Category Archives: test cricket

South Africa vs Australia 1st Test Preview

The first test against Australia takes place at the Wanderers tomorrow at 10.30am (8.30am GMT) with South Africa fielding an unchanged side. The Australians are in tatters, with as many as 3 debuts handed out tomorrow, its fair to say they are in a new and unchartered phase for a team that has for so long dominated the game. It is debateable as to whether they are rebuilding or realising the loss or Warne, McGrath and Hayden can have on a side, and look a fraction of the team that played in the last ashes series

Australia have won the last three Tests between the two sides at the Wanderers and two of the successes were innings victories however Australia can be thankful the weather will be kind to them with showers predicted during the test, which will certainly hamper the chances of a result.

Apart from the good form the South Africans have shown in the batting department, Morne Morkel and Dale Steyn will be difficult to face with the build up indicating that there will be plenty of swing, which should help the Australian bowlers who are lacking in the pace department.

Entering into this test, Jacques Kallis needs 12 runs to become the first South African to reach 10,000 and  only the 8th player to do so. AB de Villiers will become the fourth South African to play 50 consecutive Tests

Look out for Phil Hughes, a youngster who has set the domestic scene alight this season for Australia and at 20 is the youngest test debut since Craig McDermott in 1984!!!

Tomorrow will be interesting, especially interesting will be what the Australian side looks like, with the below being the probable sides:

1 Graeme Smith (capt), 2 Neil McKenzie, 3 Hashim Amla, 4 Jacques Kallis, 5 AB de Villiers, 6 JP Duminy, 7 Mark Boucher (wk), 8 Morne Morkel, 9 Paul Harris, 10 Dale Steyn, 11 Makhaya Ntini.

1.Phillip Hughes, 2 Simon Katich, 3 Ricky Ponting (capt), 4 Michael Hussey, 5 Michael Clarke, 6 Marcus North, 7 Brad Haddin (wk), 8 Mitchell Johnson, 9 Peter Siddle, 10 Doug Bollinger, 11 Ben Hilfenhaus, 12 Andrew McDonald.

SA vs Aus 1st Test Final day preview

187 runs to win, 7 wickets left – could there be a better close to the 1st test? Chris Adams reckons Australia are in the driving seats deciding they are 60/40 favourites!!!

The target of 414 if reached will eclipse the 387 India reached set by England a few days ago. It will be the second highest successful run chase in the 4th innings with only West Indies chasing down a higher total.

Strangely enough this was against Australia – it seems that Australia has many of these records set against them , with South Africa successfully chasing down the 434 set by Australia in the one day arena.

With just a few hours to go, I cant wait to see South Africa successfully chase down a mammoth total – a total that is at least 100 runs too high

Jacques Kallis – Cometh the hour cometh the man

South Africa are 37/1 and trailing by 85 runs going into the third day of the final test. The game might be a dead rubber in terms of results but true champions dont back down. (That and there is no South African that wants to see KP start off with a victory!!!) If Jacques Kallis wants to join the rest of the top 6 in getting a century today will be his last shot at it for the test series and if SA ever needed him to perform under pressure today would be the day.

The term “busted flush” has been bandied about by the English supporters whom I am in contact with, an average of 15.83 for the series indicates he hasnt had his finest series.

Cometh the hour cometh the man can Mr Kallis deliver?

Winning the Toss

South Africa have had a deja vu experience at Lords – Remember the PE test in December 2007? In that match the West Indies didnt enforce the follow on when they could have, only managed 175 runs but still won comfortably. Hopefully tomorrow SA will be able to hold out for a draw, but a far greater concern is Smith and Arthur doesnt seem to be learning – Oppenheimer once told me (along with the rest of the audience) everyone makes mistakes but only a fool makes the same mistake.

I quoted the colourful WG Grace during the Windies test for those that missed it here is a repeat: ‘When you win the toss – bat. If you are in doubt, think about it, then bat. If you have very big doubts, consult a colleague – then bat.’

South Africa are looking good for the great escape, but 90 overs is a long time on a 5th day!!!

South Africa vs. England 1st Test – Lords

Yesterday many would have never believed the test would start on time. A months worth of rain fell in parts of England Yesterday, the rain didn’t abate until late in the night. However this morning the sun greeted those that woke up early, although there are some clouds about.

England have named an unchanged side, consisting of: 1 Alastair Cook, 2 Andrew Strauss, 3 Michael Vaughan (capt), 4 Kevin Pietersen, 5 Ian Bell, 6 Paul Collingwood, 7 Tim Ambrose (wk), 8 Stuart Broad, 9 Ryan Sidebottom, 10 Monty Panesar, 11 James Anderson. This side has set a world record in that it has been unchanged side for the sixth successive match.

South Africa have delayed naming their side until the start, leaving the choice of whether to field Paul Harris or a 4th seamer as a mystery to England. The possible side is: 1 Graeme Smith (capt), 2 Neil McKenzie, 3 Hashim Amla, 4 Jacques Kallis, 5 Ashwell Prince, 6 AB de Villiers, 7 Mark Boucher (wk), 8 Morne Morkel, 9 Paul Harris, 10 Dale Steyn, 11 Makhaya Ntini

The players to watch out for in this series from South Africa are: Morne Morkel and Hashim Amla. South Africa have now got a settled pace attack with Ntini and Steyn being key performers and they are expected to be dangerous, however Morkel is a an unknown entity. Recently back from injury, a solid performance with the ball and possibly the bat could be the extra gear South Africa needs. On the batting side, Smith Mckenzie, Kallis, De Villiers and Prince have all contributed this summer as has Amla, however Amla has shown some fantastic warm up match form,  scoring 172 and 161 which has sent out a strong message to the English that he means business. If he can continue this run of form, South Africa will be very difficult to beat. However if he fails, South Africa could be in trouble as McKenzie and Smith could be in trouble early and the last thing SA needs is to be 30/2 in the first test.

England’s players to watch will be James Anderson  and Ian Bell. South Africa have come out and said they will be targeting Bell and Collingwood who have had a poor run recently. Bell needs to perform and if Anderson can produce some of the glimpses of form shown this season, he could help rip through the South African batting. I don’t think Sidebottom is good enough to tear apart the South African attack and he might get punished by Smith if he is not accurate.

The match should set off an absolute corker of a series in which South Africa will be looking for their first win on English turf since re-admission in 2002