South Africa v Australia, 2nd Test, Port Elizabeth

Ryan McLaren out of second Test

ESPNcricinfo staff

February 18, 2014

Comments: 146 | Text size: A | A

Ryan McLaren couldn't avoid a Mitchell Johnson bouncer, South Africa v Australia, 1st Test, Centurion, 4th day, February 15, 2014
Ryan McLaren couldn't avoid a Mitchell Johnson bouncer © Getty Images
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South Africa allrounder Ryan McLaren has been ruled out of the second Test against Australia because of mild concussion. He had been hit on the head by a bouncer from Mitchell Johnson on the fourth day of the Centurion Test, which South Africa lost by 281 runs.

The selectors have not added a player to the squad as a replacement for McLaren for the match that begins in Port Elizabeth on February 20.

"Ryan was admitted to a Johannesburg clinic on Sunday evening suffering from suspected concussion-related symptoms including worsening headaches and nausea, which started approximately 30 hours after the blow to his head," South Africa's team manager Dr Mohammed Moosajee said. "His condition improved overnight and he was re-assessed by a neurologist as well as a leading sports physician with a special interest in concussion, Dr Jon Patricios. But from a medical protocol point of view, any form of concussion is concerning enough to rule him out of the next Test match.

"He will be monitored over the next four to five days and will have further assessment done next week Monday to decide whether or not he can join up with the squad prior to the third Test in Cape Town."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by ChuckerCarn on (February 20, 2014, 5:55 GMT)

Wish Ryan Maclaren all the best. In fact I wish the SA team all the best. They seem to be a team with a bit of ticker, always have been. I'm pretty sure SA won't be trying to get rules changed because of Mitch, pretty sure the batsmen understand what's expected of them. All of the crying going on seems to be from the arm chair critics, probably the same ones that complain about batsmen having no courage, and most of the crying not coming from South Africans. Looking for a good contest tonight from two teams who respect each and play it the way its meant to be played.

Posted by novocas7rian on (February 20, 2014, 3:09 GMT)

@Henrik, you're ignoring a few things. Firstly, the ball that struck McLaren was not aimed at his head, it arrived outside the off stump at chest height and the batsmen ducked into it with his eyes off the ball.

Secondly, if high speed bouncers are so lethal, why didn't Jeff Thompson who was faster than MJ and even more aggressive, kill batsmen who in those days didn't wear helmets? Same for extremely quick Harold Larwood in a test series that infamously targeted the batsman's body?

Its because batsmen train to face short bowling, or at least they used to before protective headgear and T20 made them soft. Your quoted reaction times assume the batsman's standing there relying on reflexes alone, but he isn't. He's had thousands of short balls before, and should be able to anticipate them and easily be out of the way no matter how quick they arrive - if they can't, they don't belong at test level.

The game has always been dangerous. If you don't like it, don't watch.

Posted by   on (February 20, 2014, 1:27 GMT)

Hey right now its the head and later on it might be else where..why not? Big three rules!

Posted by Greatest_Game on (February 19, 2014, 22:59 GMT)

This debate about whether Johnson should be bowling these bouncers, is rubbish. Of course he should. This is cricket, & bouncers have been part of the game for years.

As a Saffa I have been eternally disappointed that Morkel, who has as much speed as Johnson, has not worked much harder on delivering very well directed & accurate bouncers. His classical action is a tad easier to read Mitch's slingshot, but no less deadly. SA have not focussed on being outright aggressive & nasty, when they have had the tools to do so. Bounce em out or bowl em out - a wicket is a wicket. Would someone please sneak a few drops of "Mad Max Potion" in Morkel's energy drinks. Steyn has previously said that if he could make Morkel really angry, & Morkel directed that anger into his bowling, that Morkel would be the better bowler.

Folks, this is cricket. It is a very tough game at the top. Johnson has shaken a few people up, but AB had no problems at all. I'm a Saffa, & I blame the batsment, not the bowler.

Posted by Greatest_Game on (February 19, 2014, 21:48 GMT)

@ ModernUmpiresPlz wrote " I guess if it's an Aus player then it doesn't really matter in your opinion? I don't remember much backlash when he (Langer) got hit about 5 times in an innings. Certainly nothing wrong with a bowler hitting an Aussie."

Don't get carried away. There are trolls here who will post rubbish about Aus and Aussies. Ignore them. It is just not worth getting all worked up because of their trash talk.

It is as problematic when an Aussie gets hit as when any player gets hit. We don't hate Aussies, & we don't want them to get hit. We don't think it is a good thing!

There is, however, usually less concern when an Aussie gets hit in the head, as due to their extremely dense skull-bone structure there is much less chance of any damage occurring. However, we still don't want our Aus friends to get hit in the head. Their heads might get swollen, & there are enough swollen Aus heads out there already!

Hope you have a G'day, mate, & don't let them inside your head ;))

Posted by ModernUmpiresPlz on (February 19, 2014, 20:31 GMT)

@christoph20 Batsmen will work him out? You mean they haven't already? He bowls 150 kph with a slightly slingy left arm action and sometimes gets in swing to right handers or a touch of away swing to left handers. Not a lot of mystery there... what's there to work out?

Posted by   on (February 19, 2014, 20:12 GMT)

Guys, please read Clyde's original comment and you'll know what I'm on about. After reading what he said, I'm sure he never saw Ewen Chatfield almost being killed by Peter Lever in 1974/75 and does not realise how dangerous a cricket ball is. Nor does he realise that a Mitch Johnson bouncer reaches the batsman 0.386 seconds after delivery which, after deducting the human reaction time of 0.3 seconds, leaves the batsman 0.086 seconds to react while someone bowling a bouncer at 85 mph leaves the batsman, after deducting the human reaction time, with 0.131 seconds to react. Furthermore, a MJ bouncer carries 25% more energy (Enery = mass x velocity squared). Had Clyde known this and had he known that the helmet is not a 100% guarantee against serious injury, he would never have made the comment he made. That it's currently legal does not alter the fact that deliberately aiming a ball at a batsman's throat or head is still potentially lethal.

Posted by christoph20 on (February 19, 2014, 13:21 GMT)

oh the smugness. Johnson has only been like this, in tests, for a short while. Batsmen will work him out or he will get injured. Left handers are the key. The SA quicks have to be more brutal as they have had it easy for 2 long. Oz batting brittle still and from that it doesnt matter how good MJ is...hold ya catches and attack the stumps.

Posted by   on (February 19, 2014, 12:59 GMT)

He ducked into the ball, in his normal batting stance it would have been chest height.

Posted by   on (February 19, 2014, 9:56 GMT)

Love how some people is saying that Aussie would be nothing without Johnson.

Thats like saying SA would be nothing without Steyn, SL would be nothing without Murali/Sanga, and India would be nothing without Sachin.

Whats with the envy? Give the aussie team some credit.Well batted, and the bowling team hunts as a pack.

Posted by Shaggy076 on (February 19, 2014, 9:46 GMT)

Henrik Lovén; So you only want to censor Mitch because he is good at bowling a bouncer. All other bowlers use the bouncer to intimidate. Morkel, Anderson even Siddle and Harris from Australia. i saw Idhant Sharma bowling several bouncers an over against NZ. So face it you only want Mitch stopped because he is better at intimidating than all the other bowlers. Shall we stop AB from playing it surely unfair that a keeper batsman is averaging over 50, how about we stop Doolan fielding at short leg those catches were too good, lets stop Kohli from playing one-day internationals he has just been doing too well. Its time the batsman got there techniques in order, the WI used to be a lot more intimidating than this and I loved watching them play even though they smashed us up. Mitch is great for the game and someone that is too good at something should not be stopped from doing it.

Posted by dunger.bob on (February 19, 2014, 9:34 GMT)

@ AlSmug: I think you're right about the unpredictably steep bounce being the x-factor in MJ's bowling. Not every ball does. Only a few. A few too many for most batsmen to sleep at night. It would take nerves of steel, a will of iron and the reflexes of a cat to play that in a normal frame of mind. Not when you know the next one could climb into your face off a fullish enough length. .. scary, scary stuff.

Posted by AlSmug on (February 19, 2014, 9:06 GMT)

johnson the element we are not taking note of , why he is being so successful i simple STEEP BOUNCE, he bangs it into the pitch those that have a theory its only an issue on bouncy pitches lol, he did this in india on the flattest of tracks and was hard enough to deal with there. I hope sth afria create a dry pitch to bring lyon in the game , hes classy his figures would e alot better if wade never kept wicket for oz If its a dry wicket and wattos fit he is my 3rd picked player, a must!

Posted by Clyde on (February 19, 2014, 8:48 GMT)

@Henrik. I mean what I say. Authorities like Holding, who says Johnson revitalises the game, and all the fans who find Johnson makes the game exciting, indicate this bowler has got it right. What I advise is based on this premise, so adjustment needs to be made at the batsman's end. McLaren is reported to have looked pretty bad after being hit and I believe this ought to have meant the end of his match. It is arguable that the English team in general was in a not dissimilar state to McLaren's, that is, pretty much defeated by perfectly legal bowling. I am saying, as I said during the Ashes, that measures need to be taken via better helmets, better batting skills and better umpiring. In McLaren's case all three things failed. I make no bones about it.

Posted by disco_bob on (February 19, 2014, 8:33 GMT)

@Henrik Lovén on (February 18, 2014, 13:10 GMT) Mitch can bat, he's not afraid of SA, he's already taken them for a 95 and a ton.

Posted by ModernUmpiresPlz on (February 19, 2014, 6:47 GMT)

@Henrik Lovén What are you on about? Morkel bowls pretty much the same speed as Johnson. I sure as hell wouldn't want to get hit by that, helmet or not.

Posted by   on (February 19, 2014, 5:48 GMT)

to joop van de swalow, you have a short memory, remember heine and adcock ? bert sutcliffe was one of the finest men ever to grace the cricket field,and was battered by these two bowlers with no helmets in those days. 50 mphhuh? get a life mate !!

Posted by   on (February 19, 2014, 5:46 GMT)

@Clyde - do you seriously mean what you say? In that case, may I suggest that the number of balls bowled with the intent of hurting a batsman, and as such every ball aimed at the body above the waist counts, shall be added to the number of legal bouncers aimed at the bowler in question by the opposition. Furthermore, when a bowler has forced a batsman to retire hurt because of a hit to the head, the bowler in question will not be allowed a helmet for the duration of the match. The bottom line is that a bowler with the skills of Mitchell Johnson should not need to bowl with the intent of injuring the opposition and when he does, he should be censored for it. Bouncers from the Jimmy Andersons and Morne Morkels of test cricket are gentle things at 80-85 mph whereas the 95 mph bolts of Johnson are potentially lethal in spite of the helmet.

Posted by Int.Curator on (February 19, 2014, 5:29 GMT)

Freddie Mercury from Queen sang a song that seems to sum up the Australian summer. And another one and another one and another one bites the dust!

Player casualty index based on injury or performance.

Australia = 2 England = 7 excluding coach and staff South Africa >1

Posted by   on (February 19, 2014, 4:31 GMT)

There should be a speed limit for the fast bowlers!! Every ball exceeding 50 mph. should be counted as an extra run to the scorecard.

Posted by Clyde on (February 19, 2014, 4:28 GMT)

During the Ashes I wrote that this was likely to happen and that measures needed to be taken and was advised by another fan that I needed to take a teaspoon of cement. The helmet should be regarded as just one safety measure, not as a licence to bowl at the head. A helmet is not enough to prevent concussion and we have known this all along. There is nothing wrong with what Johnson has been doing, but, if there ever was a job for coaches it is to make sure players not able to face a bowler like him don't get sent out to face them. Even de Villiers pointed out that you needed to be prepared to get hit. If you are hit in the head then the umpire should be able to retire you hurt with no right to return later in the innings (or in the second innings). A bowler deserves this kind of moral support; it needs to be made clear being hit in the head is a serious matter and that the bowler has won conclusively.

Posted by novocas7rian on (February 19, 2014, 2:51 GMT)

What surprises me is the lack of attention on how McLaren played that bouncer. It wasn't even aimed at him - it was directed outside the line of off stump and arrived at about chest height. All he needed do was raise his bat, stand up and it would have sailed harmlessly past, he wouldn't have even needed to sway away. Instead he totally misread it, got himself into the line of the delivery then took his eye off the ball and ducked into it. What's worse, he turned his head away & thus lessened the degree to which his helmet could protect him. I wish Ryan all the best & a speedy recovery, but he was hit simply because of how he played the ball.

Posted by Greatest_Game on (February 19, 2014, 2:36 GMT)

@ ModernUmpiresPlz commented that "If SA drafted KP they'd be so good! He could replace JP and Robbie P all in one go. His off spin is at least as good as theirs but I'd say it's better, and he's a much better bat than both obviously. Stupid England."

Laughed myself off my chair reading that. So true. So absolutely, and sadly, true. KP's spin IS better!

Posted by dalboy12 on (February 19, 2014, 2:31 GMT)

It's the low arm action that makes Johnson so dangerous - you have heard the SA and English batsman say so. Unlike Morkel and other fast bowlers with a traditional high arm action, Johnson's low, wide left arm action at pace is coming at the batsman from a slightly different angle and is able to produce inconsistent bounce. When facing a short ball from Johnson one may go towards your chest, another will go straight at your throat. Where Morkel etc are more traditional and have more consistent bounce. When i think back a lot of the times i see a batsman get hit is when they either duck into it or miss play a hook.

Posted by Buggsy on (February 19, 2014, 1:48 GMT)

@ADASH100, yes I agree; bouncers should be outlawed and only half-volleys outside off-stump should be allowed so the poor defenceless batsman can score some runs in safety.

Posted by orangtan on (February 19, 2014, 0:43 GMT)

Oz fans are justifiably jubilant and baying for more blood but all this goes in circles. Without MJ, notwithstanding Harris and Siddle who are both very good, this Aussie team would not be unbeatable. Right now, they are, but MJ is going on 33 and the all-out effort is going to take its toll. Man for man, the Pakistan bowling attack is the best in the world with pacemen galore and excellent spinners but unfortunately they are inconsistent and their batting and fielding is not up to the mark.

Posted by   on (February 19, 2014, 0:20 GMT)

Hope RM is fine and recovers soon. But Albie Morkel and Parnell would be better choices anyway. De Kock, Albie, Parnell, De Lange & Abbott must replace Alviro, McLaren, Robin P, Philander, and Morne M.

Posted by dsig3 on (February 18, 2014, 23:58 GMT)

@ADARSH100 Thats why subcontinent teams will never be any good. Alot of indian fans will say stuff like this because they cannot seem to produce intimidating bowlers. This next game is the culmination of 2 years of cricket for our team and a chance to claim number 1. If that means knocking blokes out then so be it. Morkel is going to be just as capable for the opposition. IT IS A WAR!

Posted by web_guru2003 on (February 18, 2014, 23:53 GMT)

@ADARSH100 : Whats next? you cant do toe crushing yorker? Test cricket is already boring with rules heavily in favor of batsmen. MJ is not the first feared fast bowlers. There were Westendians then there were Pakistanis and then there were Australians and list goes on and batsmen were always able to handle them there is no reason they cant handle MJ. Yes its get harderd for tailenders at times but then you are a PROFESSIONAL player earning $. You should be equiped with the technique of avoiding these.

Posted by dinosaurus on (February 18, 2014, 23:40 GMT)

@ Henrik Loven,

It is unlikely that the SA bowlers can successfully "target" Johnson as a batsman. While it is true that he was knocked out of cricket for an extended period by a SA "sandshoe crusher (Jeff Thomson's term)", he also has a century and a 96 in SA against his name. And he didm't get those scores by smashing spinners around the park either. This despite his answer to a journalist's question of "What do you think about when facing a spinner?" being, "I'm thinking where I can hit the ball for six".

Posted by SamWintson92 on (February 18, 2014, 23:27 GMT)

Get well soon, Ryan McLaren. Wish you a speedy recovery.

Posted by Shaggy076 on (February 18, 2014, 23:23 GMT)

I went back over the commentary and found that Morkel had a very similar percentage of short balls as Johnson. Just seems some fans want Johnson style of bowling banned because he is too good at it. Whilst we are at it can we ban AB Devilliers he is too good as well? SO many comments reak of Jealousy get over it, Johnson bowls on average a couple short balls an over. Of his 12 wickets in this test 2 were from short balls at head, and 2 about rib height. The other 8 wickets were from pitched up balls. People only remember the short balls from Johnson because they are too good where as Steyn, Philander, Harris and Morkel all bowl a similar percentage of short balls but no one claims that they bowl unfair. It is international cricket and no-one should ever be banned because they are too good.

Posted by ProdigyA on (February 18, 2014, 23:08 GMT)

Was it AB who said - be ready for some broken ribs...guess he meant it for SA players.

Posted by Robster1 on (February 18, 2014, 22:24 GMT)

For goodness sake just don't bat Parnell at 7

Posted by   on (February 18, 2014, 22:08 GMT)

Sorry to hear that. Mistakes and accidents do happen. But sticking him on a pedestal for injuring someone is completely wrong

Posted by Sepathie on (February 18, 2014, 20:59 GMT)

This is Australia's last resort. Bodyline balling. See what happen to under 19 team? defeeted by Afghanistan. There is no talent left there. all the talent are playing footy.

Posted by ModernUmpiresPlz on (February 18, 2014, 20:40 GMT)

@AnyoneButVettel I think Morne offers a different angle that is nice to have and it's hard to dislodge him from the attack. That said, someone definitely needs to have a chat to him about where to bowl as he is pitching way too short at the moment.

Posted by AnyoneButVettel on (February 18, 2014, 20:02 GMT)

Sorry for Ryan, hope he's alright and returns mightily improved in time for the 3rd test. Considering he was statistically better than Morne in Capetown, this is a big blow for RSA, cos they sure ain't dropping the 'clumsy Giraffe'. There are plenty of teams named in the comments section and not one considered dropping Morne. Is he one of the top 3 bowlers in your country i.e., better than Kyle Abbott, Marchant DeLange, Wayne Parnell and Beuran Hendricks?

Posted by ashok16 on (February 18, 2014, 19:23 GMT)

The current bouncer rule in test matches is just fine. Hope they don't go change it because of a little blood. The batsmen have a bat and a helmet to protect them. And they can wear any protection on their body as they choose though it might slow them down while running. I think Mitchell Johnson is rescuing test cricket after the Warne/McGrath era and the great West Indian age. Good bowlers make good cricket and also make good batsmen.

Posted by ModernUmpiresPlz on (February 18, 2014, 19:01 GMT)

If SA drafted KP they'd be so good! He could replace JP and Robbie P all in one go. His off spin is at least as good as theirs but I'd say it's better, and he's a much better bat than both obviously. Stupid England.

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

Thats a blessing disguise for us. Both Parnell and Mclaren dont deserve to be in the team. These guys cant even bring any value to the team even with the ball, let alone with the bat. I think we should also drop Duminy. Bring back De kock and Elgar. If you want strengthen the bowling, then bring in a fast bowler in place of pieterson. He is not going to have much impact on the Aussie batsman.

Posted by   on (February 18, 2014, 18:40 GMT)

Romantic Stud , how about Pieterson, after all he is South African and available.He has recent experience of facing MJ without losing his head!

Posted by vallavarayar on (February 18, 2014, 18:13 GMT)

That saved the selectors a few headaches.

Posted by ModernUmpiresPlz on (February 18, 2014, 17:28 GMT)

@ADARSH100 And if they did they get banned from bowling or a suspension? So if Morne bowled a couple of bouncers outside off the batsmen would be well served to just walk into them? It's always been the onus of the batsman to play the ball. He's not trying to hit them, he's putting the ball where they are and they can get out of the way. Many of them choose the other option which is to try and stand up and play the ball aggressively, and then get caught out half way through attempting it and get hit in the head. The ball that hit McLaren didn't get up very high, he ducked into it. You can clearly see that from the photo.

Justin Langer was really good at getting hit in the head but I guess if it's an Australian player then it doesn't really matter in your opinion? I don't remember much backlash when he got hit about 5 times in an innings. Certainly nothing wrong with a bowler hitting an Aussie.

Posted by StaalBurgher on (February 18, 2014, 17:25 GMT)

@Brian Manlaws Roberts - He can score runs for a few seasons, not just 3 innings. Not enough to surpass batsmen that have done well for many seasons. The SA cricket public really are stupid. Always grabbing for the latest headline and running with that.

Posted by ADARSH100 on (February 18, 2014, 16:50 GMT)

Its cricket and not war MJ. you are certainly a great bowler but it is bad to knock the players physically like this. Can never say that he does it by accident. There should be a rule to stop the players hurting the players with bouncers twice in a match. Or we will see bloodshed :(

Posted by george204 on (February 18, 2014, 16:16 GMT)

@ Matt.au - I think a better choice of phrase would be that facing Mitchell is "safer" rather than "easy"! Interesting that bodyline gets a mention here as its main proponent, Harold Larwood, was a relatively short man so, like Johnson, the ball skidded off the pitch rather than ballooned over head high. Marshall had a similar effect in his pomp too - a bouncer that was hard to avoid.

Posted by   on (February 18, 2014, 15:35 GMT)

There was an interview quite a long time ago on cricket australia youtube channel.

CA asked their player who they hate to face in the net. They unanimously answered Mitchell Johnson.

This was when MJ was wayward, he bowls to the left to the right era.

So he has always been scary, just have way better radar today.

Posted by GoCho on (February 18, 2014, 15:24 GMT)

Hope Mclaren recovers soon! For the PE test, given Hudson's reluctance to make major changes (though I think he should - drop the Peterso(e)ns and get Quinton and Elgar), it seems likely a left arm quick (Parnell mostly) would play. This is good for SA as the Aussies havent faced anyone of this kind in the 2 ashes before. His angle might create issues and though I think he is inconsistent, this atleast provides some sort of an opportunity to get the Aussies out cheaply. But mark my words, Ryan Harris will pick up more wickets than Mitch in the 2nd test!

Posted by ad2810 on (February 18, 2014, 15:09 GMT)

LOL Johnson knocking out the competition

Posted by   on (February 18, 2014, 14:32 GMT)

if De villiers could play short balls why couldn't safrican top orders play? johnson factor is actually on their minds.

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

In this case I would choose De Kock, Elgar, Amla, Smith, De Villiers, Du Plessis, Parnell, Philander, Steyn, Morkel, Tahir. No Duminy, No Petersen or Peterson ...

Posted by   on (February 18, 2014, 14:17 GMT)

@StaalBurgher - Miller's last three Sunfoil series innings have been 103, 109, 71. You may know the difference between short and long dude, but you don't seem to know a lot about cricket!

Posted by Matt.au on (February 18, 2014, 14:13 GMT)

Posted by Chris Higgins on (February 18, 2014, 13:17 GMT) Tell me if I'm wrong but I thought body line was more about bowling full toss balls at the batsmans body.

Wrong you are.

Bodyline was having the fast bowlers bowl short pitched balls to the batsmens body, not bouncers that went over the head, balls that were going to hit the batsmen.

The big difference between then and now is the field settings allowed, plus the fact the batsmen didn't have helmets and only crude gloves and body protection. Also, you could bowl as many short balls per over as you wanted.

Because the rules allowed you to place fieldsmen where you liked they were virtually all placed behind leg or very close to the batsmen near leg to accept fend off catches.

Because of the fear of fending the ball to fieldsmen, the batsmen had to allow the ball to hit them to survive.

Now only 2 men can be placed behind leg, 2 bouncers per over plus helmets.

It's rather easy now facing the likes of Johnson - seriously.

Posted by   on (February 18, 2014, 14:02 GMT)

@VenkyNarayan - It is his current form and profound confidence (because of the former) that makes MJ a dangerous bowler.

Posted by rjansen on (February 18, 2014, 14:00 GMT)

Lots of good options. I would get Parnell in there for some X-factor. But even more, Petersen, Duminy and Peterson must surely be close to being dropped.

Here are some options: Drop Peterson, and let Elgar and Duminy bowl spin, and get de kock in there, moving de villiers up the order: 1 elgar 2 smith 3 amla 4 de villiers (c) 5 du Plesies 6 de kock (k) 7 duminy 8 Parnell 9 Philander 10 Morkel 11 Steyn

Drop Peterson, and let Elgar and Duminy bowl spin, but hold de kock back longer. Maybe Stian van Zyl for petersen? 1 petersen / s. van zyl 2 smith 3 amla 4 du Plesies 5 de villiers (c and k) 6 Elgar 7 duminy 8 Parnell 9 Philander 10 Morkel 11 Steyn

Keep Robbie P, but drop Duminy for Elgar. If Elgar is in, let him or S. van Zyl open. Or instead of van zyl bring in de Kock (which moves AB up the order) 1 Elgar 2 smith 3 amla 4 de villiers (c) 5 du Plesies 6 S van zyl / de kock 7 Parnell 8 Peterson 9 Philander 10 Morkel 11 Steyn

Posted by Naren on (February 18, 2014, 13:56 GMT)

Hopefully this is not a tactic to mellow down Johnson. Anyway they might have decided to sit McLaren out of the next test. Anyway no one is intentionally trying to hurt an opposite batsman. Hope McLaren gets well soon.

Posted by scottnye on (February 18, 2014, 13:44 GMT)

@ Chris Higgins. you are wrong, sorry. it was nothing to do with full tosses. it was fast, short pitched bowling aimed at the body of the batsmen with a cordon of fielders close on the leg side (essentially slip and gully fielders on the leg side) waiting for the batsman to fend off of glance the ball ( mostly fend off).

@ Orangtan. you are also wrong. this is about as similiar to body line as MJ is to Shane Warne. ie nothing like it.

Posted by   on (February 18, 2014, 13:43 GMT)

Not quiet correct @ Chris Higgins. Bodyline was not full tosses, but short pitched deliveries aimed at a batsman's body .. just as Johnson has been doing. The difference being that at the time of bodyline, the protective gear wasn't available or used to the extent today since that was not the norm. Cricket today is very much akin to Jardin's bodyline

Posted by   on (February 18, 2014, 13:36 GMT)

When they had no helmets they learnt to duck and weave as good as the best boxers in the world. Anything half track was left alone. Since the introduction of helmets the batsmen have looked to score from these balls, they have gotten braver. If they get hit in the head it's their own fault. Look at Sachin, he didn't stand up to these balls, he ducked before the ball hit the half way line (getting LBW from a few hahaha).

respect the bouncer, that helmet isn't 100% safe haha

Posted by VenkyNarayan on (February 18, 2014, 13:34 GMT)

By the way, somebody please tell me at what speeds does MJ bowl regularly. Has he hit 150+ consistently? OR is it is bowling action which makes him uncomfortable for batsmen.

Posted by StaalBurgher on (February 18, 2014, 13:33 GMT)

Miller? You guys want Miller in the Test team? Miller who averages 33 in FC cricket? Miller who is a short-format specialist? The SA cricket public has no credibility left. MILLER PLAYS T20s and ODIs!!!! Do you people even understand the difference?!!!!!

Posted by   on (February 18, 2014, 13:31 GMT)

Another passenger in the SA team is Dumminy , he is having such a poor record. Please come back Kallis , come and save SA from a whitewash. SA needs to look for new specialist batsmen to face Quality bowlers like Johnson. Johnson reminds us of Lillee, Thompson, Croft, Roberts, Holding, Garner and the great Marshall . SA needs a Vivian Richards to take on Johnson

Posted by   on (February 18, 2014, 13:17 GMT)

Tell me if I'm wrong but I thought body line was more about bowling full toss balls at the batsmans body.

Posted by Rik_Forest on (February 18, 2014, 13:13 GMT)

@Prabahar_Trichy: surfing, down-hill skiing, motor racing, horse-riding, etc. etc. Look players could and do get smashed in the face/head fielding in close. Are we to bam those fielding positions? Every now and then you get a devastatingly quick bowler to come along. Almost every cricketing nation has had one. Would you bam MJ if he played for your national team? I doubt it. As for carrying on about the quality of helmets, McLaren got him on the ear guard which probably saved him greater damage and Amla's grill may have saved his life.

Posted by   on (February 18, 2014, 13:11 GMT)

@Bryan

I follow what i can from across the pond. Miller is good and a good call, i just think by taking the keeping responsibilites off AB we can slot him up one, potentially meaning he isnt with the tail should there be a collapse. Aussies picked Marsh ahead of Hughes on a'hunch' so to speak and it paid off. it could pay off if we did the same. That said Miller could just as easiky bat 6, Jp 7 etc etc

Posted by Vinod_Fab on (February 18, 2014, 13:11 GMT)

@Shwetank Banthia(February 18, 2014, 12:11 GMT) .. May be at this moment they are the best but de one's which i mentioned are ideal bowlers in any conditions(cummins,pat nd starc didn't play as a 3 pace attack but once it happens it will be a different story).. My point here is AUS bowling is always the best and the only problem they have is their batting lineup.. Anytime they can be folded within 100 runs .. And the 3 names which i mentioned are youngsters and will show what they are made up of..!!..

Posted by   on (February 18, 2014, 13:10 GMT)

What are the odds that the SA quicks will target Johnson the same way he did McLaren and others? I would not be surprised to see SA choose to bat should they win the toss in order to eliminate Johnson from the game. After all, it's only what Australia would do if the roles were reversed.

Posted by inefekt on (February 18, 2014, 13:07 GMT)

@Prabahar_Trichy are you serious? this is a sport for men, not for quivering little boys........I'd hate to have people like you beside me in the trenches

Posted by NixNixon on (February 18, 2014, 13:04 GMT)

I have been very vocal on this forum making bold statements referring to how MJ will not be a factor and how SA will win. Well I will not run away and admit how 100% wrong I was. Fact is Choke-teas have already lost the series in their minds. All MJ has to do is just rock up and he will bag a 5 for against them. The way they batted was embarrassing. Now that Kallis retired the passengers (JP, Alviro and Robbie P) are exposed. Doesn't matter who they choose, they can even choose 11 batsmen, MJ will get them all, not because he is that good but because proteas are mentally weak. I now predict 3-0 win to aussies. It is sad as mind games apart we have a much stronger team than they have. but unfortunately mind games are part of the game and if you cant play and win them you dont deserve the number one tag.

Posted by   on (February 18, 2014, 13:01 GMT)

Albie Morkel could replace him! He could bat well too

Posted by   on (February 18, 2014, 12:54 GMT)

@Marc Wolmarans - Marc I am not sure to what extent you follow domestic cricket but your selection of QDK is questionable. He has played 2 Sunfoil series matches, had 4 innings, made a total of 11 runs with a HS of 7. Your statement "if he is good enough for one day stuff he is good enough for this" is quite simply incorrect!!! If it were so simple then surely there would be no difference in any countries test, one day and T20 squads. David Miller, as a matter of interest, has also had 2 matches, 3 innings, 2 100's and an average of 96. Maybe put him in your team?

Posted by Johnny_129 on (February 18, 2014, 12:47 GMT)

We have seen a few express bowlers since the WI great quartet - Brett Lee, Tait, Harmison, Donald, Aktar etc. BUT only Johnson and perhaps Waqar have been as hostile as the WI GREATS! I could see the fear in Amla when facing up to Johnson - And one can not blame Amla! Johnson with the new ball intimates the batsman like Marshall, Holding, Garner and Roberts!!

Posted by dunger.bob on (February 18, 2014, 12:46 GMT)

One things for sure, it's dangerous to mess about with concussion. If he's not over it and gets hit again it could be a real problem, so he's better off sitting it out. McLaren looked to be batting a spot or two high from the little I watched. Didn't look comfortable at all.

Posted by v8v8v8 on (February 18, 2014, 12:40 GMT)

Not that I expect any major changes to the SA line-up during this series (Alviro will still open, Parnell will play for McLaren) - Unless there is a dramatic performance from either, I reckon there will be some major changes for the next test series.

I'd hope to see Philander promoted to Nr 7, de Kock, Abbott/Hendricks in the mix, and perhaps Stiaan van Zyl and Simon Harmer in the 15 as well. I'm unconvinced by Elgar (admittedly, he hasn't had a chance at opening) and RobbieP, as much as we want him to do well, is not the spinner we need. Tahir should be the spinner, but oh-so-inconsistent - it's hard to pick him.

1. Smith, 2. de Kock/Elgar, 3. Amla, 4. Faf, 5. AB, 6. JP, 7. Philander, 8. Parnell/Harmer/RobbieP, 9. Steyn , 10. Morkel, 11. Hendricks/Abbott/Tahir

Posted by   on (February 18, 2014, 12:36 GMT)

Disco Bob wants the third umpire to adjudicate on the seriousness of injury a batsman may have suffered had he been hit without protection. Here he makes specific mention of blows to the head.

Protection has been part and parcel of batting forever. The batsman has gloves, pads and a box in addition to chest padding, arm guards and helmets. In the event that a batsman takes a severe blow in the groin, how long does Disco Bob consider the batsman should be put out of the game?

A fast delivery hitting an unprotected leg or arm can result in broken limbs. If Disco Bob had his way it would not be long before there would be no batsmen available because of the mounting list of "virtual" injuries.

Posted by Prabahar_Trichy on (February 18, 2014, 12:36 GMT)

I feel sad for McLaren... But MJ should be ban from bowling in test matches. I'm watching cricket from 1992, no other bowlers in the world threatened(injury) as MJ . MJ is not wrong. But tell me in which sport life is threating aslike when MJ is bowling?

I have a question, How Aussies are facing MJ in net?

Posted by Hrolf on (February 18, 2014, 12:27 GMT)

Some interesting comments on Bodyline, but it was actually the bowling in the 70's and early 80's that made the changes to the bowling rules and introduction of a wide range of protective clothing. It was an era of new professionalism and of unprecedented use of intimidatory bowling especially from Aus and WI. Bodyline was actually more about the negative effect on batting and perceived unsportman-like behaviour than any real physical risk. The physical risk imposed by Johnson is one that has always existed in cricket for anyone wishing to exploit it. With regards to helmets - nothing used by a test batsman has ever been anything other than to maximise their run scoring opportunities,

Posted by   on (February 18, 2014, 12:11 GMT)

@vinod_fab: how can you call this Aussie attack second string?? Harris, Siddle and Johnson are all in the top 10 in ICC rankings, and have a recent record that's devastating. All have pace, but enough variety between them to be handfuls in their own right. The three you mentioned are also terrific bowlers, but no doubt this is Australia's best combination at the moment. Add an in-form Nathan Lyon and I think it's the most complete and disciplined attack in world cricket right now. Reckon Aussies will take the series 2-0.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (February 18, 2014, 12:05 GMT)

@Morpheus273 on (February 18, 2014, 11:36 GMT), those SA batsmen had trouble with Johnson specifically because of his extra pace. When a ball is coming at your chin, there's a big difference between 140 and 150 kph. Those subcontinental batsmen you speak of have trouble with the 140 kph deliveries as well as those at 150 kph. The reason that people have issues with "doctored" pitches is that a Test pitch is supposed to deteriorate and spin more as the game goes on. If it spins significantly from day 1 that deterioration means that spinners are the only bowlers who ever get any assistance. That's exactly why those subcontinental batsmen have trouble with those rising deliveries: because they so rarely face them on home turf. You could say the same about non-subcontinental batsmen and spin but favouring spin that much inherently means giving faster bowlers nothing at all. At least spinners can still get some help later in the game outside the subcontinent.

Posted by   on (February 18, 2014, 12:05 GMT)

The balls to amla and mclaren were brutish deliveries that most batsmen would have struggled with. Luckily they were not more seriously injured. Not sure maclaren would have played anyway so wish him a speedy recovery.

Still balance issues in the team , my 11 to address this with reasons.

Smith(c) - good leader of men Amla - opens in 50/20 overs no prob Elgar - deserves a shot and can bowl Ab - world class. more time in the middle Faf - good foil for Ab Jp - main spinner with elgar 2ndary de kok(wk) - if he is good enough for one day stuff he is good enough for this. Philander - solid bat and bowling speaks for itself. Parnell - good pace and can bat. create footholes for jp. Steyn - Best bowler for SA Morkel/Hendricks/Abbot - Hendricks would aid with footholes for Jp too.

Unfortunately we wont see drastic changes until the series is finished

Posted by Jakespin on (February 18, 2014, 12:01 GMT)

@Great_Nate - afraid that not 'all' the bowlers in 1932-33 were bowling fast leg theory (or 'bodyline' as the whinging Aussies still like to call it).Harold Larwood of course, supported by Bill Voce to some extent, but only then when the ball had stopped swinging did the leg theory field come into play. Of the other quicks, Gubby Allen famously refused to bowl leg theory and Bill Bowes didn't to any great extent, being not accurate enough for it to be effective (he bowled Bradman first ball with a long hop!). If you analyse the statistics of the series most wickets fell to conventional tactics - only when the Aussies started losing did all the fuss, and the resulting infamy, begin!

Posted by orangtan on (February 18, 2014, 12:00 GMT)

Green and Gold has answered my concern rationally, the others seem to be out for blood, mine and the Proteas. What goes around comes around. Johnson is too good a bowler to want to knock out batsmen , but his new-found fans don't seem to have any such scruples.

Posted by Aspraso on (February 18, 2014, 11:54 GMT)

I was surprised some SAffers were not wearing arm-guards (example AB Villiers)

Posted by   on (February 18, 2014, 11:54 GMT)

after shoaib nice to see any bowler with this kind of killing pace and length after a long time.

Posted by Green_and_Gold on (February 18, 2014, 11:43 GMT)

@orangtan - Ive seen a few other replies to your comments however my thoughts are that the laws of cricket has changed to stop the bodyline bowing being the only line and length used by a bolwer. The laws state that only 2 bounces an over are allowed plus there can be a max of 2 men behind square leg otherwise its a no ball. I think in the bodyline series there were several men hovering around that leg slip / gully area waiting for the edge.Someone else rightly said that the short ball is used to get the batsman on the back foot and ofter followed up the the one that is pitched up to get the lbw or nick off on the drive. Plus there are also comments on protective gear and better pitches that play a part.

Posted by MattHammer101 on (February 18, 2014, 11:40 GMT)

Steyn and Morkel never seem to "pin" anybody on the helmet / head - bowl to wide to properly intimidate any batter.

Posted by Great_Nate on (February 18, 2014, 11:39 GMT)

@orangtan, clearly you know nothing about Bodyline. First they had no helments. Second they packed the leg side field (now their are rules against that) Third, they had unlimited short pitch bowling, mostly 8 of 8 balls in the over were aimed at the body / head. That is a lot different to have at most 2 from 6. Fourth, all the bowlers were doing the same, not just one.

As for the comments about Mitch not being such a problem at PE, the pommes though the same about Adelaide after Brisbane. He took 7 for 40 in the first innings at Adelaide. He isn't the sort of problem for the saffers that is just going to go away because of the pitch.

Posted by Morpheus273 on (February 18, 2014, 11:36 GMT)

The way Graeme Smith, Faf DuPlessis and Hashim Amla played those snorters show that it is not only the sub-continent players but batters around the world have issues with quick rising deliveries. When it comes to sub-continental players this is held against them and is seen as a technical flaw. But when, the so called technically sound non-sub-continental batters fail to lay bat on the spinning deliveries, the hosts are blamed for doctoring the pitches. Pathetic.

Posted by Green_and_Gold on (February 18, 2014, 11:35 GMT)

@No.444 - Cricket and hockey are 2 different sports and your comments show how little you know about batting and cricket. Sure helmets can and will be improved over time (as they have since the first ones were released - looked more like a motorbike helmet). What batsman actually wants to be hit with a ball? It is not the first line of defence - the bat and movement to get out of the way are the first line of defence - helmets are there in case those dont work. In hockey you are putting yourself in front of the ball on purpose to stop it - thats your job.

Posted by McCricket_ on (February 18, 2014, 11:34 GMT)

@Orangtan: assuming that's a serious question, there are 4 main answers: 1) Field placings: in bodyline, fielders formed a close ring, aka leg trap, around the batsman on the legside. Imagine a horseshoe of 6 fielders extending from silly mid on to leg slip. They were silly mid on, forward (silly) square leg), short square leg, 2nd leg slip, leg slip and long leg. Since then, only 2 fielders are permitted in the same area. 2) Protection: in bodyline there were no helmets, thigh guards, rib guards, or arm guards and the gloves were something you or I could make from gardening gloves with a few rubber strips and glue. 3) Number of short balls are now limited to 2 per over. In body line there were no limits. 4) Add 1 + 2 + 3 and in bodyline there was almost zero protection and a real threat to life by being hit in the head; zero relief from continuous short pitched balls; and limited ability to avoid being caught by the 6 fielders Now: everything occurs within rules adjusted after B/L

Posted by Sultan2007 on (February 18, 2014, 11:27 GMT)

I certainly think De Kock needs to be brought in. Alviro may be competent but he doesnt have the "pedigree" that is evident with De Kock. The other mediocre in the SA lineup is Robin Peterson. Effective bits and pieces player, but thats it. Compare Lyon's performance with Peterson and you can immediately see the impact of a specialist. Tahir for all his inconsistency will make a difference - or use Duminy as a stock spinner and get a high impact (150Kms) quickie. Fight fire with fire

Posted by ToneMalone on (February 18, 2014, 11:26 GMT)

Great fun watching Johnson bowling but never want a batsmen having concussion issues. McLaren looked pretty stoic - hope he's back soon.

Posted by Paulo_OWC on (February 18, 2014, 11:24 GMT)

@orangtan - I'm assuming you're referring to the Bodyline series. Pitches were uncovered in those days and the bounce much less predictable. Also, Jardine employed the tactic of 'fast leg theory' with the specific intent of restricting a batsman's movement, therefore his run scoring options. Added to the fact that Jardine could place as many fielders as he liked behind square on the leg side meant he could have a mirror image slip cordon. Todays fast bowlers use the bouncer more to intimidate and push a batsman onto the back foot, or to tempt them into a rash or hurried shot. Add to this, the limits in the number of bouncers permitted per over, plus the fielding law change, plus pitch preparation practices then we have a very different situation. Also worth remembering that in 1932 sporting culture vastly different from todays. Today's batsmen are well used to short balls and expect to receive their fair share from quicks like Johnson.

Posted by disco_bob on (February 18, 2014, 11:24 GMT)

@orangtan, protective equipment is very much one of the main points for two reasons, 1. they can hone their skills in the knowledge they won't be killed while trying, 2. they can use those skills with almost no fear of injury, and bodyline fields that went with the bowling, are illegal to set now.

Posted by Rik_Forest on (February 18, 2014, 11:18 GMT)

It was a nasty blow. (@Dan_Son - would you be?) Even luckier is Amla who without a helmet might have suffered from 'mild death'. Wonder if the detailed press release of the process of diagnosis is some 'mind games' hoping to make Mitch feel guilty..... Nahhhh!! He won't feel guilty. @AltafPatel - curious that when Steyn & Morkel were terrorizing the opposition it was okay, but not now.

Posted by CricketMaan on (February 18, 2014, 11:16 GMT)

Get well soon Ryan. For others, that say subcontinent players can't play bouncers, a good bouncer is a good bouncer, no matter where you have played all your cricket. Gosh the very thought that Team BCCI will play Aus and Mitch down under sends shivers. One hopes Mitch's purple patch wades away, else Team BCCI is in BIG trouble. Carry on Mitch!

Posted by disco_bob on (February 18, 2014, 11:16 GMT)

Australia hit SA so hard that even their 12th man is scarred. He'd only been on the field for a few minutes when Dean Elgar dropped Warner on 26, which not only ended up putting the match out of reach but because Warner was still there, it gave two other fielders the chance to drop him as well, further adding to the sense of mental disintegration.

Posted by disco_bob on (February 18, 2014, 11:11 GMT)

@Dan_Son, it worked for Rogers in the Ashes, after he took a bad blow, he was immovable.

Posted by TheBigBoodha on (February 18, 2014, 11:08 GMT)

Matt Post, as for fear of the ball when it is flying at your face, it is physiological as much as anything (although pain and serious injury are genuine possibilities). When you get on a roller coaster you know you are not going to die, but the fear of falling fast is innate.

So fear is something everyone has to deal with when facing good fast bowling.

I remember at school we had one really good state age-group fast bowler. In the students vs teachers match he bowled to one teacher who was a tough first grade rugby player. The teacher was literally running away when the kid bowled! It was hilarious.

Posted by disco_bob on (February 18, 2014, 11:07 GMT)

Maybe the laws and usage of helmets in Test cricket need to be revisited, such that players must play as if they did not have helmets, so they cannot be used to make batting easier and serve their original purpose which is just a health and safety issue.

For example, Amla's blow that threw his head back as if he was king hit by Mike Tyson, square on his face, would technically be dead, and therefore would be under my new proposed rules be OUT! TKO. And in Amla's case would be out for the rest of the series. Same with Mclaren, although he may not be technically dead, just ruled out for the series. Others who take a glancing blow to the head, may need to retire hurt, depending on the third umpire.

I don't think helmets were meant to be used to enhance performance.

Posted by TheBigBoodha on (February 18, 2014, 10:59 GMT)

Johnson has a rapidly growing line of notches on his bedpost.

Have another banana, @orangatan. This is called pace bowling, not tiddlywinks. Stick to marbles if you can't hack the pace.

Posted by PrasPunter on (February 18, 2014, 10:45 GMT)

@yjreddyindia , poor thought - why would you want some one to get injured and feel painful ?

Posted by No.444 on (February 18, 2014, 10:41 GMT)

As a field hockey goalie I'm amazed at the pathetic protection these guys wear, especially their helmets. Might as wear a yogurt cup on your head! The grill is also too sparse and made of coat hanger wire. They should contract a hockey co to develop a helmet for them. They know about proper protection. Then the cricketers can take a few bangs without fear. I'm certainly not scared and I get pinged from 5m and much higher ball speeds. Put me in a cricket helmet and I'll be a shivering mess.

Posted by Dan_Son on (February 18, 2014, 10:40 GMT)

Maybe McLaren will be a better batsman after the hit

Posted by AltafPatel on (February 18, 2014, 10:39 GMT)

Planned statement by CSA. They now emotion is the only way to request Aus not bowling negative body-language. Hoping real cricket contest in positive in rest of the series from Aus.

Posted by orangtan on (February 18, 2014, 10:38 GMT)

Pardon my naivete but in what respect is Johnson's line of attack and the fields set different from the B word that caused such a mighty flap 80+ years ago, of-course all kinds of protective gear but that is besides the point.

Posted by SuperSharky on (February 18, 2014, 10:38 GMT)

According to the current Sunfoil First Class Domestic series & The RAM SLAM T20, thats finished a week ago, and the last 3 months cricket I've watched, not all the South African inform players, best suited for the Auzzies, are in the squad. If Port Elizabeth's pitch support spin then I would like to see the following team: 1) M.Van Wyk. 2) Quiton De Kock. 3) Hasim Amla. 4)AB De Villiers. 5)Faf Du Plessis. 6) JP Duminy. 7) Wayne Parnell / Beuren Hendricks of Robin Peterson. 8) Vernon Philander. 9) Dale Steyn. 10) M. Morkel. 11) Imran Tahir (Spinner). 12th Man) Sybrand Engelbrecht. If Port Elizabeth's pitch don't suport spinners than I wish the team to be: 1) Morne Van Wyk. 2) Quinton De Kock. 3) Hasim Amla. 4) AB De Villiers. 5) Faf Du Plessis (Leg spin). 6) JP Duminy (Off Spin). 7) David Miller. 8) Vernon Philander. 9) Dale Steyn. 10) Morne Morkel. 11) Kyle Abbott / or Beuren Hendricks. 12th Man Sybrand Engelbrecht.

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

@Disco_Bob: "Were it not for the recent 5 Ashes Tests where MJ's pace and accuracy did not diminish from beginning to end, then the SAffers could hope for a Johnson relapse but now they know that would just be a dream." Absolutely. We all know MJ has been capable of this sort of form before, but its only really lasted 1 or 2 matches. 6 on the trot across two series must really be giving the Saffers nightmares.

Existing helmets may prevent a lethal blow but they're not instilling confidence. My suggestion would be to take a leaf out of Ned Kelly's book. Just keep the arms free.

Posted by Webba84 on (February 18, 2014, 10:28 GMT)

Head injuries are no trivial thing, wish him the best recovery and to come back stronger as a result.

Posted by neanderthal on (February 18, 2014, 10:27 GMT)

WIshing a speedy recovery to RM. Much as we are loving the return of brutal pace, noone wants to see someone seriously affected by it. On a separate note, surely Mr Stein wont allow a felllow fast man dictate terms on his yards for too long. Can SA go for an out an out fast pitch and unleash the same treatment to aussies please? If they can do that, this tour may turn into a folklore that will surpass any cricket series in last 20 years.

Posted by SuperSharky on (February 18, 2014, 10:24 GMT)

I was Smith's biggest critic when he started, but now he is irreplaceable. The Auzzies sledging doesn't hurt him anymore and he got's loads of talent, leadership and experience, but he is not inform and the way he threw Tahir to the wolves against the Auzzies was bad. He captained his bowler totally wrong. And I'm still so angry at him that he has won the first Test toss and still decided to send in the Auzzies on a batting track. Because Smith and Alviro Peterson is out of form, I want to replace them. Smith needs to rest a Test or two. JP Duminy's spin option keeps him just in the team. But he is also out of form the last 3 months. Amla played 1 good innings for Cobras and a few average ones. Number 3,4,5 and 6 must be solid. I would like for Amla to open and shield De Kock for number 7, but Amla must be in the solid setup. Australia also believes in risky openers (Rodgers & Warner who can take the game away, but have a solid 3,4,5 and 6 if the openers aggression goes wrong.

Posted by   on (February 18, 2014, 10:22 GMT)

SA need to replace Petersen (opener) & Peterson (spinner) with De Kock and Abbot/Parnell. If they persist with them or bring in Elgar who is clueless against real pace recall his double failures in Perth last time then it is a certainty SA will lose the series 3-0.

Posted by MurtaMac on (February 18, 2014, 10:21 GMT)

Johnson is in cracking form. He normally blows hot and cold but this is perhaps the most extended period of all his 'purple patches'.

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

Fair play to the Aussies. They have based their resurgence in world cricket on aggression and fear. So, if it works for them, fair enough. Its a pity though that Marchant de Lange is still injured, coz here we have a bowler who slings it at 150kph and bristles with aggression as well. It could have allowed us to fight fire with fire! Pity...

Posted by   on (February 18, 2014, 10:17 GMT)

Get Duminy out of team and give Dean Elgar a chance. For me, Duminy is the most over rated player in this squad. Average around mid thirty is not good enough, boy.....

Posted by rickyvoncanterbury on (February 18, 2014, 10:16 GMT)

It just goes to show that watching cricket from the lounge room and criticizing players courage from your keyboard is very easy indeed.

Posted by   on (February 18, 2014, 10:11 GMT)

:( Hopefully Ryan escapes too much damage and recovers fast and returns to the team hale and healthy. On a side note, how about checking the quality of helmets and other protective gear?

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

Ahhhh..!!.. There we goo..!!. It's a great chance for AUS to be 2-0 ahead and high chances of securing away series win that too against a top side like SA is more likely than ever..!!.. I still feel that AUS doesn't have the batting line up that strong but they are pretty much good enuf to score around 275-300 runs mark each and every test..!!.. I feel the only chance for SA right now is ABD(Counter attacking innings) or Dale steyn's devestating spell.. Looks like AUS looks more potent with their bowling attack considering the present attack is their 2nd string bowling attack..!!. 1st string attack is Pattinson , cummins , starc..!! Good and Interesting times ahead for AUS Cricket..!!. Just they need to groom Ferguson or Doolan so that they can support Clarke..!!

Posted by OzzyBlue on (February 18, 2014, 10:06 GMT)

ooper_cut - What is the point of your post? Are you somehow insinuating that Johnson is a bad sport here? I really have no idea what you're trying to say. And Mclaren isn't in hospital or anything like that.

By the way, during the match when McLaren got hit, Johnson did walk up to him and see that he was ok before giving him a pat on the shoulder and going back to the start of his bowling run-up.

Posted by gladiatorgannicus on (February 18, 2014, 10:02 GMT)

wishing McLaren gets well soon

Posted by Jeeves_ on (February 18, 2014, 9:55 GMT)

1. peterson 2. smith 3. amla 4. faf 5. AB 6. de kock 7. Duminy 8. Philander 9. Steyn 10. Morkel 11. Hendricks (12. De Lange / Kyle Abbott / Imran Tahir )

For me, it's strange kyle abbott hasn't been selected, as he is one of the best bowlers around. I don't know if de lange is fit. and Beuran Hendricks is able to bowl in the 140s and is a leftie. Elgar and Kleinveld are both hopeless out of their depth in international cricket.

Posted by   on (February 18, 2014, 9:53 GMT)

good to see all the well wishes for RM, and not celebrations on his unavailability. Hope he gets well soon.

Posted by ooper_cut on (February 18, 2014, 9:51 GMT)

Would be nice if Johnson goes over and pays a visit to Mclaren. Sport is only on the field, being sportive is human.

Posted by barrybots on (February 18, 2014, 9:46 GMT)

I have read many posts where people are calling for wholesale changes to the side. The first test will have had its effects on the players but big changes to the side is not going to send the right message to the Aussies. The selectors are unlikely to go outside the current squad which limits their selection choices. I think that they will bring in Elgar (despite previous failures against the Aussies) for Mclaren in an attempt to bolster the batting line up. What they should, but won't, consider is replacing Robbie P with Wayne Parnell. Teamsheet would then read: Smith, Pietersen, Amla, Faf, AB, Duminy, Elgar, Parnell, Philander, Steyn, Morkel. In my opinion Pietersen is not in the form to deal with Johnson but he will be given another chance to avoid too many changes. De Kock shoule be brought into the squad if (or when) we lose the 2nd test and AB moved to 4. De Kock should bat at 7 to relieve the pressure on him. Unfortunately most of our top players are off form whereas Mitch isn't

Posted by colinham on (February 18, 2014, 9:45 GMT)

Looking at the photo begs the question about how the use of helmets has changed the way that batsmen play the short quick stuff (assuming McLaren can be classed as a batsman), and the amount of short stuff non batsmen are expected to play (if he isn't). Eye off the ball, just an attempt to duck - not sway inside the line, almost certain to be hit somewhere painful by express pace bowling.

Posted by   on (February 18, 2014, 9:44 GMT)

saw gary kirsten take a brutal one from Shoab akhtar on the grill which pierced his face...the dude took it like a man....expect SA to bounce back unlike england!....

Posted by anver777 on (February 18, 2014, 9:43 GMT)

Wish he recovers soon & get back to SA team !!!!

Posted by T-800 on (February 18, 2014, 9:41 GMT)

Better helmets required.

Posted by R_U_4_REAL_NICK on (February 18, 2014, 9:35 GMT)

I once got hit flush on the thigh by a ball at some 95mph from a bowling machine, and the resulting bruise not only took over a month to dissipate, but the sheer size that it spread to (pretty much one entire side of my thigh) was alarming. To think what it must be like to get hit anywhere about the head at those kind of speeds - helmet or no helmet, is darn right scary and it's not a bit of wonder batsmen appear terrified of Johnson in his current form.

Wish Ryan all the best, and hope there's no serious damage there.

Posted by Teachers on (February 18, 2014, 9:32 GMT)

What a strange view on prayers you have Dumisani! McLaren gets felled by a bouncer with a head injury that could potentially be life threatening and you reckon the lord has answered your prayers!! This is not a thigh strain or broken finger keeping a player out which would need a replacement.

Posted by MaruthuDelft on (February 18, 2014, 9:32 GMT)

That is no great news. Wishing McLaren get well soon.

Posted by disco_bob on (February 18, 2014, 9:31 GMT)

This sounds a bit serious and I wish him a speedy recovery. I'm not surprised that there is not exactly a queue waiting to face MJ, because anyone good enough to be able to cope with him would be of the calibre of ABdV, KP or Bell in which case they'd already be in the team.

Were it not for the recent 5 Ashes Tests where MJ's pace and accuracy did not diminish from beginning to end, then the SAffers could hope for a Johnson relapse but now they know that would just be a dream. And this is going to be a big problem for SA because they have to go into the PE match, knowing already that they can't cope. Smith not only has his past scars as well as his recent scars but he also has the memory of Cook trying to be positive but simply not having the skill to deal with MJ, and if Smith already has not been able to then he must know that it's not a skill that will suddenly materialise.

Posted by   on (February 18, 2014, 9:26 GMT)

7 Batsmen must play Elgar at 4 Faf at 6, give AB someone to partner up with when ball is bite older Parnell at 8.Play 4 seam bouler with Duminy and Elgar bouling spin in sort spels to give quicks a breather can not back Peterson to boul long spels with only 3 seamers.No need to jump to much around with new players for now sa can stil won the series 2-1 .Top 4 need to see of new ball for AB and Faf to make big runs ,Philander need to boul wicket to wicket Parnell need to boul aggresive , morkel need to be consistend out side of and let the aus batsmen come to him Steyn do wat he done best

Posted by --JV-- on (February 18, 2014, 9:26 GMT)

1) Drop A Peterson and let Amla open with Smith 2) Bring back Kallis to the squad 3) If not possible, take Miller atleast

Posted by crickeymate on (February 18, 2014, 9:22 GMT)

Dumisani, who are these cricketing gods? Maybe I can ask for Mitch to last for 10 more years on current form! And I'm sorry but you cannot replace one player for two. That's not allowed.ha,ha.

Posted by   on (February 18, 2014, 9:21 GMT)

@Dumisani

Unfortunately this is more of a nightmare as Hudson has said they wont be bringing in anyone from outside thr 15. Parnell, Elgar or Kleinveld will be in

Posted by lyoung on (February 18, 2014, 9:12 GMT)

@ZainE111. In fairness to the helmet manufacturers, he got hit on the side grill which doesn't afford as solid a protection as the top part of the helmet. Certainly, Hasim Amla will be thanking his helmet after he got sconed by Johnson!

Posted by itsjustagameboys on (February 18, 2014, 9:08 GMT)

@Dumisani Victor Masaka. Even if it's in jest that doesn't read very well.

Posted by Perseus1 on (February 18, 2014, 9:01 GMT)

Best wishes to Ryan for a quick recovery!!!

Posted by Buggsy on (February 18, 2014, 8:56 GMT)

Wow, hope he gets better soon; that was a nasty blow he took. I'm all for Johnson terrorising the opposition, but nobody actually wants to see the players get hurt.

Posted by sonir on (February 18, 2014, 8:52 GMT)

SA immediately feeling the effects of not having Kallis. Kyle Abbot or Dean Elgar shoud replace McLaren. Dont think Johnson will have the same success in the next test.

Posted by   on (February 18, 2014, 8:43 GMT)

If they replace him with Kelinveldt I am not watching!!!!!

Posted by   on (February 18, 2014, 8:43 GMT)

nope, now parnel gets a game....

Posted by ZainE111 on (February 18, 2014, 8:30 GMT)

Wow - that's quite rough - I don't think the helmet manufacturers were prepared for Mitchell Johnson!

Hope he gets well soon.

Posted by   on (February 18, 2014, 8:20 GMT)

The lord is good our prayers have been answered by the cricket gods :P. Now SA have no choice but to bring in a specialist batsman and specialist bowler to replace Kallis.

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