Australia v South Africa – Perth Test Day 5: Next gen destroy Aussies

No AB de Villiers, virtually no Dale Steyn and only 1 run from Hashim Amla… yet South Africa have thrashed a full-strength Australia.

This raises two clear points:

  • Australia is a mediocre cricket side
  • South Africa have a strong squad with fabulous new talent

To be fair Australia displayed some fight on the fifth day. Khawaja’s 97, Peter Nevill’s four hour 60 not out and the tail’s resistance showed some much-needed spine. South Africa deserve the accolades though.

Man of the Match Kagiso Rabada. Wow. The 21-year-old from Johannesburg averages under 25 with the ball from his first 9 Tests and looks a real gem.

Rabada first attracted interest in Australia in 2014 when he played for South Africa A at Townsville’s  Tony Ireland Riverway Stadium, a possible venue for a home Test against Bangladesh in 2017.

Rabada became a cult hero with local fans from Norths Cricket Club in Townsville who enjoyed the youngster’s raw pace and fire.

Two years later Rabada slaughtered Australia’s Test top order at Perth. Quick, accurate, swung it both ways and demonstrated he has a great attitude. He took the time to shake Usman Khawaja’s hand when he was dismissed for 97, a sign of maturity and good character, and accepted the man of the match award with great humility.

After Steyn’s withdrawal Rabada shouldered a big workload with seam partner Vernon Philander who  – as an overweight medium pacer – continues to defy the odds and take lots of wickets. But its the young guys that will excite South Africans.

Rabada spearheaded a group of five under 30 who made definitive contributions in Perth; Maharaj, de Kock, Elgar and Bavuma. The future looks bright for Protea cricket.

Australia’s youth appears less convincing. Channel 9’s lunchtime cricket show ran a feature on Pat Cummins. The story focused on the injury-riddled pace bowler’s recovery from injury… again.

We all hope this young man sorts his body out. But the Cummins story has been running a long time.

He has played eight First Class matches and one Test Match since 2011. Maybe its time to move on and focus on nurturing some of the lads from the youth teams?  Or feature stories from the Sheffield Shield?

In other cricketing news; India host England for five Test matches beginning on Wednesday in Rajkot.

It will be a fascinating series. England beat India 2-1 last time they toured but England’s recent 1-1 draw with Bangladesh and a reinvigorated India under Virat Kohli indicates that a thrilling series is about to begin.

Australia’s next Test against South Africa begins in Hobart on Saturday.

(This article first appeared on Cricket Froth on 7/11/16)



About Pat White

I love Test cricket and struggle to embrace T20. One is like reading a great novel with a twisting plot and intriguing characters and the other is a cheap and trashy magazine. But the popular trashy mag is here to stay. So let's help cricket's new audience discover the romance and frantic drama of cricket's greatest format; Test Match. Join me for some non-establishment cricket analysis and get involved by posting a comment.


  1. yep i am not sure Cummins will ever make it and yo be fair i am not even sure he is that good. seemd pretty one dimensional

    this attack needs Pattinson and a new spinner
    and an extra 150 runs from a change in the batting, but Ferguson is not that change. bizarre selection for mine.

  2. Thesaurus Rex says

    And SA have Morkel, Roussouw & Abbott standing by on the sidelines (only Cook’s spot is up for grabs). Aust’n cricket is not in a good place at the moment, too much reliance on Warner & Stark – though Smith is due to get back to his best. M Marsh needs to excel in ONE of the two roles real soon. Aust needs quality batsmen, bowlers & fieldsman, simple as that! … what it doesn’t need is a # 11 who is a good batsman too. That R Marsh clanger brings us to the problem of selectors. Same XI, pre-announced, for Hobart. Shortsighted, wrong move … I would play Sayers, not just for yesterday’s triumph, but he’s done consistently well for more than long enough, he warrants selection!

  3. Astonishing to witness … a white Afrikans-speaking captain of Sth Africa kiss his black African
    bowling spearhead in joy after that breakthrough wicket! Demonstrates in one spontaneous act just how far the SA Republic has come.

  4. Yep Pat, Rabda is all our young pacemen aren’t. Man of the match here, he’s taken 13 wickets in a test V the Poms, a hatrick on ODI debut. How can you fault that ?

    Like almost all Australian supporters i’m bemused by the selections. Joe Burns failed in India, failed twice in his most recent shield match, then gets a test recall !?! Callum Ferguson, most people didn’t think of him as a test option. He’d been a fine ODI batsmen prior to his knee injury, but never rated as a test player. If he comes in, it’s time to say Auf Weidersehn to Voges. Voges took a long time to finally get his baggy green, had an Indian summer of 2015-16, where as a flat track bully he decimated attacks, but he won’t get any better. Good on him for his brief test career, butt it’s time for that to finish.

    How we pick a test XI for the opening pair of tests than make two changes between tests shows some muddled thinking.


  5. Steve mccarron says

    I would bring Maxwell into bat 6 and bowl spin, drop Mitch marsh down to be 3rd seamer. Think voges deserves another chance to the end of this series (he is averaging 67 in test cricket, admit though this average is falling over past 5 tests) and would seriously think about our spin option. Lyon has been good for us but sometimes we need a more attacking option. Who that is well it is hard to say? Zampa, Boyce?

    Glen you are right about Ferguson but i do think burns deserves another chance. Plenty have failed on overseas turning wickets (think mark Waugh in sri lanka). Burns has done well and he maybe more suited to the #5 spot.

  6. I agree Peter I think the evidence suggests Pat Cummins will never quite make it. A shame, but there are thousands of failed careers destroyed by injury. I question the special-ness that appears to have been attached to this guy’s story by the establishment.

    Yeah great point Rex; Morkel, Roussouw & Abbott are all in the wings. I rate Roussouw, I think we will see a lot of him in the future. The Australian side is very unbalanced and far too reliant upon one or two big contributions. Imagine life without Warner, Starc or Smith at the moment?

    A fine moment it was Paganmaven. Would it be widely publicised in the Republic I wonder?

    I agree Glen. Very confusing selection messages. Burns must have been thinking right, I need to go and get some runs to earn a recall. Victoria hump Queensland at the MCG, Burns scores 11 runs in two innings and is back in the squad. Granted, as cover for an injury, but I wonder if somebody else, who demonstrated form in the Shield on the weekend, would have been a better fit?

    I think Voges’ days are numbered. He has a great average but the majority of those runs have come when Australia is bossing matches – a common theme at present. Where are the blokes who can come in at 3/50 when the opposition is absolutely flying in and rescue an innings? We are a house of cards and have been years, I wonder if these types of collapse scenarios are replicated in training? They should be.

    Maxwell is an interesting prospect Steve. I thought his selection in the UAE 2 years ago was a bad one but he has potential, but seems on the outer at present. A recent solid 81 at 6 for Victoria improves his case. Lyon continually disappoints me. He has benefited from the spin selection roller coaster that preceded him. Something like 11 spinners in a handful of years post-Warne, somebody made the argument we should pick one, back him and let him develop. But Lyon has failed to win matches or tie down ends when we badly needed it. He has also failed to take big wickets on decks when 39 year olds blokes like Herath were killing us.

  7. Ta Pat, just a few points re our spinners.

    Lyon, the GOAT,i s out of form. He struggled in Sri Lanka, ditto Perth, but re the latter he’s not Pat Malone as a spinner. He has had peaks and troughs,, the Adelaide oval being a spot for them. His inability to bowl out South Africa on the last day during their previous tour, followed by a marvellous performance against India on the same ground twelve months later, are his bookends. I wouldn’t discard him but in the current period he seems to going through the worst slump in his career.

    In the most recent shield round there’s been some standout performances. At the SCG Somerville, 9, and O’Keefe 8, snaffled 17 wickets between them. For the visitors Agar picked up 10. Down here on the MCG Holland picked up 8. Impressive performances.

    Agar may not merit a spot as the frontline spinner but he’d be a good replacement for the allrounder/number 6 berth. A 98 on test debut, wickets and a few runs this summer, one would surmise that sort of form would have him in the mix. Sadly, however, form seems a dirty, four letter word to the Australian selectors.


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