 GMT)

To all those complaining about Clarke's "early and aggressive" declarations, judge his actions by the results they reap. His declaration, which was apparently unexpected by you, also appears to have been unexpected by Smith, placing him and his fellow openers on the backfoot. And now they will be bowled out on the fourth day. Grinding into a 5th day just seems so conservative, boring and oh-so England-like.

Posted by rootapom on (February 15, 2014, 14:26 GMT)

ZainE111 - yes good call champ!

Posted by   on (February 15, 2014, 14:25 GMT)

The second test will be interesting. We'll see if this match has scarred the SA or can they come back strongly. I doubt it . I think no team can counter Johnson in this fan.Sadly this Johnson terror might not last too many years coz of his age and hopefully now he does not face any more roadblocks In his career.

Posted by woody3 on (February 15, 2014, 14:25 GMT)

Anyone who cant see Aus have kicked on under Lehmann is either an idiot or absurdly biased. This is a devastating performance with bat and ball. England thumped Aus in previous two series, India in previous one but so what? That is gone. SA are easily 2nd best side now and they have been slaughtered. Pace bowlers wicket? I thought Steyn, Philander and Morkel were meant to like those too.

Posted by   on (February 15, 2014, 14:24 GMT)

Love all the experts. Australia never says die.

Posted by Thegimp on (February 15, 2014, 14:23 GMT)

here's any Aussie being humble, DeVilliers is class, above and beyond

Posted by glance_to_leg on (February 15, 2014, 14:22 GMT)

Hello13. Actually Australia did not perform especially badly in England during the summer. One fantastic spell by Broad and a few knocks by Bell hid the fact that in much of the series, Australia were the better team: the Australian bowlers were excellent; the batsmen left a lot to be desired. But, in general, England were massively helped by conditions and weather, and were lucky to win the series. I say this as an England supporter, who, despite being born in Australia, has little liking for the place or, in general, for its sportsmen. But credit where credit is due, Australia are coming good, and simply blasting SA.

Posted by JOHNCSPACE on (February 15, 2014, 14:22 GMT)

Your as good as your last game "GORNSKEY" is the work...stop winging and accept the result of not a superior side..a team that plays well and take the game to you, dont have to come to us. SA blown away..blown away

Posted by rootapom on (February 15, 2014, 14:22 GMT)

Albie Hanekom - what an embarrassing rebuttal, the need to attempt and insult - I tell you now buddy, we are a proud nation and proud of the past and the way we were raised in this great nation, the most liveable city in the world , I dont even need to compare or go there, shall we narrow your history lesson to just the last 2 years as you have pointed out, ignorant and narrow, nice job, do some research 'current facts' so did cricket begin 2011 - 4 series win from 25 do I need to repeat? or do we result to insults?

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge-Looks-Silly-Now on (February 15, 2014, 14:21 GMT)

So much negativity against Australia from opposition supporters and the reason is that they still carry the scars from the 90's and 2000's. They fear Australia's rise because of past destruction and don't want to feel that torment again. Indian fans amuse me especially because they are abysmal outside of India and yet they accuse Australia of the same thing and often refer to the sub continent. I've been watching cricket for 25 years and I've seen Australia win a series in Sri Lanka 3 times, twice against Pakistan (1 in pakistan and 1 in the UAE/Sharjah) and 1 series in India (none of these teams have ever won a series here lol!). I've also watched us beat England in England 4 series in a row and I still haven't seen South Africa beat us in a series in their own yard. Are we expected to win every overseas series or something? Australia are on the way up again. Deal with it.

Posted by Gerry_the_Merry on (February 15, 2014, 14:18 GMT)

I think his 7/68 is some of the most dangerous fast bowling I have seen.

Johnson of 2013-14 compares favourably with jeff Thompson of the 1974-78 vintage, holding of the 1976-1982 vintage, Marshall of 81-85 vintage and ambrose of 1989-1994 vintage. Perhaps a couple of others like lillee (in combination with Thompson) and bishop (1991 in combination with Ambrose) would come very close. Bowling of this ferocity happens once in 15 years.

Some others like Brett lee, Donald, akhtar came close, but they did not get the violent bounce that Johnson and the others mentioned above got, and batsmen dislike these throat balls.

Posted by ThreePIllarTales on (February 15, 2014, 14:18 GMT)

Right now, Oz boys are a country mile in front. Yes, MJ is the main cause but the collective has grown in confidence and belief. As a general rule, Safas looked great until this Test but it may still be the case upon series completion. The distinction has been Pup's captaincy. Aggressive cricket is useless without the mind. Pup has certainly been good on field placings ala Doolan as well as his intent. The moment Marsh went, he declared. He wanted maximum sunshine on those cracks especially if AB bats a whole day again ! Luck often shines upon those who taking intelligent risks to win. MJ has hit almost every single batsman on the helmet or the body. The right question " Which team would you put your week's wage upon to win the series ?" At this juncture....only one answer !

Posted by ZainE111 on (February 15, 2014, 14:18 GMT)

@Albie Hanekom and rootapom etc - can we all just agree that, based on whatever logic underlies the ICC rankings, SAf are the best team in the world over the last 4-5 years BUT over the last four days they simply couldn't deal with Johnson's pace and aggression while the Aussie batsman handled the SA bowlers quite well?

Then we can all go back to being a dying breed of guys from various countries who love watching quality test cricket.

Posted by xtrafalgarx on (February 15, 2014, 14:18 GMT)

As the classic Thin Lizzy track goes, "The boys are back in town!" Australia is back on the rock n' roll train.

Posted by   on (February 15, 2014, 14:17 GMT)

South Africa fans - don't be so fairweather about this team. For 6 years they have been unbeaten at home, at 8 years unbeaten away. One awful performance doesn't take all those achievements away. And besides - Johnson has just produced one of those all-time great performances. Nobody could've done anything about it - not even AB de Villiers (#1 batsman in the world).

Australia fans - congrats, but don't rush to claim #1 for yourself just yet. 6 wins in a row doesn't make you number one when you lost 9 of the preceding 11 Tests.

India fans - shut up. I'd like to see you bat against Johnson on a bouncy track.

Posted by Thegimp on (February 15, 2014, 14:15 GMT)

@ Albie Hanekom ....mate what you say is correct, history is just that....in the past, along with SA history over the last few years. Here and now is rellavent and here and now Australia is all over the rest.

What you forget is that when Australia were struggling we, the supporters were their greatest critics but now let's acknowledge that they are playing cricket above and beyond any team currently playing the game. What happens from here is anyone's guess.

Posted by ModernUmpiresPlz on (February 15, 2014, 14:14 GMT)

@Albie Hanekom Are the rankings that accurate? Johnson is currently rated barely in the top 10, he's behind Siddle. Now I think Siddle is a great line and length bowler who can hold you down and chip away at you til you mess up, but is he better than Johnson right now? Not in my ranking system.

Posted by Brett_in_China on (February 15, 2014, 14:13 GMT)

Give it a miss will you? You idiots ruin a good game of cricket. Who cares whether you THINK one team is better or not?

Posted by Rajesh.Kumar on (February 15, 2014, 14:12 GMT)

Looking back at things, now I strongly feel that Aussies did a selection blunder by not picking Mitch Johnson for the 2013 Ashes played in England. If MJ had played at that, who knows, Aussies would have won that one also 5-0. Because later on when MJ played in the ODI series, he terrorized English players like anything.

Posted by   on (February 15, 2014, 14:09 GMT)

Two grubbers to Siddle and two wickets. LBW & Bowled. The Saffas had some keep alarmingly low yesterday but they scooted off harmlessly past the pegs. In short... Reward for bowling at the pegs for the Victorian. I can't believe how wide the Saffas have been bowling. If they bowled as straight as the Aussies then maybe a different set of circumstances would present. Mind you, the Aussies have dragged a lot on to their stumps this match due to the inconsistent bounce from outside the line of off stump.

Posted by Not_Another_Keybored_Expert on (February 15, 2014, 14:09 GMT)

@hello13 the two series you mention MJ did not play in and since when did SA become "home" for Aus?

Posted by JoshFromJamRock on (February 15, 2014, 14:08 GMT)

Nothing was wrong with Clarke's declaration folks. The shear weight of the runs needed is enough to make a team buckle. One things for sure, this match will not be drawn.

Posted by R_U_4_REAL_NICK on (February 15, 2014, 14:08 GMT)

Unlucky there Peterson; I call that a 'daisy-cutter!' Siddle having some fun out there now too, bowling bouncers at the SA tail. Maiden century for Steyn perhaps?

Posted by ModernUmpiresPlz on (February 15, 2014, 14:07 GMT)

@Hello13 Well that's a new one... Now SA doesn't have home turf advantage, Australia have home condition advantage. Do you really think England would beat Australia in England right now? Swann is gone, Australia has a far superior pace attack. Englishmen are breathing a sigh of relief that the next Ashes is far enough away for them to regroup first. You're kidding yourself.

Posted by Rajesh.Kumar on (February 15, 2014, 14:07 GMT)

I see fear in the eyes of South Africans. They seem to be happy to get out and to be back in the hutch. I am sure that Saffers are happy that this is not a five test series, because three 3-0 loss looks a lot better than a 5-0 loss. Now, I can fully understand why Kallis chose to retire at the end of the series with India, rather than retiring at the end of this series. MJ is simply unplayable on fast and bouncy pitches in a way like Malcolm Marshall or Michael Holding, or Curtley Ambrose were.

Posted by onelongsummer on (February 15, 2014, 14:06 GMT)

Sa are now 165 -8 in the 55th …when this renowned fighting team going to start fighting ?

Posted by PrasPunter on (February 15, 2014, 14:05 GMT)

@Hello13, if that being the case, why is that your so-called best team on the planet couldn't win a series in SL for the past 20 years or so where conditions are similar to yours !! Loads of ....

Posted by philander50 on (February 15, 2014, 14:05 GMT)

Can the aussies finish the job please and put me out of my misery

Posted by Kharnie on (February 15, 2014, 14:05 GMT)

OMG England did better than this, this is such a disgrace..... what was Petersen doing dancing around......total rubbish.

Posted by Bonehead_maz on (February 15, 2014, 14:04 GMT)

Dale steyn used to be a great bowler (before looking tireder than Jimmy Anderson). Greame Smith used to be able to will runs (despite never having any real cricket shots). Hashim Amla used to be able to score freely (despite wafting at everything losely). South Africa used to be able to field well........................................ Now there's only AB Dvilliers and the best fielsman in the world (and perhaps the best batsman is wearing gloves (very strange stuff). Harris so far only one wicket. What can South africa do ? If they make a seaming pitch Harris will destry them, a buncy pitch and it'll be Johnson, if it spins, Lyon will have hem, a flat deck and Warner and/or Watson will take the game away in a session. They can always lose badly - looks like they are practicing that right now. Smih to lead Ireland into test cricket, end of careers for both Petersons. Doolan looks a more than handy spare, we continue to improve.

Posted by glance_to_leg on (February 15, 2014, 14:03 GMT)

Splendid performance by MJ. Shows us quite how brilliant he might have been were he not possessed for much of his career of so fragile a character. This is the great thing about test cricket: it tests skill, but it also tests grit, resolve, bravery. MJ has finally matured. Good on him. Could the fair-weather South African supporters stop being quite so vicious about their team? It is not lack of resolve or bravery that has led to a poor performance, it is simply that they are facing some superlative bowling. And Mitch would be doing this were he also bowling in England, or NZ, or on the sub-continent. I am, however, grateful to SA for in a sense redeeming England. I very much doubt that the South Africans will bounce back. If the Australian quicks stay fit, the Saffas are in for a drubbing. All good for cricket.

Posted by wapuser on (February 15, 2014, 14:03 GMT)

Thats what happens if u bow infront of countries and psychologically admit their supermacy Well done ausies all praises for proving yourself capable of controlling world cricket and alas to SA for .......

Posted by   on (February 15, 2014, 14:03 GMT)

johnson is nt jst taking wickets of sa he's destroying them

Posted by   on (February 15, 2014, 13:59 GMT)

@rootapom. Im saying stick to current facts based on recent history ie. look at the rankings they are pretty accurate. Nobody else cares or notices what your Aussie history is it doesnt matter what happened in 1938 when your team was full of convicts, or who won the anual sheep sheering contest in 1978 they care about these teams as they are now and their recent performances which are much more relevent then any history. And these facts are that oz had won 6 in a row now which is good, before that 0-4 in india 0-3 in england 0-1 against SA in ox 1-3 vs england in oz etc etc. SA unbeaten at home for 5 years and for 8 years away from home. These are the facts that matter thats why you are nr 3 and we are nr 1 there are a massive diffetence in performance of these 2 teams the last 6 years or so. Well played this game great performance and a very poor one from SA, the next one will be a bit different I feel

Posted by Greatest_Game on (February 15, 2014, 13:58 GMT)

@ philander50 thinks "yep these guys have had too many chances, the biggest change would be to get gary kirsten back, he made the biggest difference to the side."

Agreed. There does seem to be a lack of decisive & inspirational leadership. Domingo is a very solid coach: not sure if he can lift a team with sheer inspiration. Smith seems devoid of ideas, and tired. Inspiration is what this team needs to compete with the Aussies, who are clearly brimming with confidence.

Posted by   on (February 15, 2014, 13:52 GMT)

Australia will win by 250+ runs.

Posted by ModernUmpiresPlz on (February 15, 2014, 13:52 GMT)

Good work Robbie P, your complete lack of guts got AB out.

Thought I was watching Stuart Broad for a second there.

Posted by rootapom on (February 15, 2014, 13:52 GMT)

Albie Hanekom- A lovely interesting FACT while I'm reading with my aussie glasses - If we go from the beginning 1902 - are you following? good, Aus and SA have played 25 series - 15 Australian Wins, 4 SA wins, 5 draws, 1 win to Englans due to a triangular series, now are they some facts? or do we blunt this away as well?

Posted by Micky.Panda on (February 15, 2014, 13:48 GMT)

@albie Look at Australia's last 10 tests and see the improvement. Look at SA's last 10 tests and you might see a different pattern. How many days of performance does to take to show Australia are no easily defeated opponent now over a test series? Like another writer said, SA has had some ordinary team members like Duminy and the Petersons propped up by other great players. Those ordinary players may not be able to be carried any more. SA may be forced to take strong action or risk further drubbings. After England were thoroughly beaten in 1st test, they only replaced Trott and Tremlett, with Stokes and Panesar. Stokes boosted the team but it was not enough.

Posted by   on (February 15, 2014, 13:43 GMT)

superlative fast bowling from Mitchell Johnson, he's on absolute fire, bowling at the speed of light!.....All of a sudden, England's ashes performances don't look so bad considering what he's doing to South Africa currently!

Posted by   on (February 15, 2014, 13:41 GMT)

Poor from SA. They fielded poorly. Their batting failed. Only AB de Villiers, Steyn and Philander are useful. Others are useless.

Posted by Macker60 on (February 15, 2014, 13:40 GMT)

Ramachandran Narayan What a Load of bull, the West Indian side where noted for there bouncer aim at the body and head, They also in a 6 year period held the record for batsmen hit. Why do you think the ICC brought in the Bouncer per over rules and tighten up on the no ball over head high,

Posted by   on (February 15, 2014, 13:39 GMT)

@ gladiator. youre right cant keep and open the batting therefor I'd go for Elgar to open with Smith, de Kock in at 7 with the gloves, parnell, steyn, philander, morkel as the bowlers. Duminy and Elgar to bowl some slow overs

Posted by philander50 on (February 15, 2014, 13:39 GMT)

@ Greatest_Game yep these guys have had too many chances, the biggest change would be to get gary kirsten back, he made the biggest difference to the side.

Posted by Assertive-Indian on (February 15, 2014, 13:38 GMT)

My free advice to South Africans: for the remaining two test matches make flat decks, something similar to subcontinental pitches, so that Mitch Johnson's X-factor can be neutralized. It is obvious from the play so far that SA batsmen simply don't have the technique to handle someone like Mitch Johnson in his present form. McLaren learned it the hard way. While Steyn is a great fast bowler, he is nowhere near as threatening as MJ, and same applies to Morkel as well. Our young Indian batters were able to handle these two quite well, it was just that Kallis played a match winning innings in Durban which turned out to be the difference between the two teams, leading to a defeat for India. Now that Kallis is gone, you simply don't have the batters who can handle MJ. Instead of offering fast and bouncy pitches and getting thrashed 3-0, and getting scarred in the process, try flatter pitches. Let fast bowlers work for their wickets, instead of pitch doing the job for them.

Posted by rootapom on (February 15, 2014, 13:35 GMT)

Dear Oh Dear ! Albie Hanekom lets stick to the facts ?, you mean 2 months of facts 2 years of facts or cricketing history! I have provided you such facts and the facts remain we are a mile in front of you in records, please educate yourself even a simple wiki search will show you how we got to the top and in all cyclical cycles the mighty fall, THE facts as you have pointed out are due to your claim to being the best and the aussies being a 'novice' I'm not sure you understand the word 'novice' whih means rookie, new to and inexperienced, be gee your description of us is pretty thin, you can ignore the facts we have 4 world cups too an shy away an ignorant, your rebuttle is weak, just do a bit more digging shall we next time? here are some more facts: Australia holds the record for most consecutive wins with 16. This has been achieved twice; from October 1999 to February 2001, and from December 2005 to January 2008 - or do you wish to not call them facts? this time

Posted by R_U_4_REAL_NICK on (February 15, 2014, 13:34 GMT)

I wonder did the South African's enjoy their tea!? What does Johnson have during breaks? I want some of that!

Posted by Hello13 on (February 15, 2014, 13:34 GMT)

Oh please. It's all well and good Australia playing well in conditions that are basically the same as their own. We saw when they went to England and India how bad they perform in unfamiliar conditions. Typical home condition bullies, can't play anywhere else.

Posted by sundersingh on (February 15, 2014, 13:30 GMT)

Royal MCLAREN was crashed.....

Posted by Greatest_Game on (February 15, 2014, 13:30 GMT)

Catches win matches. Australia, & Doolan in particular, have given us a spectacular lesson of that. Dropped catches lose matches. South Africa have given us a spectacular demonstration of that too. And therein the difference lies.

Interestingly, the best bowler has been Johnson, and the best batsman de Villiers, but the gap between the teams is immense. Simply goes to show what damage one bowler can do, and that no matter how good a batsman is, without a partner to keep him company he will not be able to win a test single handedly!

Australia have dominated every aspect of play, and are deservingly in the driving seat to take this test. The chances of SA surviving have to be considered far less than marginal at this point. Miracles can happen, Seldom they do.

Over to the SA selectors. Time for change, or the next 2 games will look no different. Alviro, Robbie nP, JP, & McLaren have been unable to cope. Time for Hendricks, de Kock, Abbott to take the field

Posted by VivGilchrist on (February 15, 2014, 13:28 GMT)

According to South African comments, Australia are just lucky. That makes them lucky for 6 Tests in a row! How unlucky for SA to come up against such a lucky team! Also like to comment on a certain Indian fan telling us that short pitched bowling just isn't Cricket, and the great West Indians never resorted to it. It's comments like these that make you question if anyone out there appreciates and understands good Test match Cricket.

Posted by gladiatorgannicus on (February 15, 2014, 13:24 GMT)

some are asking 4 de kock.if he is to play and he is to open he cant keep,he cant keep for 120 overs and come straight 2 bat again,that would be very difficult.if he has 2 open Ab will have to continue with the gloves else de kock at 7 and someone else at the top

Posted by ZainE111 on (February 15, 2014, 13:21 GMT)

I am a South African who thought our batsmen would handle Johnson without too much trouble and comfortably win the series. How wrong I was. Full credit to Mitchell and the Aussies for their performance. Epic, aggressive fast bowling - it would be a pleasure to watch if it wasn't my team crumbling before him.

Here's to hoping our batsmen get things together in the next and are more ready for Mitch at St George's.

Posted by ModernUmpiresPlz on (February 15, 2014, 13:17 GMT)

That sounded bad... I winced when I was watching it live, thought it got under his helmet. Glad he's alright.

To those saying Clarke should have got 550-600.... Stop being Angelo Matthews. The record run chase is what it is for a reason, this pitch has plenty of assistance with the new and old ball and Australia has a hell of a pace attack and a good spin bowler to boot. Talking about SA scoring the runs... do you have any idea how much would have to go right for that to happen? I mean they're batting quite well at the moment and they're still 6 down with another 350 to get. AB's had his bat beaten more than a few times because no matter how good you are if it nips around off a length you can't do anything about it, he could easily have been out. Don't get me wrong, he's batting beautifully again, but even as good as he is he can still get a ball with his name on it with this pitch involved.

Posted by Greatest_Game on (February 15, 2014, 13:15 GMT)

@ philander50 suggests "Next changes - peterson,petersen,mclaren and duminy out - de kock, hendriques,abbott and van zyl in. lets breed new players into the team and apply pressure."

Agreed. Don't know what else to say, but Kallis' retirement has clearly exposed the weaknesses & passengers in this team. Better to blood new talent and risk failure than to watch old promises never come true, with the result no different..

Posted by   on (February 15, 2014, 13:09 GMT)

@rootapom. Now memory quite good actually 25 out of 26 series unbeaten for Proteas, last 2 times in Australia win and win last 2 in england win and win, other then ashes what is the oz record in this time? Dont exactly know what old world cups etc has to do with anything then you can argue that in 1970 you lost 4-0 to us therefor we must be better or last time in India it was 4-0 for India therefor India must be 10 times better then you. Doesnt matter what your opinion is SA is ranked a country mile above anyone else due to pure performance and facts not a 2 month period of success. If you think we will lie down and get dominated further in this series you surely have not watched much cricket the last couple of years take off your Aussie colored glasses. Aus has played a great test here congrats to them well deserved so lets stick to facts from now on

Posted by ModernUmpiresPlz on (February 15, 2014, 13:02 GMT)

@Biggus It really did look a lot like Watson's bowling though. Give him a couple days with McDermott to get the seam in the right position he'd probably do a decent job of it. 4-5 k's slower, good line and length though. You wouldn't want him bowling long spells but Watson never bowls long spells anyway, he comes on for 3-5 overs to keep it tight and try snare a wicket and give the quicks a rest, that's about it.

Posted by Mitty2 on (February 15, 2014, 13:01 GMT)

Johnson 10 for. Such a turnaround. I just can't describe how good it's been. He has taken his average from over 31/2 to under 28. All this form either coincides with the whole short spell policy that's been planned so well by Clarke and Boof, or just that talent will inevitably win out at test level (which isn't true - so I'll go for the first one). The pressure and tightness from Lyon, Siddle and Harris has been absolutely instrumental for Johnson's effectiveness. Well done to Billy, and well done to the in form bowling attack of the world.

Doolan, you've locked yourself in for short leg for the rest of your career. Not sure it's a good thing for your safety, but it's a good thing for your selection credibility.

Posted by balajik2505 on (February 15, 2014, 13:00 GMT)

Nobody ever doubted Harris' ability. I will stick my neck out and say he is Australia's best bowler, though Johnson is taking all the wickets. It was the fitness issues the man had through his career. Late into his career, the man has played what, eight Tests on the trot. I don't recall him playing more than two Tests consecutively. Something seems to have finally clicked in his body.

Posted by ModernUmpiresPlz on (February 15, 2014, 12:56 GMT)

Wow... Doolan will now be at short leg for life. What a catch.

Posted by philander50 on (February 15, 2014, 12:56 GMT)

Next changes - peterson,petersen,mclaren and duminy out - de kock, hendriques,abbott and van zyl in. lets breed new players into the team and apply pressure.

Posted by xtrafalgarx on (February 15, 2014, 12:55 GMT)

Wow!!! Aex Doolan!! David Boon reincarnate? That's no fluke, cool, calm and collected. Tasmanian no.3 good at short leg, i don't see Watson replacing him. I thought Bailey's short leg fielding could help keep him in the side, but thank god Doolan is just as good at it and a good batsman!

Posted by Biggus on (February 15, 2014, 12:54 GMT)

Can we afford to drop Doolan now? Just wow!

Posted by TheBigBoodha on (February 15, 2014, 12:54 GMT)

I certainly wouldn't have declared so early. Why give SA a small chance of a win when completely unnecessary? If Australia had batted till lunch and posted a 550+ lead there would have been only two possible results. Johnson has also been unwell, and with Watson out there is a danger of a repeat of the Adelaide test if Harris breaks down or Johnson gets too sick to bowl.

Posted by rootapom on (February 15, 2014, 12:53 GMT)

LOL - Albie Hanekon - your memory serves you short ey, lets take you back,We are the most successful Test team in cricketing history. have won more than 350 Test matches at a rate of almost 47% - Not even Tiger woods can lay claim to such dominance!, we are the best cricketing nation 4 world cups anyone, three in a row! remember your man Gibbsy gifting Steve waugh the cup? still stings I bet? even if we lose this we are still miles away from all the other wana be nations, we play in front of record crowds 90,000 alone in 2013 boxing day test, and we have produced the worlds best cricketers in the Wisden 11, Bradman, warne! you cant dispute the Wisden 11! and the best seamer anyday over steyn Mcgrath, Gilchrist whom your AB has idolised and wished he could become when he was still in his nappies! we are the best that's why you want to be us using our kookaburra gear, you will always try! that's all you can do

Posted by Mitty2 on (February 15, 2014, 12:51 GMT)

@greatest_game, as a matter of fact, I saw your comment re Kallis and Smith. Now I can't comment on that as well as you can - ignoring that I rate Kallis as the best player I've ever seen - but it seems a very plausible reason. Everyone says Kallis is reserved, modest and serious, but there's little mention of his leadership. Someone who's a two in one player and has such an experience is bound to have a huge influence on the team so I reckon you're right, Smith's struggling without his most valuable player. Also in my first comment I noted sarcastically that Smith's conservative, but still not on the base of the likes of Smith, Dhoni and Matthews. But I will maintain one thing (I sometimes contradict my comments afterwards) Smith has more reason to be attacking than any other captain in world cricket, due to the sheer quality of SA's players. On paper SA are soooooo much better than Australia. We shouldn't be able to score two 200 run partnerships against Morkel, Steyn and Philander.

Posted by AravindxD on (February 15, 2014, 12:48 GMT)

SA need to get De Cock to open with Smith and interchange Faf's and AB's position. Gives more stability to the team and bring Parnell or Abott in for Peterson.

Posted by philander50 on (February 15, 2014, 12:47 GMT)

@ DickCam - So your're saying the pitch had nothing to do with it, you better check yourself before you wreck yourself.

Posted by   on (February 15, 2014, 12:44 GMT)

Though I believe SA have this amazing ability to bounce back but yet I feel the whole team is perfect other than A.Peterson and R.Peterson Q de Kock can easily fit in the place of A.Peterson and R.Peterson should be dropped for Imran tahir who is a penetrating spinner. Morne need some rest as well though he is a good bowler but he has been off target since quite some time now

Posted by   on (February 15, 2014, 12:38 GMT)

i agree. these declarations are a bit short. shouldve posted 4 an over to win. thats attacking enough and if they can get them, they deserve the win. under 3 an over is really risky and could undo everything good. this isnt the first time its been a bit lean. itll bite eventually. still 6 wickets in hand and under 350 to get with plenty of time. a good stand and saffers take it.

Posted by   on (February 15, 2014, 12:33 GMT)

is there any batsman in the world better than de villers i dont think soooo

Posted by Biggus on (February 15, 2014, 12:33 GMT)

AB De V looks sooooo good. Doesn't even look like getting out. He is a man in a golden zone atm, it's easy peasy. Lucky for some.

Posted by ModernUmpiresPlz on (February 15, 2014, 12:25 GMT)

@Albie Hanekom Your analogy would be suitable if this were a one dayer. Funnily enough a golf tournament tends to be 4 rounds over 4 days, and a test match is 4 innings over 5 days. If a novice golfer beat Tiger in a tournament I'd be pretty surprised. If you think the gap between SA and Aus is comparable to the gap between a novice golfer and Tiger Woods... well... that makes you and yourself who probably believe that.

Posted by Biggus on (February 15, 2014, 12:21 GMT)

@ModernUmpiresPlz:- Interesting thought but I'm inclined to think Clarke was just seeing if Warner could get one to run along the ground.

Posted by PrasPunter on (February 15, 2014, 12:21 GMT)

@ModernUmpiresPlz , yes !! exactly my point - I posted a feedback to the commentary on exactly the same thing , but not published anyway !! If we can have Warner bowl a few overs and Smith try some of his leggies, we are done with Watto !! Doolan like a perfect No 3 !! When Rogers winds up, Hughes for him !!! A decent line-up - Warner, Hughes, Doolan, Marsh, Pup, Smith, Hadds and then the demolition men.

Posted by xtrafalgarx on (February 15, 2014, 12:15 GMT)

@Biggus: Good point, he is so good that when he goes missing it seems like a big deal. He has stepped up and picked up Amla, well bowled.

Posted by Greatest_Game on (February 15, 2014, 12:12 GMT)

@ gladiatorgannicus writes "as Harris breaks Amla's resistance hope all the doubts over Harris here are extinguished."

I'm on record umpteen times as saying that I believe that Harris is overall Aus' best bowler. His figures certainly are. He is always dangerous and economical - just what you want in a a game where there is not a great run advantage - not the case here of course. Johnson has clearly found serious form, & if it lasts like this he will probably go to the top. But, that is IF it lasts. Harro's form always stays steady, and deadly.

BTW - I'm a Saffa, so there are no "nationality blinkers" on here. I think the guy is a superb bowler!

Posted by   on (February 15, 2014, 12:10 GMT)

@johncspace - ok mate as good as your last game so after the next test in PE oz will be back to the average team they really are. Even the best lose sometimes its what goes on 99% of the time that matters. So a novice comes and beats Tiger Woods in a round it doesnt make him better just better on the day there is no sense to your comment

Posted by Puffin on (February 15, 2014, 12:04 GMT)

I think we can see which way this is headed - us neutrals always hope for a bit of resistance and character - SA need lots of that now. Is it me or were batsmen a generation ago better at batting out draws than now? Apart from when playing in Bangladesh? Sure needs fighting spirit and good technique.

Posted by JOHNCSPACE on (February 15, 2014, 12:03 GMT)

I got one think to say SA are "gornsky" best bast man in the world, best bowler in the world , best team in the world..your as good as your last game...this is not subcontinent your playing "A" for Australia...keep winging now let's hear it.

Posted by ModernUmpiresPlz on (February 15, 2014, 12:01 GMT)

Anybody else think Dave Warner's 2 over trundle was a test run while Aus are miles ahead to see if he can do Watson's role in the next test... and maybe beyond?

Posted by Greatest_Game on (February 15, 2014, 12:01 GMT)

@ Mitty2. re Smith's captaincy. I don't think you are all that far off base. I think what we may be seeing is Smith skippering a test without his brain standing beside him at 2nd slip! I have a feeling that Smith is lost without Kallis quietly whispering advice - about everything it seems! We all expected to miss Kallis' batting, bowling & fielding. It never really occurred to me that Smith would look so lost without him.

I am not sure if Smith is simply being horribly conservative, or just is just so horribly lost without Kallis that he is unable to make any dynamic decisions?

Posted by disco_bob on (February 15, 2014, 11:56 GMT)

98/4 for the third time in this match

Posted by DickCam on (February 15, 2014, 11:54 GMT)

@philander50, I am watching the cricket. How is it unlucky? In home conditions, you know how the pitch plays, you win the toss, and don't bat first. Just desserts! Perhaps Faf should have played forward, but with Mitch still in his head, not so. Cop it sweet mate.

Posted by gladiatorgannicus on (February 15, 2014, 11:53 GMT)

as Harris breaks Amla's resistance hope all the doubts over Harris here are extinguished

Posted by Biggus on (February 15, 2014, 11:51 GMT)

Yep, Harris is never bad for long. Looking better now and there goes Amla. You're a champ Rhino.

Posted by   on (February 15, 2014, 11:49 GMT)

xtrafalgarx - ok mate if pure stats are the way to go great 24 wickets in 5 tests good going, philander takes that amount in average in 3 test series, great bowlers Im saying but not as affective alone more as part of a bowling group thats my ooinion. Regarding an earlier comment about Steyn, he gas struggled with injuried prior to going into the last 3 series hence pace down by about 5kms but in those series averaged 7-8 wickets a test. last 2 tests 9 wickets vs India 6 in this game. So when he us not at his best he still averages as many wickets a test as Johnson at his very best. Not bad I think. In an era of batsman he has a better strike rate then any bowler ever, after this test match under the belt after not bowling for a while watch out in next game

Posted by Greatest_Game on (February 15, 2014, 11:47 GMT)

@ Ms.Cricket is of the opinion that "Faf du Plessis is good for no 6. Not good enough for no 4. Duminy should move up."

I dont disagree with you about Faf, but Duminy will move up to #4 and simply continue to fail. He can't score at 6, so he is not going to do any better at 4. His average of 32.88 is not the stuff of a #4. In fact, it is not good enough for him to keep his place in the team! He simply has not lived up to his promise, and does not convert his starts.

Since his return from injury he averages 17.71 in tests, and averages 28.27 in ODIs (excluding his minnow bashing 150 against The Netherlands.)

Simply put, he does not deserve to keep his place unless he scores consistently, and he does not. There are more deserving players who deserve the chance, & who could hardly do any worse.

Posted by gladiatorgannicus on (February 15, 2014, 11:46 GMT)

wow did someone say Windies did not bowl short balls!!!

Posted by Biggus on (February 15, 2014, 11:43 GMT)

@xtrafalgarx:- Yeah, no dramas mate, I kind of figured that. It's only that he's usually so good that being ordinary for a game is notable. As long as the knee is OK he'll be fine I reckon. Looking forward to what Lyon can do here (another of my faves atm).

Posted by xtrafalgarx on (February 15, 2014, 11:43 GMT)

@Shaggy: Not really, he would be the first to say he hasn't bowled as good as he would have liked this test.

Posted by gladiatorgannicus on (February 15, 2014, 11:41 GMT)

this match is b/w no1 team SA and on form the best team Aus.i hope my fellow Indians dont make crazy statements and embarrass us.Aus if they continue this form will very soon regain no1. but @Kritesh Modi " I know we Indians do not like short bowling but your comment is jusy crazy" -------not long ago everyone was commenting Clarke has a problem against short ball,Sreesanth got Kallis with a ripper.fast,short and accurate gets everyone in trouble.that doesnt mean they cannot play short ball,both are among the best batsmen in the world.similarly Pujara,Kohli,Rohit and Rahane and Dhoni too play the short ball very well.Dhawan is doing all right too now.but the other 5 u can bowl short and then fetch the ball 4m the boundary.

Posted by RoboTeddy on (February 15, 2014, 11:40 GMT)

Getting real tired of Clarke's declarations. He seems obsessed with trying to be an "aggresive captain." Trying to establish a lead for the series, and declares with a sub 500 lead with essentially 2 days to play. SA are certainly capable of getting there, and they have more than enough time. With Haddin coming in should have at least gone for some quick runs... Anyway, that's my rant, barring Sir Mitch I haven't seen much from the rest of our bowlers, hopefully that changes.

Posted by Mitty2 on (February 15, 2014, 11:39 GMT)

Just to comment on present proceedings, both Amla and AbDv look extremely comfortable with both ripping out some absolutely brilliant, cricketing shots. AB's on drive, Amla's back foot drives... Made MJ look to be a mere mortal. It looks as though it's much easier to bat with the older, softer ball - which is obvious but on this pitch it seems especially true. Lyon's gonna hold a key part. Hopefully no repeat of Adelaide thanks.

Posted by TJones68 on (February 15, 2014, 11:37 GMT)

@Kavindu. Yes, good watching all-round, but Sharma is in no way an 'all time great'.

Posted by philander50 on (February 15, 2014, 11:35 GMT)

@DickCam - You obviously haven't been watching the cricket because it was unlucky.

Posted by   on (February 15, 2014, 11:35 GMT)

go MJ go.... finish them off today and take rest tomorrow. ..

Posted by   on (February 15, 2014, 11:34 GMT)

Ishant sharma a great fast bowler? Did i miss something haha... He's ok... Not a great... Buddy.

Posted by Iceman29 on (February 15, 2014, 11:34 GMT)

well played Aus...in total command and deserve all the credits....so there is no Faf to save SA this time eh...better SA bring back kallis or else this series could be a white wash and that will be a terrible blow to SA....as far as am concerned this test match is lost for SA and they will make a comeback in the second test judging from their past history...but i think Aussies has achieved what no team has done...clearly exposed the batting fragility of SA...this was on the cards when they struggled against the mediocre Ind bowling attack recently....

Posted by ScottStevo on (February 15, 2014, 11:34 GMT)

@Albie Hanekom, I would disagree as Johnson does much better with Harris and Siddle being there. When Lee retired we turned to Johnson to be the spearhead of our attack and he, and Aus, failed miserably. Having Harris/Siddle to lead the attack alleviates the pressure on Johnson and allows him to bowl the way we are bowling him now. Another example is Harris in Eng in '13 - Johnson wasn't there, yet he prospered.

Posted by Mitty2 on (February 15, 2014, 11:33 GMT)

@JG2074, I don't even know what I was doing with that... A third sarcasm, third emotive talk and a third contempt for the world's top captains. I take the whole captaincy thing over the top - I obviously couldn't do a better job let alone be good enough to represent my country - but things do nag at me. Take for instance Matthews' captaincy against Pakistan in that test where they chased over 300 at 5 an over. It was ridiculous - he put all the men on the fence, Pak just scored singles to win. Then you also have SL's batting beforehand which was also ridiculously negative. Why can't countries just play to my irrelevant standards?!?!? ;)

@Albie, agree again. Your comment also gives explanation to my bafflement so thanks... Remember when people were saying Warner would be next test captain? Imagine that!

Posted by ModernUmpiresPlz on (February 15, 2014, 11:32 GMT)

Oh Mitch... What makes you think you can draw a false shot pitching back of a length a foot outside off stump to AB and Amla. Such a silly man sometimes.

Posted by   on (February 15, 2014, 11:31 GMT)

So, where does this leave the Proteas. They are after all supposed to be brought up on a diet of fast bowling on bouncy tracks. They can learn a thing or two from how the inexperienced Indian line up blunted their attack for most of the series recently. Leave balls judiciously , tire the Aussie bowlers and then runs will automatically come.

Posted by Ms.Cricket on (February 15, 2014, 11:24 GMT)

Faf du Plessis is good for no 6. Not good enough for no 4. Duminy should move up.

Posted by xtrafalgarx on (February 15, 2014, 11:23 GMT)

@Biggus, @Jono Makim: Yeah, look i'm a big fan on Rhino, i'm not taking a dig at him it was just an observation.

Posted by cccrider on (February 15, 2014, 11:18 GMT)

Ramachucka Nayaran - WI did not bowl short stuff in their heyday??? Are you sane? That was their trademark.

Posted by ModernUmpiresPlz on (February 15, 2014, 11:15 GMT)

@Biggus Yeah, he definitely hasn't looked right. Fortunately it really hasn't mattered, I'm sure he'll be back firing next match after he goes and yells at himself in the mirror.

I love saffa fans. First Australia aren't unlucky for such a high percentage of inside edges hitting the stumps (they don't generally just hit them on the stumps there's usually some movement involved or not entirely true bounce, except probably Warner's in the first innings he definitely deserved to be out on that) but Faf is unlucky because one kept low and trapped him in front, even though balls have been keeping low all day. Make up your minds.

Posted by Shaggy076 on (February 15, 2014, 11:09 GMT)

xtrafalgarx; I took Al SMug's line on this occasion because it was very much warranted.

Posted by   on (February 15, 2014, 11:08 GMT)

@xtrafalgarx, this pitch just doesn't seem to suit Rhino for some reason, that's just cricket.. It's more a hit the deck track, I reckon. I think it's going to be Siddle's afternoon. he's the one to keep nibbling the top of off with any variation from the pitch likely to be killer.

Posted by   on (February 15, 2014, 11:06 GMT)

This is very good news for world cricket.... All time great fast bowlers like Mitch ,Ishanth Sharma,Dale Stayn,...... ripping through batting lineups.... wow...

Posted by Shaggy076 on (February 15, 2014, 11:05 GMT)

Albie; i was only talking Philander and Harris in this game, Philander is class. To be fair on Harris he has only had Johnson by his side the last 5 tests and hasnt had him all the way through so he averaged the same without Johnson. He seems to be bowling ok, good pace but your right he hasnt been too threating this test and Im not sure why.

Posted by   on (February 15, 2014, 11:03 GMT)

@Posted by Ramachandran Narayan on (February 15, 2014, 10:20 GMT)

Short bowling is not cricket?? I know we Indians do not like short bowling but your comment is jusy crazy. Short bowling is as much cricket as the carrom bowl and the ridiculous start-stop bowling by Ashwin. You are seriously delusional if you think WI team of the 70's and 80's did not bowl short bowls. There were notorious for banging the bowl in and hitting the batsman above the shoulder.

And as for Harris and Siddle taking a single wicket between them, Sachin is a great batsman, ryt? But he did not get a 50 everytym he walked in. Got my point? And as you said, its not about winninh but how to play. Same way its not about jow many wickets you got but how you bowled. And they bowled really well.

Posted by ModernUmpiresPlz on (February 15, 2014, 11:03 GMT)

@Ramachandran Narayan WI didn't bowler bouncers? This is news to me...

Posted by xtrafalgarx on (February 15, 2014, 11:01 GMT)

@Albie Hanekom: Wrong again. Harris was the best bowler in the Ashes in England with 24 wickets in only 4 tests WITHOUT JOHNSON!!!!!!

Posted by Biggus on (February 15, 2014, 10:59 GMT)

@xtrafalgarx:- Harris hasn't looked right to me all match despite hitting some good speeds. I'm going to stick my neck out (not much really given his record) and say he'll come back strongly in the next test. You're right about going missing though, he did it a couple of times during the Ashes. I'm still a massive fan though, we should enjoy him while he lasts.

Posted by Solid_Snake on (February 15, 2014, 10:58 GMT)

I guess such performance of SA is related to the "Big 3" scene...It's possible that SA are performing like that according some agreement with Aus :P

Posted by DickCam on (February 15, 2014, 10:57 GMT)

@ TommytuckerSaffa, Faf unlucky? If that was an Aussie you wouldn't say that would you? I'd say just desserts for sending Australia in when you won the toss. Smith didn't want to face Mitch on the 1st day, but try and hide from him as he did, Mitch got him any way. Twice!

Posted by ModernUmpiresPlz on (February 15, 2014, 10:54 GMT)

I think Australia are bowling way too short at the moment. Don't really understand why you wouldn't pitch it up more on this deck, especially since Amla got out from one that nipped back in the first innings. Surely all those back of a length balls that he hammered for four should be enough of a guide.

Posted by   on (February 15, 2014, 10:47 GMT)

@shaggy. Harris is a class act for sure more referring to this test match what Ive seen also if you bring up his record of averaging 22 well Philander ave is 18 so both are great bowlers but both will be alot less effective without Johnson and Steyn by their sides

Posted by   on (February 15, 2014, 10:44 GMT)

@mitty- yeah youre right they very rarely loses but like anything in life its about performing at YOUR potential and one criticism would be that there could have been alot more wins vs draws just by adjusting a mindset. They newer generation like AB and even younger guys like De Kock are fearless and will have those aggressive traits but Smith came into a good SA side in 2002 but a very defensive one and that has shaped his way of thinking. Clarke came into a team with Warne, McGrath, Ponting and co different learning experience all together. Eventhough I believe the aussie behaviour goes over the top sometimes and borderlines on ridiculous I will always back that aggresive mindset, but its not a big South african thing to stick your head out, a guy like Warner will get killed here by his own for making his statements so big cultural difference

Posted by disco_bob on (February 15, 2014, 10:44 GMT)

Pitch doing some kerazzy stuff now. What an absolute blinder of a catch by Doolan. I expect a bit of a fightback here before SA run out of puff. Lyon should enjoy the variable bounce.

Posted by   on (February 15, 2014, 10:41 GMT)

Awesome cricket by australia. Lol and what the hell dude, it definitely is about winning... Lol doesnt matter how u lose, losing is for losers. Loving the intensity of this match even though oz is waaaay ahead of us and definitely looking better, still more entertaining than the ashes... Best two teams in the world on that pitch and no1 can deny that. I still think sa will take the series, maybe cos im a saffer haha but also because of how they always fight back. Gona be exhilarating stuff from both teams... GO PROTEAS!!!

Posted by TommytuckerSaffa on (February 15, 2014, 10:38 GMT)

Some positive signs for the 2nd test. Hashim Amla playing Johnson really well. Unlucky for Faff, unplayable delivery rolling on the ground. Smith wicket was unlucky too, amazing. Hope Saffa can atleast bat out the whole day and make the Aussie seamers work. A.Petersen needs to be dropped.

Posted by JG2704 on (February 15, 2014, 10:37 GMT)

Clarke did the right thing in declaring. I was going to post yesterday that I thought he should declare overnight or early tomorrow. I think you have to play percentages and SA IMO would have more chance of surviving with less time at the crease than of chasing the best part of 500 - esp when their batsmen dont look in great touch and the Aus bowlers look in such fine form

Posted by xtrafalgarx on (February 15, 2014, 10:34 GMT)

@Albie Hanekom: I should have added, "certainly not in this form." Steyn hasn't fired for yonks if we are honest and has been down on pace for 12/18 months. Philander needs the right conditions, Morkel is the form bowler in that line up at the moment.

Posted by steve48 on (February 15, 2014, 10:34 GMT)

Sorry, meant i agree with shaggy076!

Posted by JG2704 on (February 15, 2014, 10:34 GMT)

@Mitty2 on (February 15, 2014, 9:07 GMT) List Smith as the most conservative captain out there and then list 3 others who are as/more conservative - love it

@GoCho on (February 15, 2014, 9:10 GMT) Not sure how Elgar does in SA but when he had a stint at Somerset (covering for Alviro) last year he was really poor

Posted by steve48 on (February 15, 2014, 10:33 GMT)

Got to agree with albie, Harris would be legend but for injury/late start to tests. That average is against England and Sri Lanka away. Top bowler. And i am English!

Posted by Mitty2 on (February 15, 2014, 10:31 GMT)

@xtrafalgarx, well there you go, 2 whole innings out of 10 he did not take a wicket. Shameful, diabolical, dreadful, Jimmy Anderson like. How dare he average 20 odd, take 20 odd wickets in a 5 match series that's got the world's in form bowler nabbing wickets from him and all the while not get injured! Shocking. I suggest we drop him. To not take a wicket in 2 different innings against the batting line up which started with every batsman averaging over 40 is shocking. What @Shaggy said.

To further my Anderson joke for those who are interested (won't be many): Since being named the best bowler in the world by Wasim in June:

Overratedson Ave 50+ Mitch Ave 13

Posted by dunger.bob on (February 15, 2014, 10:31 GMT)

Amla and ABD together at the moment. South Africa would like to see this pair still together at stumps I suppose. It's a huge task but lets see if they can get through till tea.

Posted by   on (February 15, 2014, 10:30 GMT)

@philander50. While an Indian may not know about pace bowling, you don't seem to know English. I commented on how an inexperienced Indian batting line up had blunted the SA attack, which once the shine went off, became a more or less up and down bowling attack. It was again proven by the Aussies. The SA attack should either learn about reverse swing or needs a good spinner or two to bolster its attack once the new ball is doing nothing.

Posted by PrasPunter on (February 15, 2014, 10:26 GMT)

@Adam Croy, we are talking about a good test match here, Aus are in command and lets enjoy it - why bring india to spoil and get our moods spoiled ourselves ? They must be ignored for god's sake.

Posted by xtrafalgarx on (February 15, 2014, 10:24 GMT)

@Shaggy: True, just an observation. It's not just not picking up wickets but not looking like taking any wickets, but he isa good bowler, i never said he wasn't. Why are you using Al of Smugville's sayings!???

Posted by Mitty2 on (February 15, 2014, 10:23 GMT)

@Ashokdmightyindian, not sure I could've made myself clearer but I'm talking about Peterson and Lyon. If you think Peterson's better than Lyon than I suggest you need "rehabilitation". Also, your main spinner Ashwin (not including the dart thrower Jadeja - who's been hammered by NZ - because he hasn't played in Aus) has been pummelled every time he doesn't play in India and lost in comparison to Lyon in the 2011 series, although despite lyon's 9 for was better than him in the 2013 series of doctored and "selectively watered" pitches. So I'm not sure you can mention your supposed superiority in spin when a) Australia's a notorious graveyard for spinners - see Murali's/Swann's record here, b) India doctor pitches and c) Lyon has a better overseas record than Ashwin.

@Albie, yep agree. Such a phenomenal record, I see no reason why he shouldn't be more attacking. But then again as you say they barely lose, so I guess I'm making a problem out of nothing.

Posted by   on (February 15, 2014, 10:20 GMT)

Adam Croy.

Dont pay attention but Aussie Captains after the humiliating loss handed to them in CCU shuder to think of forcing a follow on. Pup did not do it after having a massive lead of 409. Confident Captains give challenging declarations not safe ones. Ponting was playing safe. Pup is no better. Minus Johnson Aussies are nothing. Even here almost half the side was in the Pavilion like all 5 Ashes Tests. They have plenty of luck. Johnson dishes out short stuff which is not cricket. In their heydays WI did not do it. If Aussie quickies are great why Harris and Siddle got only one wicket between them. He is encouraged by Boofy and of all people Allan Border. Cricket is a Gentleman's game play it that way. Aussies want to win at any cost. Please note it is not important whether you won or lost but how you played it most important. In that respect only the WI deserve full marks!!!!!

Posted by steve48 on (February 15, 2014, 10:18 GMT)

Clarke is a brilliant on field captain. Caught South Africa out with the declaration, Smith and Peterson would not have been preparing mentally at that point, plus big statement to say 480 is enough, even though we have time to make more, dismissing SA's reputation for second innings fight backs. I would have probably kept Steyn out there and revelled in watching more misfields and broken spirits, but Clarke has given his bowlers a vote of confidence and maximum time to take ten wickets. Topped off by clever field setting to dismiss Smith, something that was a key to the ashes; clever, well executed plans for each batsman. Much is made of the new spirit in the Aussies camp, not enough of the top thinking going on

Posted by Shaggy076 on (February 15, 2014, 10:16 GMT)

Albie: Siddle and Harris look a bit more threatening then the worlds number 1 ranked bowler. They both have great records and played a huge part in the Ashes victory. Harris averages 22 for his test career - must be a lot of bad batsman out there.

Posted by   on (February 15, 2014, 10:12 GMT)

@xtrafalgarx - "they cant dismantle a batting lineup like this"... REALLY? You are right they cant do it like this at their best they can do it way better. 3 teans failed to score 50 against us in last 18 months. Please mate Johnson might be chucking some good ones now but dont come with nonsense that is based on short term performances. We live in a world where we quickly forget and just live in the moment unfortunately reality doesn't work like that.

Posted by Shaggy076 on (February 15, 2014, 10:11 GMT)

ccrider; A great captain would declare finish the game today. Only 3 days between tests and a fourth day would be good for the bowlers. Grinding them also grinds our bowlers on a fifth day. Good move for mine.

Posted by   on (February 15, 2014, 10:06 GMT)

@mitty2 - not often we will agree but you are spot on regarding Smith. Look the man is as tough as they come his career and feats under pressure speaks for themselves but I find it hard to understand that the same toughness he can show in his batting he can never bring to the captaincy. Had he captained a weaker team his tactics would be understandable but this is a team that lost only one out of 26 series since 2006, its a record comparable with the best ever yet he'll still always go for the defensive option. On another note Aus is too reliant now in Johnson, problem is when his inevitable slump comes again there is nothing much left after him. On the evidence of Harris and Siddle in this test they are about as threatening as the Duminy/Petersen combination Smith employed yesterday. But having said that get Pattinson and Cummins going with Johnson it would be pretty scary

Posted by Shaggy076 on (February 15, 2014, 10:00 GMT)

Xtrafalgarx; Sorry but not every bowler will get a wicket every innings. Harris average 22 per wicket and you want to pick fault whilst we are dominanating. Players will have games where they're off some when they're unlucky. You must be the most pessimistic fan when your trying to pick a fault with our bowling line up. Tighten your fragile mind.

Posted by   on (February 15, 2014, 9:59 GMT)

johnson wll blast south Africa

Posted by Ashokdmightyindian on (February 15, 2014, 9:48 GMT)

@mitty2 On " Sure it works against the sub-continent teams at Centurion where they're not used to pace and bounce like our batsmen, but especially when we have the superior spinner" dude I think you might need some rehabilitation !! Our batsmen are not adjusted to pace??? sure mate it's you who need to look up into records books. ha. and superior spin??? sure you are not taking about lyon?? or is it that warne has still captivated you?ha ha

Posted by xtrafalgarx on (February 15, 2014, 9:46 GMT)

@Mitty2: I suggest you check the scorecards. I can't remember exactly which test, probably Adelaide or Perth were he looked and didn't pick up a wicket for the entire innings.

Posted by philander50 on (February 15, 2014, 9:45 GMT)

@Prabhakar Muthukrishnan - What would an Indian know about pace attack, your best pace bowler has just started performing, perhaps its time India produced a genuine pace bowler.

Posted by AshwinPandey on (February 15, 2014, 9:39 GMT)

Kapil Dev says- "If i have to give 8 runs for a wicket in an over, i would surely do it". I think Johnson is following the same.

Posted by   on (February 15, 2014, 9:39 GMT)

Clarke best captain in world by a long way !!!

Posted by DickCam on (February 15, 2014, 9:38 GMT)

Philander is apparently the number one ranked bowler. I would defy anyone who thinks Johnson wouldn't be the first bowler picked in any team in the world!

Posted by   on (February 15, 2014, 9:38 GMT)

Oz paid/pays no attention to India.

Posted by cccrider on (February 15, 2014, 9:37 GMT)

Meaty2 - easy claim for you to make. It was a very poor declaration. A great captain would grind this mob.

Posted by   on (February 15, 2014, 9:37 GMT)

No,just grind them sloooowwwlllyyy over the 3 tests,it will hurt them a lot more that way,...anyway we don't HATE the sarfies the way we do the poms.

Posted by AshwinPandey on (February 15, 2014, 9:36 GMT)

The batsman all over tend to score on the shorter stuffs if the bowler bowling it is much known for same. So they play risky and get distracted from the game and give away their wicket.

Posted by AshwinPandey on (February 15, 2014, 9:33 GMT)

I like Clarke's strategy of giving his bowlers a four over spell

Posted by Mitty2 on (February 15, 2014, 9:22 GMT)

@xtrafalgarx, he didn't go wicketless once in the Ashes - and I'm pretty sure he didn't go wicketless in England as well.

@ccrider, such a good declaration that it confused and scrambled the openers' minds. Did it work? Yes. 2-12. He read the pitch and took the instinctive rout - it was playing tricks so why not get their openers into it under pressure?

Posted by   on (February 15, 2014, 9:22 GMT)

Writing for the umpteenth time that once the shine goes off the new ball, this SA attack is just an up and down attack. The Aussies must have taken note of how an inexperienced Indian line up ground this attack to dust in the first test and if not for a bad session could have saved the second one. Time SA produced a genuine spinner too.

Posted by   on (February 15, 2014, 9:20 GMT)

hmmmm 2 for not many..... might have been a perfect declaration caught the South Africans on the hop

Posted by Mitty2 on (February 15, 2014, 9:19 GMT)

Oh and look that catch by Doolan! Would Smith have him positioned there? No. Was it a fluke positioning by Clarke? Probably but initiative is initiative - it reaps rewards.

Posted by xtrafalgarx on (February 15, 2014, 9:18 GMT)

Johnson is BY FAR the best bowler in the world. Philander at 130kph has done well with swing and seam so has Styen, but they can't dismantle a batting lineup like this.

Posted by   on (February 15, 2014, 9:17 GMT)

Go you good things!!

Posted by   on (February 15, 2014, 9:14 GMT)

C'mon Aussies! MJ on fire already

Posted by Mitty2 on (February 15, 2014, 9:14 GMT)

Oh and another thing about Smith's captaincy - if the highest 4th innings score here is under 250... Why bowl first? Sure it works against the sub-continent teams at Centurion where they're not used to pace and bounce like our batsmen, but especially when we have the superior spinner and an equal, if not better, bowling attack (I say on the grounds of history - currently our attack is obviously superior), why would you bowl first? I'll stop now as Smith's captained millions of games successfully so he's doing something right... But England fans used the same excuse about Cook's dreadful captaincy before it unravelled dramatically. SA would be a better team with a more attacking captain. Undoubtedly. The abandoning of the 450 choice a case in point. 16 runs with 3 wickets in hand. Bah.

Posted by xtrafalgarx on (February 15, 2014, 9:11 GMT)

Harris has a great record but has had a tendancy to go missing for a whole innings lately. This needs to be his time too.

Posted by GoCho on (February 15, 2014, 9:10 GMT)

Never been a fan of Petersen (or Peterson) and it is high time the Saffers pick Quinton and Dean Elgar to have a semblance of a chance in the 2nd test. And also if they were smart, they would prepare wickets like they did for India - slow and low. Take MJ out of the equation before he breaks a hand or two.

Posted by philander50 on (February 15, 2014, 9:07 GMT)

Drop Alviro - he's not a test batsman

Posted by Mitty2 on (February 15, 2014, 9:07 GMT)

This is ridiculous. The most conservative captain in world cricket... Bar Matthews, Cook, Dhoni... Has just done the most attacking thing of his life - opening the day with his two fastest bowlers close to the new ball!!! Literally the most attacking decision he's made all test. I just don't understand how you can have such a bowling attack and such a batting line up yet be so negative. If SA had Clarke or Mcullum (actually maybe not - he struggles with the whole idea of a, winning a toss and b, enforcing the follow on at all - but you get the idea ANY attacking captain) as captain they'd be unstoppable. Too often they concede big partnerships against us (4 200 plus partnerships in the last 4 games between the two teams) just because of a combination of both attacking batting and defensive fields (Smith just loves those deep points and rotating Peterson and Duminy).

As I write Clarke's ATTACKING declaration has paid dividends - Peterson gone off a beaut from MJ. Smith wouldn't dare.

Posted by cccrider on (February 15, 2014, 9:03 GMT)

I hate Clarke's declarations. Grind them into misery. 550-560. Don't give them any sniff.

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Brydon CoverdaleClose
Brydon Coverdale Assistant Editor Possibly the only person to win a headline-writing award for a title with the word "heifers" in it, Brydon decided agricultural journalism wasn't for him when he took up his position with ESPNcricinfo in Melbourne. His cricketing career peaked with an unbeaten 85 in the seconds for a small team in rural Victoria on a day when they could not scrounge up 11 players and Brydon, tragically, ran out of partners to help him reach his century. He is also a compulsive TV game-show contestant and has appeared on half a dozen shows in Australia.
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South Africa v Australia at Centurion - Mar 14, 2014
Australia won by 6 wickets (with 30 balls remaining)
South Africa v Australia at Durban - Mar 12, 2014
Australia won by 5 wickets (with 2 balls remaining)
South Africa v Australia at Port Elizabeth - Mar 9, 2014
Match abandoned without a ball bowled
South Africa v Australia at Cape Town - Mar 1-5, 2014
Australia won by 245 runs
South Africa v Australia at Port Elizabeth - Feb 20-23, 2014
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