Proteas aim to conquer Oz again
It is hard to believe that the wheel has turned full circle once more since the Proteas’ tumultuous, first-ever Test series triumph in Australia in 2008/09.
But yes, they are back on the “bus” again … another three-Test series Down Under looms large, with respective clashes at Brisbane (November 9-13), Adelaide (November 22-26) and Perth (November 30-December 4).
South Africa are rightly still puffing out their chests after a superb 2-0 victory in England earlier this year, which saw them knock the hosts off their perch as top-ranked Test outfit.
The Proteas played with admirable, welcome intensity more or less from the start of that series to the finish, and may require nothing less again if they are to at least prevent defeat in Australia and extend their hold on the No 1 crown.
Graeme Smith, who also inspiringly led the 2008/09 charge, is at the helm again, and the current side is a healthily settled one – it was unchanged in England and the same XI are expected, fitness permitting, to line up for the first Test against the rebuilding Baggy Greens, tutored by SA-born Mickey Arthur.
The tour’s appeal is lifted by the fact that the Gabba and WACA, grounds favouring seam and pace bowling respectively, have got onto the roster: a sure sign that the Aussies will be pinning their faith in a rising young arsenal of quickies to try to unsettle the Proteas’ juggernaut senior batting line-up.
But the tourists have plenty of “grievous bodily harm” material of their own, led by the undimmed Dale Steyn, to supplement such quality stroke-players as Hashim Amla, Jacques Kallis and AB de Villiers, so this series will not be one for the faint-hearted.
TV coverage: SuperSport 2 and other channels (TBC)
Source: Rob Howing, Sport24