Ricky Ponting was quoted during the week as saying that South Africa looked lost without Captain Graeme Smith during the 20/20 matches played last week. At the time I said to my mother that I thought it was more the case that half of the South Africans were playing the 20/20's in more of a 50 over mode, and that some of them were still stuck in test match mode. When I saw SAF at $2.80 i had to have a lobster on em. After Australia's bowlers showed in the test that they struggled to finish off the SAF lower order, i thought that the 50 overs would only work in their favour and that $2.80 looked good. The 50 over cobwebs are out of the South African's game now and personally i think we might be in some strife.
My prediction: South Africa to win the series 4-1
It might be a little unpatriotic, but patriots don't win money punting, realists do. I hope i'm wrong.
In racing terms, I think the Aussies will be better for the run in RSA and improve markedly into the Ashes.
We know RSA are going well enough to win again, they're confident. The Aussies will need the new players to quickly find their feet, hard at the best of times, but especially playing away against strong opponents. If McGain plays his contribution will be vital, but probably 12th man as they'll play 4 seamers. That leaves North to do the Spin bowling if he plays. And M. Clarke is possibly injured? If I was born anywhere else I'd tip RSA, but it should be pretty close again, looking forward to it. I'll predict a draw, and North to be the find of the tour, Hughes to get a baptism of fire but go ok. And Clarke to get injured again.
Fast forward a couple of months, and England are a bit shaky. 50/50 against the Windies, Flintoff is hurt again, and they rely on Peterson so much. They aren't in the position to ambush Australia again. Australia only lost 2 games in the last Ashes series (in that whole calender year). McGrath was injured for both of them and England had a Welshman named Simon Jones bowling bananas with the Irish ball. Our guns are not playing IPL, so they will be on the job and Clarke will be fit. If they perform well against RSA, they are morals in England.
Yeah we can do just fine if Stuart Clark plays in the ashes, his style will tighten up some ugly loose ends. I'm keen as mustard to see Siddle in action, just quietly I think he has a 5 wicket haul in him. I'm trying to figure out how much the home ground advantage will play a part but regardless my money will be on South Africa for the series. I just got sick of hearing Ricky Ponting always saying before each game that the Australians were close to finding their rhythm and then at the end of each game saying that he didn't even know what was wrong. I'm sorry but as an Australian fan I think the Captain was just constantly telling us what he thought we wanted to hear and then nothing was produced. Michael Clarke's short time at the helm was 10 times worse! He even tried to tell us there was nothing going on with the players wives and girlfriends! L-I-A-R!! We are not stupid. If anyone amongst the administration had half a nut they would ban the WAGS from going to South Africa altogether. What were we talking about again?
Yeah I was way off with my predictions for these Tests. I guess my lack of knowledge for foreign pitches has been revealed. Especially that pith in the first test took me by surprise! What a beauty. Im stil having a bit of a look, ill get back with an opinion on the ODI's soon. What are your thoughts?
Sorry Dr Whiz but ive had a look and to be brutally honest im not qualified to make predictions for the series when its overseas, I just am not schooled enough when it comes to foreign pitches. My money will stay in my pocket. Sorry mate!
Fair call Vice. Home ground advantage can be key, and you don't want to ruin the enjoyment of watching a game if you've had a half hearted/half informed bet. Plenty of other options.
I think the RSA side have shown again in the 20/20 matches that they are just a bit ahead of us in the short game right now. G Smith is value if he plays, M North is a sub and probably plays, so we look a little weaker than we want to be and they get stronger. I'm patriotic, but have to tip RSA...3-2
Yeah i like to look at it as not only are RSA ahead of us in the shorter ganes, but the Aussies get ahead of themselves, eg. guys like David Hussey playing as if we need 12 runs off the last over when its actually 100 off the last 15. JUST RELAX FELLAS!!! It aint that they dont try, rather try too hard (the batsmen that is) Ill Stick with South Africa as the test series win i believe, will only serve to get the Aussies resting on their laurels. But i wont really have a stab at an exact series result. Ill back 3-2 in support of you Whiz, but id be fair tempted to go 4-1 again.
I'll take the Aussies........I do agree with your point vice about our batsman. They seem to be all out of form at the same time. They are being captained poorly though imo. Just see some obvious things that he doesn't see. I reckon they will be gunning to win the ODI series to cap off the tour and expect our batsman to click and hit 300+ in most games and for christ sake.......attack their spinner (capt.) by getting down the wicket to him and forcing him off his length. Have a go !!!!!!!!!!
Yeah thats fair enough, you make a good point, but....my point in my last post is basically DONT get down the wicket!!!! You dont see the South Africans charging and getting stumped. They attack loose balls from our fast bowlers and steadily keep the scoreboard ticking over, followed up with some good attacking batting from some all rounsers/lower order batsmen. The South Africans certainly look the complete One day package. When a guy like Johan Botha comes on and starts taking wickets, its not because he is a wicket taking bowler, its because he's there to tie down the run rate. Rather than caress the run rate through this period of the innings, many Aussie batsmen lose patience and play right into the South Africans hands and start throwing away wickets. Not much the captain can do about that. You say to 'expect' the Australians to click and hit 300+? Look I seriously hope you're 100% right, but i certainly wont be expecting anything.
I know the batting has nothing to do with pontings captaincy however the bowling certainly does.......anyway thats another point entirely. The Aussies get bogged down against Botha because they don't rotate the strike against him. That in turn puts the pressure on to score and thats when the mistake comes. Fair dinkum the bloke does not even turn it....he just bowls darts. Get down the wicket to him and there is a single every ball to long on/off (if they are up force him to put them back by hitting a few over the top). By getting down the wicket to him you force him to change his length and this should ensure more bad balls and thus greater opportunities to hit boundarys. Clarke does it the best but he always plays 1 terrible shot to get himself out. If you look at both series (in Aust. and over there) so far when we lose a wicket we lose another straight away and the pressure is back on. We used to be the best at knocking it around for a single but its seems to be missing lately. It's not like they have a gun attack....it's good but its not outstanding !
The nature of dismissals and the way the Aussies lose 2-3 wickets in a row so often reeks of inexperience. The young players are trying to play out of their skin. And the older players aren't as consistent as they were 12-24 months ago. That's why I think Smith is a good inclusion for RSA - he can make 100 runs from 120-130 odd balls, bat for 50 overs, and let a team bat around him. Establish the innings/match. We try to dash away and make 350 runs each time (Warner, D Hussey), rather than 250 runs and the rest as a bonus.
Bowling? same situation, we're happy to have one bowler takes a couple of wickets and we win ie M Johnson. We need 2-3 blokes that can hunt as a pack and create some pressure - like RSA, Steyn and Ntini take 1-40 each and we get out slogging Harris or Botha. It lets Botha/Harris take wickets in all forms of the game.
yeah spot on about the bowlers whiz, lack of pressure. Its all good and fine for one bowler to be having a good day, but if he's not nacked up at the other end, it makes things difficult. If two bowlers can tie things down for just 2 overs each (4 overs) it makes a massive difference.
Interesting you mention the 4 over spells. I've always thought similar, 5 overs patches (give or take) make or break this game. Lots of people talk about the final 10 or first 15, but you can stuff both them up with a bad patch from 30-35 for example. With the game being more dynamic over the last 2 years (aggressive batsmen, irish bowling, very small grounds) I've hardly bet on the ODI's lately, only for an interest. Luckily this has coincided with the Aussies coming back to the pack. The good old days when you could load up on them, odds on, week after week, and they'd win 9 out of 10.
Funny test and ODI series. One team gets flogged then the other, and back and forth for 2 months. That game last night was a reason I'm a bit off ODI's - slogathon. Haddin was good to watch but the way he played was rude! The ground is that small and the wicket so flat, the only chance a bowler has is when the batsmen make mistakes. The fact 867 runs were scored in a game on that ground says it all.