The Proteas outclassed
It was a bad day at the office for the Proteas at Supersport park in their first test match against Australia. The Australian recorded an emphatic 281 run win to take a 1 nil lead into the second test match. The home side was disappointing failing to stamp their authority on the match; they looked more like a visiting team than a home side. The expectations from the home side supporters seemed to weigh heavily on the players shoulders resulting in a disappointing performance all round.
Australian left-arm fast bowler Mitchell Johnson was the star of the match. Johnson has been in scintillating form recently, taking 37 wickets in 5-match Ashes series against England, to go with the 12 wickets that he took at Supersport Centurion. Those 12 wickets earned him the man of the match award. With exception of AB de Villiers, South Africa’s batsmen had no answers to Johnson’s pace, bounce and movement. Johnson has been the driving force behind Australia’s resurgence, his been very consistent since coming back from injury. What is remarkable is the manner and style in which he has done it with.
Although there is no excuse for South Africa’s disappointing performance, the dry pitch did not help matters. The bounce became more and more uneven as the test wore on, which raises some questions about Proteas Captain Graeme Smith’s choice to bowl first after winning the toss. That decision meant that South Africa had to bat last on a rapidly deteriorating pitch.
The question is how badly will the Proteas, especially the batsmen, have been scarred by the demoralizing thrashing. Expect to see changes in the second test with Robin Petersen likely to be dropped as the selectors go for an all-pace attack. More than anything South Africa will hope for better conditions for the second test, which kicks off in Port Elizabeth on Thursday.