Famous Test Matches – England v South Africa, Old Trafford, 1998

  South Africa had stormed to a 1-0 lead in the series with a ten-wicket win in the second Test at Lord’s, and came into the third, played at Old Trafford from July 2 to July 6, 1998, riding on a wave of confidence. The visitors replaced opener Adam Bacher and pace bowler Shaun Pollock, both of whom were nursing injuries, with Gerhardus Liebenberg and Makhaya Ntini respectively.

  England, on the other hand, made three changes from the drubbing at Lord’s; Dean Headley and Mark Ealham made way for strike bowler Darren Gough, who was fit again, and uncapped Warwickshire left-arm spinner Ashley Giles, while Nick Knight came in for Stephen James to partner Michael Atherton at the top of the order.

  Hansie Cronje won the toss and made the wise decision of batting first on a slow surface which had little for the fast bowlers. Gough provided an early breakthrough by castling Liebenberg, but thereafter, Gary Kirsten and Jacques Kallis combined to grind the English bowling into submission. The duo saw through the rest of the opening day and steered South Africa to 237/1 at close of play.

  While the 22-year-old Kallis reached his second Test century on the first day, Kirsten completed the milestone early on day two. Together they stayed put for more than 96 overs, adding 238 for the second wicket, which was a new record for South Africa’s highest partnership for any wicket since their return from isolation. Kallis batted for nearly six hours before being bowled by Gough.

  Kallis’ 132 came from 266 balls and featured 16 fours, but his wicket was but a speck of consolation for the toiling bowlers. Daryll Cullinan came in at number four, and along with Kirsten, further frustrated the hosts by batting dourly and resolutely, effectively snuffing out any hopes that England might have had of gaining the upper hand.

   South African opener Gary Kirsten batted for nearly eleven hours to compile 210 at Old Trafford in 1998 (source – cricket.com.au)

  Kirsten went on to a maiden Test double hundred and was eventually out in the final session, caught behind by captain Alec Stewart off Angus Fraser, for a marathon knock of 210. He occupied the crease for ten hours and 50 minutes, then the longest Test innings by a South African batsman, faced 525 balls and hit 24 fours and a six. His third-wicket alliance with Cullinan fetched 176 runs.

  Nine overs later, Cullinan perished after a defiant effort of his own, 75 in nearly five hours, thus giving 25-year-old Giles his first Test wicket. South Africa finished the day at 487/4 and seemingly on course to bat England out of the match. Cronje collected an unbeaten 69 in the first session of the third day, before declaring his team’s innings one ball short of 200 overs, the total reading 552/5.

  With a considerable challenge staring them in the face, England’s batsmen let their supporters down, succumbing to pace and spin alike. The tearaway Allan Donald applied the pressure first up, snaring Nick Knight and Nasser Hussain to leave England at 34/2. The seasoned pair of Atherton and Stewart dug in to add 60 for the third wicket, before the former was dismissed.

  Atherton was caught behind by Mark Boucher, who pouched his third catch, off Ntini, the first black cricketer to play for South Africa. His 41 would remain the highest score of the innings. Stewart was soon bowled by Kallis, and the score was now 108/4. To worsen matters for England, Graham Thorpe was fighting a back injury and had to be shifted down the order.

  Left-arm chinaman bowler Paul Adams, known for his ‘frog in a blender’ action, took care of the middle order, scalping three wickets, including that of Thorpe for a duck, to tighten the noose around England. The hosts endured another torrid day, ending at 162/8 and were presumably down for the count. They were duly bundled out for 183 the next morning, with Adams returning 4/63.

  With England 369 runs behind and close to five sessions left in the game, Cronje had no hesitation in imposing the follow-on. The start to the second innings was woeful – Knight, caught behind off Donald, and Hussain, cleaned up by Kallis, were again back in the hut cheaply. For the second time in as many days, Atherton and Stewart were under the pump to salvage a fast-sinking ship.

     England’s captain Alec Stewart scored 164 in the second innings to engineer his team’s fightback against South Africa (source – gettyimages)

  England’s aggregate in their last three Test innings was fifteen runs less than South Africa’s first innings total here, and they now found themselves 11/2 against a charged-up bowling attack. To say they were in dire straits would be an understatement. The pair in the middle was utterly crucial for England in the context of the game, what with Thorpe’s lack of fitness.

  Atherton and Stewart delivered when it mattered the most, ensuring that the South Africans would not find any further success on the fourth day. Stewart was relatively brisker, and reached his century in the final session, remaining unbeaten on 115 at stumps. England began the final day in a much safer position, at 211/2, but by no means they were out of the woods yet.

  England were now trailing by 158, and with eight wickets still in the bank, they had reason to be optimistic of saving the Test as the fifth day commenced. Atherton, eyeing a hundred of his own, and Stewart prodded along with prudence, before the former was taken out halfway through the first session, caught by Ntini off Kallis for a valuable 89, which ate up over six hours and 280 balls.

  The third-wicket stand between Atherton and Stewart realised 226 runs, and more importantly, saw off 83 overs. Mark Ramprakash joined his captain at the fall of the third wicket, and as was expected, went into an uber-defensive mode right away. The total had inched to 293/3 an hour after lunch, with England still 76 short of making South Africa bat again, when Stewart finally buckled.

  England’s unflinching wicketkeeper-captain had done his bit for the team, batting out close to seven hours for a valiant 164 from 317 balls, with 24 fours. Like Atherton, he fell playing the hook shot, caught by Klusener off the indefatigable Donald. This key wicket doubtlessly reignited the ‘White Lightning’, as Donald was known, and he proceeded to give England a rude jolt.

  Thorpe capped a sorry Test with his second duck, bowled by Donald in his next over. To add to England’s distress, Adams ejected Dominic Cork soon after, and the score was now 296/6 – three wickets had fallen for as many runs in as many overs. Glamorgan’s Robert Croft joined Ramprakash, and another 20 overs were cleared before Donald had the latter leg before wicket.

     Speedster Allan Donald bowled his heart out for South Africa in the second innings, taking 6/88 from 40 overs (source – gettyimages)

  ‘Ramps’ held fort for over three hours, scoring 34. Fours over later, Donald collected his fifth victim in the form of Giles. England were now 329/8, with more than 25 overs left to be negotiated. Croft began to show that he was no pushover, stodgily defying whatever the South Africans threw at him. He found support in an equally obstinate Gough, and they set about to thwart the tiring visitors.

  Croft and Gough battled for more than 20 overs and 75 minutes, but when Gough was out, caught by Kirsten off Donald, there yet remained 7.1 overs and England were still two runs away from forcing the fourth innings. However, Croft was unmoved; he levelled the scores amid rising tension, thus covering two more overs, for the change of innings.

  Fraser, the number eleven, played out 13 deliveries at the other end without opening his account, and this last pair had somehow survived for 31 balls to deny South Africa. The draw was ensured in the penultimate over, as even if a wicket had fallen in the last over, South Africa would not have had sufficient time to bat. The Test finished with scores level as England dragged to 369/9 in 171 overs.

  Croft remained unbeaten on a heroic 37 from 125 balls, absorbing the pressure for three hours and ten minutes. Donald led the way for the South Africans, who were on the field for 253.1 overs, with figures of 6/88 in 40 overs. The choice of Kallis as man of the match was perhaps a wee bit surprising, though there is no denying the vital all-round role he played.

  Inspired by this epic escape, England produced a high-impact performance in the fourth Test at Trent Bridge, winning by eight wickets. It all boiled down to the decider at Headingley, which turned to be a gripping low-scorer that the hosts pinched by 23 runs, culminating in a special, come-from-behind series victory.

Match Scorecard

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Famous Test Matches – Sri Lanka v South Africa, Kandy, 2000

  South Africa came into this three-match series riding on a rich vein of form, having won their past five series and losing just one of their last 17 Tests. Five months earlier, they had secured a 2-0 sweep in India and now aimed at repeating the dose in Sri Lanka on their second tour of the country, the first being in 1993 when they won 1-0.

  But the off-field happenings could not have been more contrasting. These successes had come under the captaincy of Hansie Cronje, who was now a fallen figure after having admitted to match-fixing. Since the Indian tour, which was the focal point of the scandal, South African cricket had turned upside down and it was up to new captain Shaun Pollock to restore the team’s credibility.

  In the first Test at Galle, South Africa ran into a Sri Lankan outfit smarting from a 2-0 reversal at home against Pakistan just three weeks earlier and were drubbed by an innings and 15 runs. The South African batsmen were bamboozled by the wiles of Muttiah Muralitharan, who took 13 wickets in the match.

  A week after the lopsided opening duel, the teams met at the Asgiriya Stadium in Kandy for the second Test, played from July 30 to August 2. A year ago, Sri Lanka had posted a landmark win – which ultimately gave them the series – against Australia at this venue and now were well poised to secure a maiden series win over South Africa as well.

  Sanath Jayasuriya opted to field after winning the toss, hoping that his bowlers would extract the maximum from the pitch which was initially a dry turner tailor-made for spin, but attained a fair share of moisture due to heavy rain prior to the opening day. It was evident that batting would be a challenge from the very outset.

  Pacemen Chaminda Vaas and Nuwan Zoysa struck gold immediately, respectively sending back openers Gary Kirsten and Neil McKenzie for ducks within the first two overs. The introduction of off-spinners Muralitharan and Kumar Dharmasena only worsened things for the visitors. 

zzzulu      Lance Klusener struck an unbeaten 118 in the first innings to steer South Africa to safety from the depths of 34/5 (source – espncricinfo.com)

  Dharmasena castled Daryll Cullinan and Jonty Rhodes while ‘Murali’ accounted for Jacques Kallis at the other end. With the top five back in the pavillion, South Africa were tottering at 34/5 in the 19th over and could not have imagined a worse start to such a crucial Test match. 

  However, they found their saviours in Lance Klusener and Mark Boucher, who combined for a fortune-changing century stand at a fast clip. The two forged 124 runs in 33.1 overs for the sixth wicket – mixing caution with timely aggression – before Boucher was run out for a gutsy 60.

  Pollock and Nicky Boje then fell in successive balls to Upul Chandana’s leg-spin, the score now reading 173/8. But Klusener carried on with intent and added 37 with Paul Adams for the ninth wicket and a priceless 43 with Nantie Hayward for the tenth. 

  ‘Zulu’ remained unbeaten on 118 off 219 balls – his third Test hundred and arguably his finest innings ever – as South Africa wound up at a respectable 253. He hit 13 fours and two sixes and showed great application in keeping the spinning trio – who took seven wickets between them – at bay. Sri Lanka ended an absorbing first day at 15/0.

  Openers Marvan Atapattu and Jayasuriya adopted a patient approach on the second morning as they realised 53 runs. Atapattu added another 56 with Russel Arnold for the second wicket as he frustrated the bowlers with his copybook technique. He was joined by Arjuna Ranatunga at 182/4 and the pair steered Sri Lanka to a lead of seven by the end of the day, with Atapattu on 107*.

  Atapattu and Ranatunga stretched their partnership to 104 before Pollock trapped the former in front early on day three for 120 from 292 balls with 15 fours. This led to a lower-order collapse as South Africa fought back with quick wickets. Ranatunga was sixth out for 54, contentiously given LBW off a rising Hayward delivery.

  The batsmen to follow failed to last long and the last six wickets thus fell for just 22 runs in 7.1 overs. Pollock was the pick of the bowlers with three wickets. Trailing by 55, South Africa again began poorly, with Zoysa removing McKenzie for the second time in the match with the score at 10.

  Kirsten too fell cheaply, bowled by Dharmasena, and when Muralitharan got rid of Cullinan, South Africa were three down and still behind by five runs. Kallis put his hand up amid the crisis and produced a solid innings under pressure on a tough pitch. He found support in Rhodes, with whom he shared a fourth-wicket stand worth 71.

zzkallor     Jacques Kallis’ solid 87 in the second innings gave South Africa an opportunity in spite of conceding the first-innings lead (source – gettyimages)

  Jayasuriya then dented the visitors with a key double-strike within the space of seven runs. He had both Rhodes and Klusener caught behind by young wicketkeeper Kumar Sangakkara to reduce the score to 128/5. Kallis looked good for a hundred but was castled by Muralitharan for 87 off 208 balls with six fours and a six.

  Kallis’ dismissal meant that South Africa were ahead by 131 with just two wickets in hand. They ended the third day placed at 192/8. However on the fourth day, the Proteas’ tail wagged again – Boje and Adams put on 45 for the ninth wicket before Chandana dismissed the former and Hayward in four balls to restrict the final total to 231.

   Not surprisingly, the spinners took eight of the wickets. Sri Lanka were thus left with over five sessions to score 177 runs and seal their first series win against South Africa. While the hosts had banked on their spinners, South Africa needed a good show from their fast bowlers to make a match of it.

   They indeed provided the perfect start. Pollock had first-innings centurion Atapattu LBW off the very first ball of the chase. At the other end, Hayward sent back the dangerous Jayasuriya in the same manner off his first ball before having Mahela Jayawardene caught behind four balls later.

  With both the openers out for golden ducks and the scoreboard reading a precarious 9/3, the visitors had seized the initiative. It soon became 21/4 as Kallis joined the party by taking Sangakkara’s wicket. Sri Lanka went to lunch at 41/4 with Arnold and Ranatunga in the middle.

  The second session saw Ranatunga – playing his penultimate Test – launch a breathtaking counter-attack. The former captain caught the South African bowlers and fielders off guard with a flurry of piercing shots to the boundary. He reached his fifty in just 36 balls while Arnold played the anchoring role at the other end. 

  Arnold and Ranatunga put their team well on course for victory with a partnership of 109 that took only 23.3 overs. With 47 needed, six wickets in the bank and a rampant Ranatunga at the crease, Sri Lanka were firmly in the box seat. It was Boje who provided a much-needed opening by removing Arnold, LBW for 40.

zzzzranat     In his penultimate Test, Arjuna Ranatunga smashed a rapid 88 to rescue Sri Lanka during their tense chase of 177 (source – espncricinfo.com)

  Three runs later, Klusener scalped Dharmasena and South Africa were back in the hunt. Even then, they still needed to see Ranatunga’s back. The big moment arrived three balls before tea as the agile Rhodes caught Ranatunga at short-leg with a reflex catch off Boje. The score read 161/7 and the pendulum had swung.

  Ranatunga scored 88 in just 103 balls, adorned with 15 fours, and also passed 5000 Test runs in the process. But his dismissal had ensured that the Sri Lankan tail was left with the tricky task of scoring 16 runs as the final session began. Klusener, in the thick of things as always, bowled Chandana with a yorker off the very first ball post tea.

  The crowd at the picturesque ground was fast getting jittery as Zoysa joined his fellow paceman Vaas in the middle. The pair hung around for 29 balls, bringing the target closer by eight runs, before disaster struck in the form of a mindless misunderstanding.

  To add to the drama, Jayasuriya had come in as a runner for an injured Zoysa. With eight needed to win, Vaas, at the non-striker’s end, set off for a run but was sent back by a hesitant Jayasuriya. By the time Vaas made a return dash to his crease, it was too late as the throw from Kallis had found its way to Klusener and on to the stumps.

   The last man Muralitharan was out the very next ball, umpire Daryl Harper making an error of judgement while giving a caught-behind off Boje (3/24). South Africa had prevailed in a fluctuating match by seven runs and remained alive in the series by the skin of their teeth. Klusener and Ranatunga shared the man of the match award.

  South Africa had bounced back from a disadvantageous position in each of the four innings and eventually fought their way to a nerve-jangling victory. This is their second-narrowest win in terms of runs after their five-run triumph against Australia at Sydney in 1993-94. Also, this is Sri Lanka’s narrowest defeat. The hosts had themselves to blame for the twin collapses of 6/22 and 6/39.

  The deciding Test at Colombo’s Sinhalese Sports Club – Ranatunga’s farewell – ended in a draw and so did the series. South Africa’s unbeaten series streak continued until December 2001, when they were whitewashed 3-0 in Australia.

Match Scorecard

Specials – Revisiting King Kallis’ best Test performances

  International cricket has become poorer after the retirement of Jacques Kallis, one of the greatest cricketers ever to have graced the field. A legend in every sense of the word, ‘King’ Kallis has left us with memories of an illustrious career spanning nearly two decades.

  The South African all-rounder quit from Test cricket in December 2013, with a view to keep himself fit for the 2015 World Cup. However, a string of poor scores in the recent ODI series in Sri Lanka prompted him to call it a day eight months earlier than intended.

  His gargantuan numbers in both Tests and ODI’s underline the immense value that he brought to the South African side throughout his career. Never have we seen a cricketer contribute so much in all the three departments of the game. On the basis of his batting alone, Kallis would have had sealed his place in the pantheon of greats.

  Blessed with excellent fitness and characterised by determination and dedication, he vowed the world with his all-round skills like no one else has in recent times. Dignified, understated and a true ambassador of the game – let us all admit that Jacques Kallis is the answer to the question “Who has been the greatest cricketer in the last twenty years”?

  Here are some of Kallis’ most memorable performances in Test cricket in chronological order:-

Stupendous all-round show – 4th Test v West Indies, Cape Town 1998-99

  On his home ground, a 23 year-old Kallis starred with both bat and ball to help his country win by 149 runs. He came in at 0/1 in the first innings and scored a sedate 110 in a game-changing 235-run stand for the third wicket with Daryll Cullinan. With their team trailing by 194 on the first innings, the West Indian bowlers rocked the hosts’ top order in the second dig.

  However, Kallis came to the rescue again, scoring an unbeaten 88 to help set a target of 421. He rounded off by taking 5/90 to finish with a total of 198 runs and seven wickets in the match. He topped the run charts in the five-match series with a tally of 485, as South Africa cruised to a 5-0 triumph.

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       Jacques Kallis celebrates after reaching his second century against Pakistan in the Karachi Test in 2007-08 (source – theage.com.au)

Digging in at Bourda – 1st Test v West Indies, Georgetown 2004-05

  South Africa were in real danger of being beaten by an understrength West Indian side when they were made to follow on 355 runs in arrears (WI 543/5, SA 188) with around 160 overs remaining. Kallis, who had failed to score in the first innings, came out to bat late on the fourth day with his team under pressure at 68/2. He went on to bat resolutely for the whole of the fifth day, finishing on an unbeaten 109 in nearly seven hours to help South Africa escape with a draw.

The King of Karachi – 1st Test v Pakistan, Karachi 2007-08

  In more than fifty years, Pakistan had lost just once at their fortress of the National Stadium in Karachi, and that was against a Graham Thorpe-inspired England in utter darkness in 2000-01. Seven years later, Kallis ensured a second defeat for the hosts with a masterly batting performance.

  South Africa’s first innings total of 450 was built around Kallis’ graceful 155. Leading by 159, South Africa were three down for 43 in the second innings before Kallis came to the rescue, this time making an unbeaten 100. South Africa went on to win the game by 160 runs and the series 1-0.

The first double-century – 1st Test v India, Centurion 2010-11

  It seems odd that Kallis took fifteen years and 37 hundreds before registering his first double-century. After a beleaguered Indian side were bundled out for 136, he took centre-stage with a unbeaten 201 off just 270 balls with 15 fours and five sixes.

  Kallis reached his century off 130 balls, the fastest of his Test career. He put on 230 for the third wicket with his favourite batting partner Hashim Amla and a further 224 for the fourth wicket with A.B de Villiers, as the Proteas piled up 620/4. Needless to say, India were routed – by an innings and 25 runs.

Vintage Kallis at Newlands – 3rd Test v India, Cape Town 2010-11

  The series was tied at 1-1 with all to play for at Newlands. Kallis came in at a wobbly 34/2 in the first innings and was last out for a solid 161, guiding his team to 362. India took a two-run lead thanks to a Sachin Tendulkar hundred, which meant that the game was now a second-innings shootout.

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        Kallis exults after scoring his 45th and final hundred in his last Test innings against India at Durban in 2013-14 (source – thehindu.com)

  Harbhajan Singh rattled South Africa’s top order and early on the fourth day, the hosts were tottering at 64/4, which then became 130/6. But amidst all this, Kallis stood unperturbed. All he needed was a willing ally, and his wish was answered by his old mate Mark Boucher.

  The two added 103 for the seventh wicket to rescue their team. Kallis added a further hundred-plus runs with the tail and he remained unbeaten on 109 out of 341, ensuring a hard-fought draw.

Protea fire in the belly – 2nd Test v Australia, Adelaide 2012-13

  This was undoubtedly Faf du Plessis’ match, but one wonders whether the remarkable escape would have been possible without Kallis’ heroic contributions. Kallis had just picked up two wickets in the first innings when he pulled a hamstring and was forced off the field.

  Australia smashed 550 at breakneck speed and then had South Africa at 250/7. Kallis strode in at number nine and scored a gutsy 58 to help trim the deficit to 162. In the second innings, chasing 430, South Africa were 45/4 and then 134/5 with du Plessis desperately seeking a partner.

  Kallis rose to the challenge again, this time making 46 from number seven and adding 99 for the sixth wicket while battling real pain and under palm-sweating tension. The draw ensured that South Africa were able to win the rubber in the final Test in Perth.

The swansong hundred – 2nd Test v India, Durban 2013-14

  Kallis is among the fortunate few to have scored a hundred in their last Test innings. In a series-deciding clash, Kallis’ patient 115 helped South Africa score 500 after being 113/3 in reply to India’s 334. He added 127 for the fourth wicket with A.B de Villiers to put the innings back on track. Kallis had the sweet satisfaction of starring in his team’s victory in his final Test appearance as South Africa cruised home by ten wickets.

Kallis in numbers:-

Tests (1995-2013) – 166 matches (fourth-highest), 280 innings, 13289 runs (third-highest) @ 55.37, 45 hundreds (second-highest), 58 fifties, best of 224, 292 wickets @ 32.65, 200 catches

ODI’s (1996-2014) – 328 matches, 314 innings, 11579 runs @ 44.36, 17 hundreds, 86 fifties, 273 wickets @ 31.79, 131 catches

  There might never be another of his kind. Thanks for the memories, Jacques Kallis.

IN FOCUS – South Africa in Australia Test series 2012-13 preview

  Come November 9, Australia will start its international season with a much-anticipated Test series against world champions South Africa. The Proteas were crowned champions when they beat England 2-0 in England in August. 

The Matches

  Fortunately, there are at least three Tests in this series, unlike last season’s series between the two countries in South Africa, where there were just two Tests. The venues for the three Tests are the Gabba in Brisbane (November 9-13), the Adelaide Oval (November 22-26) and the WACA Ground in Perth (November 30-December 4). South Africa will be playing at the Gabba for the first time since 1963-64, while of Perth they will have great memories of chasing 414 there during their series win in 2008-09.

Head To Head and Recent Record

   Australia and South Africa have played each other in 85 Tests, with Australia clearly dominating – 48 wins to South Africa’s 19, plus 18 draws. In Australia, the figures read 20 wins in 35 Tests for Australia, with South Africa winning 7 and 8 ending in draws. In recent times, South Africa have shown that they can be better than Australia at times – winning 2-1 the last time they visited Australia in 2008-09. However in the same season, Australia inflicted a return 2-1 defeat when they travelled to South Africa. Last season’s two-Test rubber in South Africa was drawn 1-1. In the last ten Tests between the two teams, Australia have won 6 to South Africa’s 4. The last 13 Tests between the teams have all fetched results.

Form Book and Ranking

  South Africa confirmed themselves as the world’s best team when they toppled England off their perch in their own backyard, winning the 3-match series 2-0 and becoming the No.1 Test nation. Before that, Greame Smith’s side won in New Zealand and at home against Sri Lanka. The last series that South Africa lost was against Australia at home in 2008-09. Since then they have won 4 and drawn 5 series. The last time they lost away was back in 2006 when they lost 0-2 in Sri Lanka.

  Australia were outplayed by England 1-3 in the home Ashes in 2010-11, dropping to No.5 in the rankings at one stage. But since then they have been steadily on the rise under Michael Clarke. In the past five series, Australia have won 3 and drawn 2, including overseas wins in Sri Lanka and West Indies, and a 4-0 sweep of India at home last summer. They are currently ranked 3rd, just one rating point behind 2nd placed England.

          A successful series for Ricky Ponting might just prolong his illustrious career (source – heraldsun.com.au)

Players To Watch Out For

  This Test series is being touted as the battle of the pace bowlers. And at least two of the venues – Brisbane and Perth – will offer generous purchase for the seam bowlers. South Africa possess the best pace attack in the world at the moment- Dale Steyn (who is the world’s best fast bowler), Vernon Philander (who has had a sensational debut season last year) and Morne Morkel. Watch out for the Steyn-Philander pairing in particular – Steyn having had a memorable series last time in Australia, especially his 76 and 10 wickets at the MCG. Ricky Ponting’s Test career is on its last legs, but following an excellent show against India last summer, he will be raring to prove that he still has a lot to offer to his team. His contemporary Jacques Kallis continues to be South Africa’s mainstay, and will be hoping to improve his average against Australia.

     Besides Steyn and Co, Australia will need to tackle the batting duo of Jacques Kallis and Hashim Amla as well (source – ibn.live.in.com)

Prediction

  Very tough to guess the scoreline here, but South Africa surely hold a small edge, their below-par bowling in the ongoing tour match notwithstanding. After much deliberation, I have zeroed down upon a likely 2-1 victory for South Africa, although it is by no means an absolutely confident prediction.