South Africa’s dreadful Test series down under continued as they suffered a humiliating innings and 182-run defeat to Australia this morning. It was another poor showing from South Africa’s top six as they were bowled out for 189 & 204 in the first and second innings respectively. We look at the Proteas’ talking points from the Boxing Day Test.
Top 6 Woeful Again
Pat Cummins won the toss and elected to bowl first on a wicket that looked good for batting. The main reason for that has to be the Proteas’ poor form with the bat. Cummins and Australia knew that South Africa’s batters were there for the taking and that, they were.
Soft dismissals coupled with poor application saw South Africa go from 56/2 to 67/5 which justified Cummins’ decision. The Proteas are not going to win a lot of Tests if the batting doesn’t improve as they failed to make 200 or more in the first innings and just scrapped past 200 in their second one. Dean Elgar and his men have a lot of work to do if they are to salvage some pride in the final Test.
Dean Elgar’s Poor Form
South Africa’s captain Dean Elgar had a lot to say building up to this series. He wanted the Proteas’ batsmen to show better application and score more hundreds. His form has not been good enough of late, especially in this series, where we’ve needed him to put his hand up as he’s done in the past.
If he’s going to talk the talk then he has to lead from the front with his batting, especially with none of the SA batsmen apart from himself, averaging above 35 in Tests.
Should South Africa Play An Extra Batsman?
A lot has been said about the Proteas selecting 5 specialist batsmen with Kyle Verryenne at 6 in recent times. The problem the Proteas face is that they do not have someone who can chip in with the ball in their top six. This means that Marco Jansen has been batting at seven as the all-rounder which I think is a position too high for him.
Should South Africa play an extra batsman and drop one of the bowlers? That would be a logical solution but I don’t think it would change anything if the batsmen aren’t good enough for this level. It would just mean more overs for our bowlers who can’t even rely on their batsmen to put up a decent first-innings score.
Should Ngidi & Kesh Be Dropped For The 3rd Test?
Lungi Ngidi and Keshav Maharaj have been below their usual best in this series. They’ve both been ineffective which has put pressure on the other bowlers to take wickets. The pair have only taken 1 wicket between them in 116 overs, which is far from good enough.
Nathan Lyon has shown for a number of years that spinners can be effective in Australia. With 4 left-handers in Australia’s top seven, should Simon Harmer be considered for the final Test? And should Lungi Ngidi make way for an extra batsman?
Kagiso Rabada had a Test match to forget considering how good he was in the first Test. He was inconsistent with the ball and went for 5.14 runs per over in Australia’s only innings. We can’t rely on him to be our best bowler in every game but he has to improve his consistency on flatter pitches.