Home > News >

Graeme Smith, Michael Clarke under pressure to end their poor form

Graeme Smith (above) has been dismissed on eight occasions by Mitchell Johnson © Getty Images
Graeme Smith (above) has been dismissed on eight occasions by Mitchell Johnson © Getty Images

Cape Town: Feb 26, 2014

Captains Graeme Smith and Michael Clarke will be under greater than usual pressure when South Africa and Australia clash in the series-deciding third Test from Saturday.

Apart from the normal challenge of trying to win a showdown at Newlands between two of the game’s top teams, both skippers will be seeking to end a run of poor personal form with the bat.

And both will be facing bowlers who have been a nemesis during their careers.

Smith has had scores of 10, 4, 9 and 14 in the first two Tests, while Clarke has made 23, 17 not out, 19 and one.

Smith has been out three times to left-arm fast bowler Mitchell Johnson, who has now dismissed him eight times in 10 Tests. No bowler has claimed his wicket more often in Tests, although Chris Martin of New Zealand also got him out eight times in 11 matches.

Clarke has fallen twice to Dale Steyn, taking his number of dismissals against South Africa’s fast bowling kingpin to nine in 13 Tests, equal with Englishmen James Anderson (23 Tests) and Stuart Broad (17 Tests).

Both captains have rejected concerns about their form.

Smith points out that he scored a double century against Pakistan five Tests ago and that he has had success as well as failures against Johnson.

“I’ve faced Mitchell [Johnson] a lot of times — times where he’s had the better of me and times where I have had the better of him,” Smith said before South Africa squared the series by winning the second Test in Port Elizabeth.

After the double century against Pakistan, Smith made only 47 runs in four one-day innings against Pakistan but had scores of 68, 44, 47 and 27 not out in a two-Test series against India.

Clarke’s highest score in 11 Test innings since he made 148 against England in the second Ashes Test in Adelaide has been 24. In four One-Day Internationals (ODIs) against England he had a best of 43.

Asked about his recent form after the second Test, Clarke said: “Obviously I’d like to score a hundred every time I bat.

“I’ve been here before. In this game you have some great times. I remember those fondly and I said at the time, ‘it’s swings and roundabouts, there are tough times, so make sure you remember the good times’.”

Clarke’s “great times” were exceptional.

In the 2012 calendar year he hit 1,595 Test runs at an average of 106.33, with a triple century and three double centuries. Two of the double centuries were in a home series against South Africa.

The Australian captain, who before his second innings in Port Elizabeth said he felt in “great nick”, hoped he wouldn’t have to answer questions about his form in future press conferences. “I’m due,” he said.

Both captains have had success at Newlands.

The last time they came up against each other in Cape Town, in November 2011, Clarke hit 151 in an Australian first innings total of 284 before being dismissed for two when Australia were routed for 47 in the second innings.

Smith top-scored with 37 in South Africa’s first innings of 96, then guided his side to an eight-wicket win with an unbeaten 101

South Africa tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Jul 24, 2014 (10:00 IST)   at Colombo

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 24, 2014 (12:30 IST)   at Bulawayo

India tour of England 2014

Jul 27, 2014 (15:30 IST)   at Southampton

Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Aug 6, 2014 (10:00 IST)   at Galle

India tour of England 2014

Aug 7, 2014 (15:30 IST)   at Manchester

More

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 22, 2014  at Bulawayo

Afghanistan won by 2 wkts

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 20, 2014  at Bulawayo

Zimbabwe won by 8 wkts

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 18, 2014  at Bulawayo

Zimbabwe won by 6 wkts

India tour of England 2014

Jul 17, 2014  at London

India won by 95 runs

South Africa tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Jul 16, 2014  at Galle

South Africa won by 153 runs

Photos

Gallery: India vs England 2nd Test at Lord's

Videos

Alastair Cook jokes about his bowling

India’s wins in England — from 1971 to 2014

Ravindra Jadeja knighted by her majesty Queen Elizabeth II

India’s win over England in 2nd Test at Lord’s: Twitter reactions

Ishant Sharma pummels England into submission as India clinch Lord’s Test by 95 runs

Ishant Sharma registers name at Lord’s honours board, takes 6 wickets in 2nd Test against England

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe 2014 Alastair Cook England England vs India England vs India 2014 India India tour of England 2014 India vs England India vs England 2014 Ishant Sharma MS Dhoni Zimbabwe Zimbabwe vs Afghanistan Zimbabwe vs Afghanistan 2014

tsMS Dhoni takes 5th spot in Forbes Magazine’s valuable sportspersons list

PCB launches revamp of Pakistan’s domestic structure

Sri Lanka to look for new coaching staff

MS Dhoni better wicketkeeeper than what he showed at Lord’s: Farokh Engineer

Sachin Tendulkar: Century at Perth in 1992 against Australia changed my career

India vs England 3rd Test at The Ageas bowl: A sneak peek into England squad

Mohammad Irfan hopes Pakistani players will play in IPL

Stuart Binny and the selection conundrum for India’s third Test against England at Southampton

Can America be the ‘Land of Opportunity’ for cricket?

Graham Gooch’s fabulous numbers in all forms of cricket

Fan of the Day

Fan Cricket

Fan Cricket

11 Posts | 2 Fans

Brazil vs Netherlands, 3rd place Fifa World Cup 2014 match Video Highlights

Bang Bang teaser gets over a million views within 13 hours of release!

PCB launches revamp of Pakistan’s domestic structure

How many Xiaomi Mi 3 units did Flipkart sell in India?

World suspension of Israel flights `great victory`: Hamas

Pakistani actor Fawad Khan ignores criticism over doing Bollywood film

Sex Tip #26 – What to do after sex?

No evidence of tampering with MH17 voice recorder: Probe

tsMS Dhoni takes 5th spot in Forbes Magazine’s valuable sportspersons list

Idea offers free web pass to its users on Opera Mini

Leaked: Ranbir Kapoor and Deepika Padukone’s romantic video from Corsica!

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here