The Proteas have never won a home series against Australia and they look like they well on their way to changing their fortunes. After the first test match loss to Australia it was hard seeing a way back for the Proteas as the team looked flat and out of ideas. Especially when one gives regard to the Freedom Series where runs were hard to come by from the Proteas.
The turn around in South Africa’s fortunes came at the back of continued solid bowling and improved batting performances with AB De Villiers and Kagiso Rabada stepping up to dismantle the Australians resolve.
From a batting perspective whilst players such De Villiers, Elgar and Markram have pitched in with the odd century and given that there has been no Australian batsman to reach the milestone with CT Bancroft on 223 runs and Warner on 217 runs, Australia’s two highest run scorers in the series being suspended, it would seem the trend is likely to continue.
Whilst Coach Ottis Gibson will be pleased by the much improved batting by the Proteas, three of Australia’s batters in the top 10 run scorers have been suspended including Captain Smith and Paine has been given extra responsibilities to captain the team. This leaves Marsh as the only settled batsman in the Australia line-up in the fourth and final test. When one considers that Amla and Du Plessis are yet to get going in the series, one is left with an impression that only a miracle can save the Ausies hereon.
This is further compounded by the Proteas bowling attack spearheaded by the prodigious Kagiso Rabada with 20 wickets so far and 2 five wicket hauls at a strike rate of 34.1.
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One would be tempted to say that Australia’s only glimmer of hope is their bowling attack however that would be taking for granted the fact that they were the direct benefactors of the #sandpapergate scandal and questions arise as to the extent of the benefaction. Cummins may have taken 13 wickets in the series so far but how many wicket he would have at the present moment without the cheating of his counterparts and did any of the bowlers know about the cheating or did they just think the extra swing was coincidental.
Most astonishingly is the that fact that the South Africans still pip their counterparts at every level statistically even despite their counterparts shenanigans and even on the count of most catches in the series.