Australia is 1 up in the test series and deservedly so. They bounced back from a disastrous start and the captain and possibly best batsman currently around steered the ship back from a perilously close wreckage. The other hero was Mitchell Johnson, with a quick fire 96, not bad for a tailender!! Of course the man on debut, Marcus North helped he cause with a century on debut, however the drop catch of Ponting was far more crucial than North’s century.
Looking towards the second test, I would not be surprised to see Albie Morkel crack the nod ahead of Paul Harris, SA are certainly a batsman/all-rounder short and this is where the great Shaun Pollock is missed. I will be surprised to see SA go in without a spinner, but the decision to replace Lonwabo Tsotsobe a specialist bowler with the all rounder is a curious one and Mickey Arthur must have something up his sleeve. The reason Ashwell isn’t there is Arthur needs another bowling option so don’t be surprised to see Neil McKenzie or Harris get the chop. Money on Harris to be dropped though.
SA has everything to play for knowing a loss, will not only lose the series but the opportunity to take number 1 spot from Australia. Despite the Australians having an inexperienced side, the world knows that Australia can field a second XI and still be competitive.
Here’s hoping for another great match tomorrow and over the weekend