Pitched online – by Bobby
Assessing the tour… Although Australia won the one-day series, the performance of their test squad will be of great concern. Irrespective of today’s result – they will leave these shores with more questions then what they arrived with, specifically as to the futures of wicket keeper Brad Hadden and left arm quickie, Mitchell Johnson. Ricky Ponting might have earned himself a reprieve with a solid fifty in his 4th innings and could very well win the last and final test for Australia but history tells us when the media start circling like vultures, the end of his career might not be far off. I personally think he deserves better and hope to see more of him (against the other test playing nations of course).
Although Australia competed adequately against a quality South African side, they will feel that they squandered a golden opportunity to get one over the Proteas, as the home side was truly under-cooked for the contest going into the 1st test in Cape Town.
On a positive note; Australia will be very excited about the prospects of Pat Cummins as a test player. The 18-year old fast bowler had a dream debut in this 2nd test and impressed all.
Kirsten & co will be relieved that it is over and they will be able to enter the next contest against Sri Lanka with a bit more confidence. Steyn has once again proved his value as the premier fast bowler in world cricket. Jacques Rudolph might be a bit frustrated with his comeback as he had “starts” in all his innings, but I maintain my prediction that he will still score loads of runs; he just needs to settle in.
The pitches didn’t really suite Imran Tahir and we might get a better idea of what he can offer in the coming series against Sri Lanka. Hasim Amla was once again at his best and would be a deserving candidate for the man of the series with two excellent hundreds in a series where the ball ruled the bat. However, the player of the series for me is Vernon Philander. His performance with the ball has been nothing short of excellent and he rounds off the Protea bowling attack, making it one to fear, and for good reason.
In summary, I think the Aussies have issues and a difficult period of rebuilding awaits them. Their neighbours, New Zealand, might just fancy their chances against them for the upcoming tour in Australia.
For the Proteas, I think we are in for an exciting summer and quite fancy our chances against the English in 2012.
But first, the croaching tiger, Sri Lanka, lurks!
Paul se Perspektief by Paul
As the deadline for publication of our newsletter draws nearer, we sit here glued to Cricinfo, waiting for the last day of the test between SA and Australia to start – or not.
On the one hand, rain would ensure a draw and an SA series win, but I am sure that most of my compatriots share my desire that we bowl them out and win the series with a whitewash. Whitewash in a two test series? No, call that a brown, or at best, a beige wash.
A recent interview with Paul Treu enhanced my view of him as a seriously dedicated professional. He works extremely hard to achieve the success that he does, mostly sleeping as little as four hours a night.
Ek is verbaas dat die man kinders het!
His seven-man rolling maul against Fiji in a final last year was a master stroke, and I am sure that he has some more surprises up his sleeve, although this is hard to perceive, want die man se moue is dan altyd opgerol.
Concerning the captaincy of the side, he has an official captain capable of handling the media well, and several senior players each responsible for two or three others. This may not be new (it is for me, though), but it allows him to utilise the leadership skills of his senior players far more effectively.
I wonder if he is developing his own successor? He should fit in wonderfully with the current brains trust in the 22-man code that includes Rassie Erasmus, and be a more than adequate successor to the current backline coach.
Ou Maans reken hy verkies nogal die huidige stand van sake wat die Proteas betref; hulle hoef nie te wen om te wen nie. Eerder dit, as daardie “moet-wen” situasies wat so bevorderlik vir maagsere en kopsere is.
Droog bly, ou Gote.