Australia gave South Africa a solid lesson in cricket yesterday, one that will not be easily forgotten. However from every lesson there are always things to be learnt. When reading the news today it saddens me to see that our side has not learnt.
In the build up to the game, instead of Smith adopting an attitude along the lines of: When we play Australia, we win half the games we play, and when we face them we are confident we can win. He instead took the nauseating approach of we are the best we will win blah blah….
After the match instead of coming out and admitting that the strategy was wrong, the voices telling Jacques Kallis he must be more innovative and move half a meter outside leg stump in his first 10 balls, was off track and there were some shocking shot selections made by the team, the coach and captain have defended their decision, believing that brave cricket is still the way forward. The idea to score 100 off the first ten seems to be the benchmark set.
“I don’t think we played reckless shots and threw the wickets away,” said Arthur. “We had a plan, we wanted to destroy Australia’s momentum somehow and we needed to get on top quickly. It was part of the plan, but it never came off.”
This so called plan has its merits, however I am sure Australia would be more worried if South Africa were 120/2 after 30, knowing what the rest of the order can do, would be far more worrisome than watching the SA players moving all over the crease trying to reach 400 runs.
This was the first thing that got up my nose, followed by Smith stating “Life becomes a bit difficult when a strike bowler like Shaun Tait comes in as the first-change bowler,” Well Mr Smith, it might be a surprise to you that they chose their strongest line up, a line up which has varied options, not like the South African attack.
It must be time for changes in the side, a side that has become predictable, and led by a man whose words are much louder than his actions.