Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Preview, Australia versus South Africa, 2nd Test, Adelaide

"But it's nice to get some verbal from the opposition anyway, sometimes it turns you on,"

"Cricket remains a game that will be played on the pitch," 

Dismissive words from South African opening batsman Alviro Petersen in response to the Media's attempt to take the focus off the perspective play of this game with talk of a 'sledging war' The bemused look on the openers face told of the claims credibility that were about as relevant as the touted 'Green pitch' in the lead up to the GABBA Test 

A huge thumbs up to Petersen and lets focus on the 2nd Test 

The Pitch 

After the disgraceful Road Pitch at the GABBA in the 1st Test the Adelaide pitch promises to be a similar batting paradise 

In its defence, it always is but real Test fans are a bit over Tests not being played on even playing fields.
The main difference at Adelaide is as well as being viewed as Gods gift to batsmen it is a deck that has always rewarded good players.

Meaning even a bowler that has real skill will be rewarded

Likely Teams

Australia 


Cowan, Warner, Quiney, Ponting, Clarke, Hussey, Wade, Lyon, Siddle, Pattinson, Hilfenhaus.

The Aussies have chosen an unchanged line up with Shane Watson being over looked because of the mistrust in his body to stand up to Test Cricket after yet another injury. Reading between the lines their seems to be a resentment towards Watson over his skewed priorities as well.

Curiously, Mitchell Starc was not selected with Ben Hilfenhaus preferred. Which lacked imagination with what Starc could represent to the attack with his left handed variety and the balance it would bring.

South Africa 

The South Africa's redressed their huge gaff from the 1st Test by adding a bit of variety to the Team by including Imran Tahir's leg spin. Then replaced J.P.Duminy with a like for like replacement in Faf Du Plessis, who is a batsman that can bowl a bit of spin.

Leaving the Team as follows

Graeme Smith (capt), 2 Alviro Petersen, 3 Hashim Amla, 4 Jacques Kallis, 5 AB de Villiers (wk), 6 Jacques Rudolph, 7 Faf du Plessis, 8 Vernon Philander, 9 Morne Morkel, 10 Dale Steyn, 11 Imran Tahir.

The Keys to Winning

Australia

Seeing the pitch is likely to be a Road for most of the match it seems apparent that this match will be determined by the Teams bowling attacks.

Which is indeed the case, but it is crucial for Australia that their fragile batting line up stands up to support the consistent excellence of Michael Clarke. Promisingly in Brisbane, the likes of Ed Cowan and Mike Hussey stepped up to the plate to give the support needed. Which allowed Australia to be competitive against a very fine unit in South Africa.

In this match it is paramount that the batting lifts again with the likes of Ricky Ponting, Dave Warner and the new comer Rob Quiney needing to justify their place in the side with some runs. Warner and Punta in particular are one more bad performance away from feeling the axe.

If the batting can hold up then it will give the bowling unit a chance to put pressure on the South African batsmen.

It was disappointing that Mitchell Starc was not included in the line up for he would have added a bit of youthful fire with him being able to amp his deliveries up to 145 kms. Throw in his budding aptitude in swing and he would have been a handful.

Adelaide is traditionally a new ball pitch, so it will be crucial that the strike pairing of Peter Siddle and James Pattinson get early break throughs. This point has an obvious connotation, but a deeper meaning to the Team that lacks its proven defensive strike bowling commodity in Shane Watson.

Meaning this role falls to Nathan Lyon, who was unexpectedly brilliant in the face of targeting in Brisbane but can you trust him to stand up again here?

For you know the South African batsmen would have left Brisbane fuming that they not only let Lyon bowl with little or no pressure on him. But they allowed him to even become a threat within the match.

His bowling needs to stand up again here for if he is blasted out of the attack it will greatly lessen the Australian bowling unit.
Which has been the Teams main factor in recent Test successes.

South Africa

To be honest the Team was pure toiletry in every regard in Brisbane

The good news is that it is rare for South Africa to put in such a sub standard performance. So you can expect them to hit back hard in this match.

One name stands out after Brisbane and all the recent Tests between the two Nations in Michael Clarke who has been the Star of all South African nightmares

Pure and simple the bowling unit needs to find a way to stop him from dominating again. Not only from his individual effect on games, but how he influences his Team mates with them walking taller in his excellence. If you take him out you can see the rest of the Aussie batting surrendering meekly.

Dale Steyn needs to make Clarke his mission with him having success against him in the past with 5 dismissals in 9 matches.

It is not often that I disrespect a true Legend of the game, but the performances of Dale Steyn in 2012 have been very average and he needs to lift
An average of 32.78 in this calendar year, which is near on 10 runs a wicket above his career average is not a good enough return for one as talented as Steyn. In this match with the ball likely to be the deciding factor he needs to lead the attack as he has with due aplomb in his stellar 58 Test career. 

When he performs to his optimum he takes the attack to a different plateau and with the support of the Teams excellent batting makes them nigh on impossible to beat.

The inclusion of the leg spinner Imran Tahir is a welcome one to add much needed variety to the Team. Whose attack in Brisbane was humdrum in the extreme.

He adds a contradiction too for the Aussies will be licking their chops to face him due to them having zero respect for him.

You know they will target him in the hugest way and how he contends with that will be a huge factor in this Test. With it likely to aide him by getting some sucker wickets through arrogant batting or belted into oblivion.

Away from the bowling you just have a feeling that James Pattinson's imbecile like antics around Graeme Smith might have a sequel here in the City of Churches

With Smith going Biblical on Pattinson with a huge score....

Prediction 


The Pitch will be flat meaning it will be a game decided by bowlers

Both Teams have very accomplished and able attacks

Looking at the respective batting line up the difference in the game appears with South Africa's line up being very strong and proven whereas Australia's batting is all about 'If, Buts and Maybes'

I do not trust it outside of Michael Clarke meaning South Africa will win this Test

1 comment:

  1. Wow, how harsh on Steyn?
    Yes his record of 32 in the last 12 months doesn't read as well as the rest of his career, but Big Vern has been nicking the wickets.
    Bowlers hunt in pairs, how many Wickets has Steyn earned Big Vern, lots I would think.
    One of the reasons Big Vern has been so successfull is that Batsmen have underestimated him, concentrating on seeing off Steyn and attacking him. The balance will soon be re-alligned.

    Australia not picking Starc is a joke.

    We will see the real South Africa this test and a comfortable victory.

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