South Africa v Australia, 2nd Test, Port Elizabeth, 4th day February 23, 2014

Steyn epitomises South Africa's resolve

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Dale Steyn was not any angrier than usual during his match-winning spell of 3 for 10 in four overs. But all the elements were in place - reverse-swing, a big occasion and a reputation to live up to - to provide just the tonic he needed to reignite the battle of the bowlers, which appeared won by Mitchell Johnson after Centurion but now has Steyn at the top of the leaderboard.

"Dale sort of goes from very angry to extremely angry," Graeme Smith said, indicating there is no real scale for Steyn when his blood his boiling. "But he is always one spell away from being able to create something for us. There are high expectations on him. If he is not getting five-fors or knocking people over, or knocking their heads off, then people start to ask questions."

After the first Test, in which Steyn's return in the wickets column was only half that of Johnson's, the inquisition was beginning. Had Steyn not properly recovered from injuries or illness or both to perform as South Africa's spearhead? Did he not have the back-up Johnson had because South Africa's Test team had not settled on a fourth seamer and was yo-yoing between a specialist spinner and part-time ones? Were Australia negating him in the same way they did James Anderson?

Smith believes it was none of those, it was just the natural comeback time required by a man who had a rib niggle and a month out of the game to recover. "He carried an injury for a while before this series, but I thought he was a spell away from his best," Smith said. "Hopefully that spell sparked him for the next Test. He is going to get better and better the more he bowls and the more he plays."

South Africa's problem is that they do not play regularly enough for any of them to constantly be at their best. There is nothing they can do about that. All they can do is make sure when they do get the chance to play in marquee series like this one, they stand up. At Centurion Park, they did not. At St George's, they did.

They did because they were sparked by Steyn, a cricketer who, if he was a lawyer, would know exactly how to grandstand for the jury. JP Duminy was in the field when Steyn was creating his buzz and admitted it provided the lift for the whole team.

"It's great to be on his side. It's great to be a part of," Duminy said. "That's why many people feel Test cricket is the best format around. He is just exceptional. There is no doubt that spell fired everybody up and the collective effort of Vernon, Morne and Dale really got us going."

Even Duminy had his bit to do and showed why he has put himself firmly in contention to be South Africa's sole spinner in future. His was the first breakthrough for South Africa after Chris Rogers and David Warner hard sparked Australia's chase with a stand of 126.

"There is a little bit more pressure on you when you are the only spinner but if you have a bowling line up that we have, you just hold up an end and I got the wicket," he said. "A lot of us were worried about coming back tomorrow. It was just meant to be."

Smith was similarly laidback about South Africa's win, likening it to the ups and downs of daily life. "That's sport, isn't it? That's why people watch it and are fans for a very long time because it gets the true reality of life," he said. "Test cricket showed it's drama. The week building up was a tough week for us. I don't think many teams would have been able to respond from where we were."

With the central contract list announced mid-series, an injury to Ryan McLaren and having just encountered one of their most humiliating losses, South Africa were dealing with stress and embarrassment. They were also dealing with the pressure to take a level series to a favourite hunting ground in Cape Town. They gave done that and their next mission is to turn their attention to making history by becoming the first South African team since readmission to beat Australia at home, something a renewed sense of self-belief will be needed for.

"For the series, it's terrific. Newlands is a fantastic ground, one of the most picturesque in the world and we are excited to be going there with the series as it sits now. I think a lot of people wanted that," Smith said. "From the start, we have not shouted about anything. We were blown away in Pretoria, we showed we are worth more here."

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY on | February 24, 2014, 20:36 GMT

    I sat glued to the TV with Morkels fiery spell, pinging Lyon and Johnson and others. Then i saw Steyn reverse swing better than a beckham curler. Philander came back to show his class and skill. The difference between all bowlers and South Africa's is two major things, namely their skill and their exact execution of that very skill. Others maybe faster or have just as good skill but lack consistency.

    I can't wait for the Newland tests, with Amla and JP back in form, De Villiers, Elgar and Faf also scoring well and finding their feet. Its going to be a cracker.

    Johnson is going to be firing but i have a feeling SA is going to bowl Oz out cheaply. Newlands suits our bowling and our batting. Smith needs to find some form. He will be key on his home ground. I also love the fact that De Cock is selected and hope they continue with him. I think De Cock isnt going to care where Johnson pitches the ball, he will go after it and that youthful approach might also turn the tables on Johnson

  • POSTED BY punisher601 on | February 26, 2014, 0:31 GMT

    Dale Steyn We love you forever!!!!!

  • POSTED BY kcr_ on | February 25, 2014, 4:58 GMT

    "..for Steyn when his blood his boiling.." - redneck writing hey. "..after Chris Rogers and David Warner hard sparked.." - what? ".. They gave done that .." - again, what?

  • POSTED BY philvic on | February 24, 2014, 22:56 GMT

    Is amazing that SA wrapped up a test in 4 days at PE without a first rate spinner. The track played as it usually does -dead - when I saw Amla and co making Harris look like a carthorse in the morning and Warner slogging Morkel in the afternoon, not to mention Warner's incredible luck, I thought it was going to be a long 2 days. What an amazing turnaround. Newland usually provides the best wicket and the best atmosphere and is a fitting place for the finale. Wish it was a 5 test series though.

  • POSTED BY bowledout67 on | February 24, 2014, 19:30 GMT

    @Big_Brother_of_Cricket. A few years ago Ind bowled SA out for 84. An amazing spell of swing bowling by Sreesant @ the Wanderers in the first innings... and won that game even more convincingly than Aus did last week. but what transpired after that is what we should take heed to..... If you hurt this protea side... they tend to return the favour with interest....

  • POSTED BY AllanGavaskar on | February 24, 2014, 14:28 GMT

    Ahh... reverse swing - Steyn's and Philander's execution of this was sublime. The only Australia batsman to negotiate it successfully was Rogers, so it seems despite many opinions to the contrary, he should not be consigned to the scrapheap, especially when Australia is and has been very brittle against reverse swing (e.g. vs James Anderson and Simon Jones some years ago). It is a bit like their kryptonite. Roger's innings of 107 was very gutsy and confirms his place as opener. Rogers might need to talk to the other Australia batsmen about how he plays it. In terms of Australia being able to bowl reverse swing, perhaps Harris was too tired to do so. Johnson was not firing and Watson was missed due to injury. Mitch Starc, a prodigious reverse swing bowler, was not even in the squad.

  • POSTED BY rocknrola on | February 24, 2014, 14:11 GMT

    @Tamaldatt: I agree that Overall SRT is good against SA than other batsmen. Against Steyn KP is more aggressive and comfortable than SRT. According to stats both played 11 innings against Steyn. KP made 155 at scoring rate of 82.9 and SRT made 149 at scoring rate of 48.1 against Steyn alone.

  • POSTED BY ahmed018 on | February 24, 2014, 11:26 GMT

    just remember we cleaned out aussie with a bowler less...

  • POSTED BY creebo777 on | February 24, 2014, 10:01 GMT

    Even though dale steyn is an all time great ,with that reverse swing it showed how dangerous he would be if he had an inswinger

  • POSTED BY on | February 24, 2014, 9:40 GMT

    @Neeraj_Sunariya a. Australia are definitely not an "ordinary side". I think they proved that in the Ashes Series and also on this tour in SA.

    b. Yes, I do remember Sehwag's two triple centuries against South Africa which didn't win India the series. Reminds me a little bit of Michaels Clarke's two double centuries in 2012 that also didn't win them the series against SA.

    c. Your argument that a side can't be great if they've been challenged by other teams is ridiculous. SA's unbeaten series record over the last few years speaks for itself. They came back from sure defeat to draw in the first test against India, then hammer them in the second. I'm not saying this team is of the same quality of Australia in 2000s or West Indies in 70s, but they're pretty damn good. What you might find is that those other sides also had challenges along the way at the top of the rankings

  • POSTED BY on | February 24, 2014, 20:36 GMT

    I sat glued to the TV with Morkels fiery spell, pinging Lyon and Johnson and others. Then i saw Steyn reverse swing better than a beckham curler. Philander came back to show his class and skill. The difference between all bowlers and South Africa's is two major things, namely their skill and their exact execution of that very skill. Others maybe faster or have just as good skill but lack consistency.

    I can't wait for the Newland tests, with Amla and JP back in form, De Villiers, Elgar and Faf also scoring well and finding their feet. Its going to be a cracker.

    Johnson is going to be firing but i have a feeling SA is going to bowl Oz out cheaply. Newlands suits our bowling and our batting. Smith needs to find some form. He will be key on his home ground. I also love the fact that De Cock is selected and hope they continue with him. I think De Cock isnt going to care where Johnson pitches the ball, he will go after it and that youthful approach might also turn the tables on Johnson

  • POSTED BY punisher601 on | February 26, 2014, 0:31 GMT

    Dale Steyn We love you forever!!!!!

  • POSTED BY kcr_ on | February 25, 2014, 4:58 GMT

    "..for Steyn when his blood his boiling.." - redneck writing hey. "..after Chris Rogers and David Warner hard sparked.." - what? ".. They gave done that .." - again, what?

  • POSTED BY philvic on | February 24, 2014, 22:56 GMT

    Is amazing that SA wrapped up a test in 4 days at PE without a first rate spinner. The track played as it usually does -dead - when I saw Amla and co making Harris look like a carthorse in the morning and Warner slogging Morkel in the afternoon, not to mention Warner's incredible luck, I thought it was going to be a long 2 days. What an amazing turnaround. Newland usually provides the best wicket and the best atmosphere and is a fitting place for the finale. Wish it was a 5 test series though.

  • POSTED BY bowledout67 on | February 24, 2014, 19:30 GMT

    @Big_Brother_of_Cricket. A few years ago Ind bowled SA out for 84. An amazing spell of swing bowling by Sreesant @ the Wanderers in the first innings... and won that game even more convincingly than Aus did last week. but what transpired after that is what we should take heed to..... If you hurt this protea side... they tend to return the favour with interest....

  • POSTED BY AllanGavaskar on | February 24, 2014, 14:28 GMT

    Ahh... reverse swing - Steyn's and Philander's execution of this was sublime. The only Australia batsman to negotiate it successfully was Rogers, so it seems despite many opinions to the contrary, he should not be consigned to the scrapheap, especially when Australia is and has been very brittle against reverse swing (e.g. vs James Anderson and Simon Jones some years ago). It is a bit like their kryptonite. Roger's innings of 107 was very gutsy and confirms his place as opener. Rogers might need to talk to the other Australia batsmen about how he plays it. In terms of Australia being able to bowl reverse swing, perhaps Harris was too tired to do so. Johnson was not firing and Watson was missed due to injury. Mitch Starc, a prodigious reverse swing bowler, was not even in the squad.

  • POSTED BY rocknrola on | February 24, 2014, 14:11 GMT

    @Tamaldatt: I agree that Overall SRT is good against SA than other batsmen. Against Steyn KP is more aggressive and comfortable than SRT. According to stats both played 11 innings against Steyn. KP made 155 at scoring rate of 82.9 and SRT made 149 at scoring rate of 48.1 against Steyn alone.

  • POSTED BY ahmed018 on | February 24, 2014, 11:26 GMT

    just remember we cleaned out aussie with a bowler less...

  • POSTED BY creebo777 on | February 24, 2014, 10:01 GMT

    Even though dale steyn is an all time great ,with that reverse swing it showed how dangerous he would be if he had an inswinger

  • POSTED BY on | February 24, 2014, 9:40 GMT

    @Neeraj_Sunariya a. Australia are definitely not an "ordinary side". I think they proved that in the Ashes Series and also on this tour in SA.

    b. Yes, I do remember Sehwag's two triple centuries against South Africa which didn't win India the series. Reminds me a little bit of Michaels Clarke's two double centuries in 2012 that also didn't win them the series against SA.

    c. Your argument that a side can't be great if they've been challenged by other teams is ridiculous. SA's unbeaten series record over the last few years speaks for itself. They came back from sure defeat to draw in the first test against India, then hammer them in the second. I'm not saying this team is of the same quality of Australia in 2000s or West Indies in 70s, but they're pretty damn good. What you might find is that those other sides also had challenges along the way at the top of the rankings

  • POSTED BY Kavum on | February 24, 2014, 9:34 GMT

    Steyn's and the proteas heroics is why we watch and enjoy this great game. Despite some attempts to draw this sport into the tawdry realm of commercial enterprise, for another 3 to 5 years at least, we will insh'allah see the old combative spirit live on - players play for national pride and the love of skilled combat in the most unforgiving of sporting environments. When the money men phase out tests, a little bit of this great culture will also die out. Aussies were on top of the world after blanking Eng and steamrolling SAf in the first test. Now they are brought down to earth with a thud that resounds around the Southern Hemisphere. Who cares if the Chennai Chunderers (Hat tip - Bumble) win or Gayle clears umpteen short boundaries. This form of the game is where its at! Enjoy it while it lasts.

  • POSTED BY Chris_Howard on | February 24, 2014, 8:25 GMT

    Even being Aussie, I gotta say Steyn is my favourite bowler of the last 10 years.

  • POSTED BY JayPeg on | February 24, 2014, 8:18 GMT

    It would be an interesting read if cricinfo ran some stats of the best batsmen to have played against Steyn and how they have faired against him over the last 5 years.

  • POSTED BY android_user on | February 24, 2014, 8:16 GMT

    i think its the batting they were missing.bowling has been always a stronghold for saffas.with the remergence of proteas premier batsman hash it will be a very cracking match ahead.but one word SA is the real no. 1

  • POSTED BY Big_Brother_of_Cricket on | February 24, 2014, 8:11 GMT

    @Neeraj_Sunariya: You better not drag team India into this talk about two absolutely fantastic teams. No doubt India is unbeatable at home, but how can you compare Aus performance with India's poor performance in SA. Mind you, Aus thrashed SA in their own back yard in the first test. When did India do that? If Philander and Steyn went after the mediocre bowlers for 2 overs, you wud come back 2-0. A team that hasn't won a Test match outside their country for more than 2 years are nothing worth to compare with the greats. One more thing who do you think remember Laxman's 281. He scored them in India in one of the rank turners, slow, low pitch against Aus (do I need to mention abt their spinners?). So better to leave the discussion on its merit

  • POSTED BY Tamaldatt on | February 24, 2014, 8:11 GMT

    @rocknrola.... u probably has forgotten Sachin's 111* in centurion & 146 in Capetown both in 2010-11 tour on boxing day & new year's test respectively....specially 140 made by him when Steyn & Morkel combined was firing like yesterday & in this ground 1 yr after Aus was allout for 47 which included players like Ponting/Hussey/Clarke....also not to forget centuries in Nagpur & Eden both in 2010 SA tour of India....to v a prove watch these scorecards... http://www.espncricinfo.com/south-africa-v-india-2010/engine/match/463146.htm http://www.espncricinfo.com/south-africa-v-india-2010/engine/match/463148.html http://www.espncricinfo.com/indvrsa2010/engine/match/441825.html http://www.espncricinfo.com/indvrsa2010/engine/match/441826.html

  • POSTED BY on | February 24, 2014, 8:04 GMT

    G Smith has not contributed much with bat. Another failure in the third test - will lead to clamors for his exit.

  • POSTED BY rocknrola on | February 24, 2014, 7:28 GMT

    @ akpy: Against Steyn, Sachin played well in Odi's but not in tests. Kevin Pietersen is best batsman against Steyn.

  • POSTED BY android_user on | February 24, 2014, 7:06 GMT

    Steyn:Mitch::Class:Form Hail Dale !!

  • POSTED BY imtiazjaleel on | February 24, 2014, 6:35 GMT

    still it can be anybody's series. you cant write off Australia also. Its like a Tennis match where the second set is won by SA and they have the momentum with them to carry it for the final set.

  • POSTED BY Romanticstud on | February 24, 2014, 6:15 GMT

    Steyn, Morkel, Philander ... a lethal combination ... add a fourth bowler in for Cape Town ... Steyn has swing, Morkel has bounce and Philander has line ...Did you notice: before the reverse swing, Steyn looked ordinary and lifeless ... When he got the ball to come into the right-handers it was simply amazing ...each ball was radared toward the stumps ... Haddin, both innings had no reply to the inswinger ... it looked like a replay ...

  • POSTED BY akpy on | February 24, 2014, 5:55 GMT

    When Steyn is at his best, very few can stand their ground. Last 5 odd years, it has been Sachin and no one else who comes to mind.

  • POSTED BY Morgan78 on | February 24, 2014, 5:51 GMT

    Well done to the South African team. Their batsmen grafted hard in the first innings when Australia was bowling well. The Aussie batsmen didn't show the same character and tried to force the run rate giving up wickets. Morne bowled some really hostile stuff!

    In the second innings the SA batters attacked and secured an imposing lead with plenty of time in hand. Steyn showed his extra skills over the Aussie bowlers and blew us away with reverse swing.

    An exciting prospect for the third test to see if the Aussies can find a way to get back on their feet.

  • POSTED BY Dysan25 on | February 24, 2014, 5:33 GMT

    A Fast Bowler who can deliver in the decisive innings of a test match when your reputation is at stake .. what more can a team ask for ? ..

  • POSTED BY sherishahmir on | February 24, 2014, 5:31 GMT

    Well done South Africa for the show of come back and testimony that they are the number 1 test side, full credit to SA batsman's (Elgar,FAF, Amla, Develliers, Duminy and Amla) for putting up the good batting display and Steyn and Morkel for the prolific fast bowling display. Series will be decided on the third test match at Cape town, SA needs one replacement of Parnell, I would suggest Tsotsobe. In case if the wicket would be sporting on cape town,SA batsman have to be v careful while facing Mitchee. Clark needs to score on the third match as he is also a great player of crunch moments, am looking for equal contest in the decider as both teams are equal favorite, SA should not be complacent on PE performance as Australia can come back very strongly. This series is having value for money for the cricket fans and should have been of at least of 5 test matches.

  • POSTED BY on | February 24, 2014, 4:48 GMT

    If Saffers can make life out of this dead pitch, Imagine what they will do when they visit Sub Continent. We have seen steyn's hostile spells in Nagpur. India is still to be occupied by proteas. but with this team they will do. Remenber they havent visited India after becoming No 1. I am waiting for it.

  • POSTED BY Insult_2_Injury on | February 24, 2014, 4:35 GMT

    Every serious cricket follower knew that South Africa would rally after the 1st Test. They have class players in all areas of the game. Australia wasn't naive enough, either, to think that class bowlers with strike rates in the 40's wouldn't have a big say in this series.

    Australia has learned another valuable lesson about its team during this rebuilding. Good to see different players pop up through the two tests, with both bat and ball. That's what a team is. Now to work on consistency, especially against quality opposition. Congrats South Africa. Wonder if Cullinan feels like a tool after carrying on after the first Test? Probably not, he kept fronting up to Warne when it was obvious he was out of his depth, so this will be no different.

  • POSTED BY on | February 24, 2014, 4:25 GMT

    On another note, this is the perfect script for the great Australian Mr. Robert to return to the side and lead the team from the front with swashbuckling hundreds and 5 wicket hauls! Mr. Robert is best known to his fans as Mr. Shane Watson. The contest is just reaching its apex point with Steyn, Morkel & Philander back in their free flowing and wicket-taking form! Ideally, Mr. Watson would have to follow the elementary things and hope for the best out of the pitch!

  • POSTED BY jmcilhinney on | February 24, 2014, 3:14 GMT

    As an England fan, I've always said that James Anderson is a very good bowler and may even pip Steyn in certain areas but any overall comparison that doesn't end with Steyn on top is just silly. As many players do, as he gets older and loses a bit of the outright fire he had, he finds other ways to make up for it. Mitchell Johnson was truly exceptional against England recently and against SA in the first Test but if the difference between Johnson's performances in these first two games was due to the pitch and the Steyn and co were still able to get as much out of it as they did then that is a sign of Steyn's genuine class and not just intimidation provided by raw pace and assistance from the pitch.

    I wonder sometimes whether SA might do better with more Test matches but then you see how much is said about the schedule being too packed for teams like England. Maybe SA do get rusty at times but they shake it off pretty quickly and their steel shines when they do.

  • POSTED BY Big_Brother_of_Cricket on | February 24, 2014, 2:38 GMT

    This is turning out to be one of the best ever 3-match series. It's amazing to see fast bowlers dominate the game even when the conditions are not well suited for pace and swing. For me the most interesting thing is that South Africa found a new strategy to overcome the formidable Aussies after the humiliating defeat. It was not with the pace and swing, which they rampaged the Aussies, but with the reverse swing. They had two options to go about, one to prepare a pacy swingy wicket to swing and bounce out Aussies. But they knew that it will comeback to them with doubled force from Johnson. So they went for the other way. A low slow wicket negating the talents of Johnson, Harris and Siddle and also Morkel and Philander. But they had the ultimate weapon in their bag in the form of prodigious reverse swing of the No 1 ranked bowler Dale Steyn. Thumbs up SA. It will be really interesting to see how both teams go about the business in the 3rd and deciding encounter.

  • POSTED BY on | February 24, 2014, 2:14 GMT

    Steyn will always be regarded as one of the best quicks ever. But its not fair to say that he brought about this victory single-handedly. This was a true team effort, if ever there was one. First Morkel, who bundled out the Aussies cheaply in the first innings. Minus that, it would be a much steeper hill to climb. Then it was Amla's ton that took SA to safer waters. And then came the fire breathing Steyn, pumelling and crushing every mortal in sight. But then don't forget Phillander's valiant supporting role. The Aussies were mocking him before the test. Wonder who is laughing now? There were so many starring roles in this SA victory. One of the best team efforts ever.

  • POSTED BY IAS2009 on | February 24, 2014, 0:15 GMT

    Well done SA, my assessment of OZ came one test match late, in this match SA did not let OZ of the hook after their usual 120 odd and five down, in both innings the last wickets did not score 200 plus runs as most of the time in Ashes, SA is better of making slow wickets for Oz as they are more prone to failures on those tracks based on last 15 or so test they played on Slow wickets. a part from Johnson no Aussies bowler is threatening. SA is solid team now with so many good batsmen who can bat well till no8 , with bowling unit they have , they are hard to beat for some time.

  • POSTED BY Wildeman on | February 23, 2014, 22:47 GMT

    So let me get this straight, Australia demolished England, SA demolished Australia and New Zealand demolished India..... Isn't it Australia, England and India that think they have the right to fully control our game? I'm hoping for a 2-1 result to SA for the remainder of the series!

  • POSTED BY VillageGreen on | February 23, 2014, 22:09 GMT

    Congratutaions Steyn & all of SA. That's how champions respond.

    Australia: you were unlucky to have a couple of very close calls against you, and 2 golden ducks also unlucky….but heck…10 wickets in one session when the next day is likely to be washed out. Have you just handed back ALL the respect you've hard earned? From Contender to Pretender in one long session.

  • POSTED BY disco_bob on | February 23, 2014, 20:55 GMT

    Gotta admit that Steyn's little spell was top shelf unplayable. Lots of passion from the SA fans I can see how much it means to you. Lehmann could not have wished for a better opportunity to Test his charges at Cape Town. Looks like Marsh will make room for Watto and Doolan gets two more chances to see if he can at least earn more chances. No doubt Cape Town will be a fitting decider. One good game a d one bad game each. Very exciting Test cricket, may the best team win next month.

  • POSTED BY Neeraj_Sunariya on | February 23, 2014, 20:48 GMT

    Lots of people here believes that Aussies is an "Ordinary Side" and SA is full of good players like Steyns, Amla, Morkels, Smiths, ABD...

    Only two thing comes to my mind- a. Hasn't this ordinary side already outlived their expectations by bamboozing SA in first test? b. Why SA hasn't been able to stream roll and white wash the Aussies and in fact my favorite India in previous tour :)

    Both India (young team) and Australia (ordinary side) has SERIOUSLY challenged this SA outfit. SA is good team with best set of players in current times, bit they are not great time.

    Also, further as I read bantering b/w Aus and SA fans, I feel one should compare players and conditions when evaluating position. VVS Laxman 281 is one of greatest because it was against strong Aus outfit and strong oppostion.

    Does any one remembers Sehwags' two tripe centuries or Jayawardene' 374 ...not many :):)..

  • POSTED BY HennopsRiverEnd on | February 23, 2014, 20:25 GMT

    Dale Steyn... What an athlete, what a bowler!!!

  • POSTED BY Kapcharlie on | February 23, 2014, 20:21 GMT

    As I have been saying, if MJ is off the boil Oz are a very ordinary team. People gave Cook a lot of stick in the Ashes but Michael Clarke is averaging less than 15 in his last 11 innings - and he hasn't even been facing MJ. If MJ fails to put in an appearance at Newlands the Saffers should wrap this up in 4 days. Don't forget that SA knocked Oz over without Parnell....

  • POSTED BY Greatest_Game on | February 23, 2014, 20:21 GMT

    @ Johann Steyn asked "With Duminy back in some form, AB on form as usual, Faf getting back to his best, Elgar looking confidant... Amla back in batting form...Morkel fired up like never before, and Steyn's big match temperament, and ... a test at Newlands where Vernon Philander LOVES bowling... Well what more can we ask for?"

    1. That de Kock STAYS in the team. 2. That Hendricks or Abbott replaces Parnell, & not Kleinveldt. They are in form … & can bowl!

    It is a hard call on Alviro, but the fact that Dean did well opening, very well in fact, AND that he offers a credible and balanced spin option to JP, he should open at Newlands, where we know spin is important. It is a hard fact but Duminy + Elgar, on this match performance, offers the Proteas more than Petersen + Peterson, particularly at Newlands. And that leaves the spot open for de Kock, who we know can be a match winner for us now, and is the future keeper.

    (I have often wondered if Alviro would do better down the order?)

  • POSTED BY Qdzy on | February 23, 2014, 20:15 GMT

    What pitch are they going to prepare at Newlands ? I wonder. I hope conditions will be overcast and the wicket will be slow...Australia are pretty ordinary, apart from Mitch Johnson, who else poses a real threat in the bowling attack ? They (the Aussies) certainly don't deserve to be number one

  • POSTED BY Qdzy on | February 23, 2014, 20:10 GMT

    If you look closely, Australia is a pretty ordinary side if Mitch Johnson doesn't fire, so you blunt-out that one guy in the side and suddenly the Aussies are light work. Bare in mind that the Aussie top order has not collectively delivered the runs, even since the last Ashes

  • POSTED BY on | February 23, 2014, 19:58 GMT

    @Madan, he has had some really good battles with other batsmen too. Tendulkar comes to mind

  • POSTED BY ZainE111 on | February 23, 2014, 19:44 GMT

    Very well done, Proteas! Excellent comeback in the series. Each one of the eleven played well. Smith may not have performed with the bat BUT his astute field setting and clever management of his bowlers (despite missing Parnel for one and a half innings) showed why he is considered a legend of test cricket captaincy.

    The series could not be better poised for a Newlands decider.

  • POSTED BY on | February 23, 2014, 19:41 GMT

    he's just furious gun, destroy Aussies ...... last time Johnson show and now same results Aussies are speechless agaisnt Giant Bowler

  • POSTED BY on | February 23, 2014, 19:40 GMT

    Well done guys! This match has certainly shown that this team probably has the best chance yet to win a series at home against the Aussies. With Duminy back in some form, AB on form as usual, Faf getting back to his best, Elgar looking confidant, and most importantly Amla back in batting form, it's certainly a formidable line-up. Add to that Morkel fired up like never before, and Steyn's big match temperament, and it's certainly a word beating side! If you then throw in a test at Newlands where Vernon Philander LOVES bowling... Well what more can we ask for?

  • POSTED BY on | February 23, 2014, 19:27 GMT

    Steyn is just amazing... i wonder if his body secretes liters of adrenaline during test matches! :) as smith put it, he goes from very angry to extremely angry when he faces a contest... to be honest, the only guy whom i have seen conquer a fired up steyn is AB de villiers - that IPL game versus Deccan Chargers; that was one day where Steyn was hurling pin point missiles at AB and he was depositing them in the stands! Other than that, Steyn has outclassed pretty much every great batsman of his era... and congrats to the SA team for bouncing back in emphatic fashion after an absolute hiding at Centurion!

  • POSTED BY on | February 23, 2014, 19:27 GMT

    Steyn is just amazing... i wonder if his body secretes liters of adrenaline during test matches! :) as smith put it, he goes from very angry to extremely angry when he faces a contest... to be honest, the only guy whom i have seen conquer a fired up steyn is AB de villiers - that IPL game versus Deccan Chargers; that was one day where Steyn was hurling pin point missiles at AB and he was depositing them in the stands! Other than that, Steyn has outclassed pretty much every great batsman of his era... and congrats to the SA team for bouncing back in emphatic fashion after an absolute hiding at Centurion!

  • POSTED BY on | February 23, 2014, 19:40 GMT

    Well done guys! This match has certainly shown that this team probably has the best chance yet to win a series at home against the Aussies. With Duminy back in some form, AB on form as usual, Faf getting back to his best, Elgar looking confidant, and most importantly Amla back in batting form, it's certainly a formidable line-up. Add to that Morkel fired up like never before, and Steyn's big match temperament, and it's certainly a word beating side! If you then throw in a test at Newlands where Vernon Philander LOVES bowling... Well what more can we ask for?

  • POSTED BY on | February 23, 2014, 19:41 GMT

    he's just furious gun, destroy Aussies ...... last time Johnson show and now same results Aussies are speechless agaisnt Giant Bowler

  • POSTED BY ZainE111 on | February 23, 2014, 19:44 GMT

    Very well done, Proteas! Excellent comeback in the series. Each one of the eleven played well. Smith may not have performed with the bat BUT his astute field setting and clever management of his bowlers (despite missing Parnel for one and a half innings) showed why he is considered a legend of test cricket captaincy.

    The series could not be better poised for a Newlands decider.

  • POSTED BY on | February 23, 2014, 19:58 GMT

    @Madan, he has had some really good battles with other batsmen too. Tendulkar comes to mind

  • POSTED BY Qdzy on | February 23, 2014, 20:10 GMT

    If you look closely, Australia is a pretty ordinary side if Mitch Johnson doesn't fire, so you blunt-out that one guy in the side and suddenly the Aussies are light work. Bare in mind that the Aussie top order has not collectively delivered the runs, even since the last Ashes

  • POSTED BY Qdzy on | February 23, 2014, 20:15 GMT

    What pitch are they going to prepare at Newlands ? I wonder. I hope conditions will be overcast and the wicket will be slow...Australia are pretty ordinary, apart from Mitch Johnson, who else poses a real threat in the bowling attack ? They (the Aussies) certainly don't deserve to be number one

  • POSTED BY Greatest_Game on | February 23, 2014, 20:21 GMT

    @ Johann Steyn asked "With Duminy back in some form, AB on form as usual, Faf getting back to his best, Elgar looking confidant... Amla back in batting form...Morkel fired up like never before, and Steyn's big match temperament, and ... a test at Newlands where Vernon Philander LOVES bowling... Well what more can we ask for?"

    1. That de Kock STAYS in the team. 2. That Hendricks or Abbott replaces Parnell, & not Kleinveldt. They are in form … & can bowl!

    It is a hard call on Alviro, but the fact that Dean did well opening, very well in fact, AND that he offers a credible and balanced spin option to JP, he should open at Newlands, where we know spin is important. It is a hard fact but Duminy + Elgar, on this match performance, offers the Proteas more than Petersen + Peterson, particularly at Newlands. And that leaves the spot open for de Kock, who we know can be a match winner for us now, and is the future keeper.

    (I have often wondered if Alviro would do better down the order?)

  • POSTED BY Kapcharlie on | February 23, 2014, 20:21 GMT

    As I have been saying, if MJ is off the boil Oz are a very ordinary team. People gave Cook a lot of stick in the Ashes but Michael Clarke is averaging less than 15 in his last 11 innings - and he hasn't even been facing MJ. If MJ fails to put in an appearance at Newlands the Saffers should wrap this up in 4 days. Don't forget that SA knocked Oz over without Parnell....

  • POSTED BY HennopsRiverEnd on | February 23, 2014, 20:25 GMT

    Dale Steyn... What an athlete, what a bowler!!!