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Old 26th November 2015, 10:21   #161
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South Africa look woeful. I am pretty confident that we will have too much for them. If AB struggles then we win.
I've stated before that I think England have a chance in South Africa but they will rightly start as underdogs. However, to write South Africa off in their home conditions based on their performances in India on made-to-measure pitches is plain stupid.
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Old 26th November 2015, 10:33   #162
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Slop - what team do you think South Africa will play at home? I am assuming than Van Zyl won't open the batting? Also, will they be happy enough to play Duminy as the sole spinner?
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Old 26th November 2015, 10:41   #163
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Slop - what team do you think South Africa will play at home? I am assuming than Van Zyl won't open the batting? Also, will they be happy enough to play Duminy as the sole spinner?

Van Zyl is a different player in SA conditions though so he might survive. One might expect Vilas to get the flick. Steyn and Philander will probably return. Rabada might do really well in home conditions.
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Old 26th November 2015, 10:45   #164
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Van Zyl is a different player in SA conditions though so he might survive. One might expect Vilas to get the flick. Steyn and Philander will probably return. Rabada might do really well in home conditions.
Isn't he a middle order player though? Also, I'm not sure Philander will be fit for the start of the series.
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Old 26th November 2015, 10:46   #165
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Van Zyl is a different player in SA conditions though so he might survive. One might expect Vilas to get the flick. Steyn and Philander will probably return. Rabada might do really well in home conditions.
T'is true that the series will be different. Morale won't be great after this though. (Unless a miracle occurs, that is).

Isn't Philander out until the 2nd Test at the earliest? And Steyn may have little match fitness too.

I'd certainly expect Anderson and Broad to be very effective, therefore really testing both Elgar and Van Zyl who will rarely have faced bowlers of their quality. Faf looks all at sea at present but I would anticipate Amla and ABdV finding form again.

Should be an excellent series, hopefully played on some good wickets giving bat and ball a chance.
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Old 26th November 2015, 11:06   #166
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Is Tahir South Africa's new number 3? I don't think I've ever seen a more ill-equipped nightwatchman.
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Old 26th November 2015, 11:12   #167
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Isn't he a middle order player though? Also, I'm not sure Philander will be fit for the start of the series.
I don't know about the opened, Van zyl is better than this and I don't know who else they'd have. You're right that Philander is a significant doubt for the first test, so there's Abbott and Radaba. Not quite the same quality but not bad replacements. I think Steyn is likely to play the first test, not sure about the whole series though. I'd expect Duminy to be the spinner, maybe Elgar doing a bit.

I also expect Faf to find form. I certainly don't see him, Amla and AB all struggling like they have in these conditions.
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Old 26th November 2015, 11:21   #168
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What about Rillee Rossouw, is he in contention for a place? I've been impressed the few times I've watched him. Can he open, or De Kock maybe?
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Old 26th November 2015, 11:36   #169
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I've stated before that I think England have a chance in South Africa but they will rightly start as underdogs. However, to write South Africa off in their home conditions based on their performances in India on made-to-measure pitches is plain stupid.
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T'is true that the series will be different. Morale won't be great after this though. (Unless a miracle occurs, that is).

Isn't Philander out until the 2nd Test at the earliest? And Steyn may have little match fitness too.

I'd certainly expect Anderson and Broad to be very effective, therefore really testing both Elgar and Van Zyl who will rarely have faced bowlers of their quality. Faf looks all at sea at present but I would anticipate Amla and ABdV finding form again.

Should be an excellent series, hopefully played on some good wickets giving bat and ball a chance.
There is no doubt that the loss of Kallis and Smith has hit home but to judge their likely performances on home soil on the back of this series is pushing it. I too believe that Anderson and Broad have it in them to win matches there but at the same time it would be hard to look past a fit Steyn and Morkel not to be capable of similar. Added to that if the pitches are prepared hard and fast, and SA would be silly not to try and make them so, I'd be surprised if there weren't a few England batsmen who might struggle with the conditions.
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Old 26th November 2015, 13:46   #170
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I noticed it last year when Craig kieswetter was struggling. It is odd that with a successful franchise competition that none of Oz, India (since iPL) and South Africa have won the t20 World Cup though.

South Africa look woeful. I am pretty confident that we will have too much for them. If AB struggles then we win.
I'm not sure we can rule out home advantage quite so easily I'm afraid.

I don't know if true but isn't England the only country now without a franchise-type league? If so, unless we win the T20WC in perpetuity from now on then we'll soon be saying that only countries with franchise based t20 leagues win it, or the 50 over version, or are ranked no1 in tests.
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Old 27th November 2015, 04:58   #171
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With Shashank Manohar claiming BCCI should not be bullying ICC, the best way to test that would be for CSA to report this pitch and see what happens.
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Old 27th November 2015, 05:05   #172
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I remember watching Sunil Gavaskar play a masterful innings in Bangalore on a 5th day pitch that definitely looked a lot worse than the one currently in Nagpur. He scored a 96, if I remember correctly, against the likes of Iqbal Qasim and Tausef Ahmed.

Forget Gavaskar, the current guys don't even have the defensive ability of even an Azharuddin.
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Old 27th November 2015, 05:43   #173
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Regardless of how much he scores, this innings should help Amla's confidence.
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Old 27th November 2015, 07:14   #174
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This pair looking pretty well settled now. Still a lot of runs to get on a pitch like this but SA aren't the no.1 side in the world for no reason.
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Old 27th November 2015, 08:26   #175
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Well, at least they put up a fight in terms of time if not runs. Would have been nice to get closer but it's getting more and more difficult out there. You can't just bat out the tough periods.
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Old 27th November 2015, 08:30   #176
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Well, at least they put up a fight in terms of time if not runs. Would have been nice to get closer but it's getting more and more difficult out there. You can't just bat out the tough periods.
Yes, play your shots and you'll get out quickly because of the turn and variable bounce or don't play your shots and last longer but score few runs and still get out. Aidan was right about SA's chances of chasing 300 on this.
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Old 27th November 2015, 10:52   #177
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Yep and the point is borne out by the two second innings - SA batted twice as long as India but scored only 12 more runs. There has to be a reward to batsmen for fighting out challenging periods (as Amla and Faf did today). On this pitch if you did fight out a tough period it just meant you survived long enough to face another tough period - and even for a batsman of Amla, who has few peers in technique and unflappability, that was too tall an order.

All that said, India deserve the series win, even only if they were less poor of the two sides. However, plenty of problems in the team - apart from Vijay, none of the batsmen consistently inspire confidence and the over reliance on spinners means the pacers are getting marginalized again - which in turn will lead to the usual problems when touring outside the subcontinent. But for now well done on a rare win over SA - this is only the third time ever that India have won a Test series against SA.
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Old 27th November 2015, 11:27   #178
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All true cg. Course winning the toss this test helped loads, as the wicket wasn't totally unplayable for the first two sessions of the match and it was far from irrelevant in the first test either, whereas it very much was in the second test. Having said that, SA's poor effort in that test rather undermines any arguments that they've not been comfortably second best.
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Old 27th November 2015, 11:42   #179
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Yes, there are two separate issues there and I think SA would acknowledge that. Both teams play under the same conditions (including rules), so India were clearly the better team.

I also don't like to blame the pitch entirely as both teams batted very poorly, even in that context. However, with both teams barely breaching 200 over 10 innings, and several days left unplayed, something's not right.
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Old 27th November 2015, 12:06   #180
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Ashwin must be number 1 in the rankings now.
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