Home > News >

Michael Clarke expects South Africa to fight back in 2nd Test at Port Elizabeth

Michael Clarke © Getty Images
Michael Clarke praised Mitchell Johnson’s fiery bowling against South Africa at Centurion in the first Test © Getty Images

By Colin Bryden

Centurion: Feb 16, 2014

South Africa entered their Test series against Australia as undisputed world champions in the five-day form of the game.

But the crushing nature of their 281-run defeat in the first Test at SuperSport Park has raised the possibility that their era of dominance may be coming to an end.

Irrespective of the result of the current three-Test series, South Africa will remain on top of the International Cricket Council (ICC)  rankings — but they will need to raise their game in order to be regarded as champions in more than name only.

Left-arm fast bowler Mitchell Johnson was the destroyer with match figures of 12 for 127.

Johnson not only blasted through South Africa’s top order batting in both innings, he intimidated the hosts with fast, hostile short-pitched bowling. Hashim Amla and Ryan McLaren both took sickening blows on their helmets.

Australian captain Michael Clarke had no doubt that it was a performance that would have been noticed around the world.

“I don’t know what South Africa are feeling at the moment,” said Clarke.

“I do know there is not one cricket lover around the world that doesn’t know that Mitchell Johnson is bowling at extreme pace and executing his skills better than any other bowler in the world.”

But Clarke was wary of claiming that his team had dominance in the series.

He insisted that South Africa had been tough opponents at Centurion — although there was not much evidence to back up his view — and said he expected Smith’s team to come out fighting in the second Test which starts in Port Elizabeth on Thursday.

“I said when we left Australia that the greatest challenge this team faces is to have success away from home,” said Clarke.

“That’s why this series is such a big challenge for us. We started well but we’ve got a lot of work to do.

“There’s a lot of skill in that [South African] change room. I’m sure this next Test is going to be even tougher than what we just faced.”

South African captain Graeme Smith acknowledged that his team had fallen well short.

“There’s going to be a lot of criticism and fan emotion,” he said. “We didn’t live up to expectations and we deserve every bit that comes our way.”

Smith and fellow opening batsman Alviro Petersen both fell cheaply to Johnson in both innings, exposing the rest of a batting line-up which is without the recently retired, Jacques Kallis.

Only AB de Villiers, who made 91 and 48, looked comfortable for extended periods against Johnson, although Amla played some good strokes in making 35 in the second innings.

But it was not only South Africa’s batting that failed.

The bowling was disappointing, with Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel and Vernon Philander failing to take advantage of a pitch which Clarke described as ‘quite nasty’, while De Villiers said some of South Africa’s fielding was ‘almost embarrassing’.

There are not many options for the South African selectors, although left-armer Wayne Parnell might replace fellow all-rounder Ryan McLaren.

Petersen looked out of his depth against Johnson but there are no obvious replacements.

South Africa might add an extra batsman, probably Dean Elgar, which would put left-arm spinner Robin Peterson’s place in jeopardy.

Australia, meanwhile, are looking ahead.

“They know we’re here to play,” said coach Darren Lehmann. “But this game is finished. We need to adapt for the next game. It is a case of backing it up.”

Smith denied that Johnson had destroyed South Africa’s confidence.

“I doubt there is much mental scarring,” he said. “We’ve lost a game and we’ve been beaten comprehensively.

“It’s important that we move away now. There are still two big Test matches left in this series and we need to make sure that we perform really well in the next one.”

World T20 League 2014

Sep 22, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Bengaluru

World T20 League 2014

Sep 23, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Raipur

World T20 League 2014

Sep 24, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Hyderabad

World T20 League 2014

Sep 25, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Bengaluru

World T20 League 2014

Sep 26, 2014 (16:00 IST)   at Mohali

More

World T20 League 2014

Sep 21, 2014  at Hyderabad

Kolkata Knight Riders won by 4 wkts

World T20 League 2014

Sep 21, 2014  at Hyderabad

Hobart Hurricanes won by 6 wkts

World T20 League 2014

Sep 20, 2014  at Mohali

Kings XI Punjab won by 4 wkts

World T20 League 2014

Sep 20, 2014  at Mohali

Perth Scorchers won by 6 wkts

World T20 League 2014

Sep 19, 2014  at Raipur

NK won by 33 runs (D/L method)

Photos

KXIP vs Hobart Hurricanes, Match 2 CLT20 2014

Videos

Kane, Devcich praise each others knock

Live Cricket Score Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) vs Lahore Lions CLT20 2014: KKR labour to 4 wicket win

CLT20 2014: Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) vs Lahore Lions (LL), Match 7: 5 key battles

Before Mitchell Marsh, Surinder Amarnath had hit sixes off last two balls to win a match in England

Kings XI Punjab vs Barbados Tridents, Match 5, CLT20 2014: Highlights

CLT20 2014: Mitchell Marsh stakes his claim for a spot in Australia’s ICC World Cup 2015 squad with late blitz for Perth Scorchers against Dolphins

Asian Games Asian Games 2014 Cape Cobras Champions League T20 2014 CLT20 CLT20 2014 Dolphins Hobart Hurricanes Incheon Asian Games India at Asian Games 2014 Kings XI Punjab Lahore Lions

Sachin Tendulkar’s bat, tie and t-shirt auctioned for orphan children in Pune

CLT20 2014: Gautam Gambhir is a very attacking captain, says Kuldeep Yadav

Pakistan are preparing their ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 plans without Saeed Ajmal

Bigg Boss 8: Ajit Chandila not to be a contestant of the show

CLT20 match between Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and Lahore Lions (LL) almost like India-Pakistan clash

Chennai Super Kings (CSK) vs Dolphins, Match 8, CLT20 2014: CSK’s likely XI

Jalaluddin takes first ODI hat-trick

Chennai Super Kings (CSK) vs Dolphins, Match 8, CLT20 2014: Dolphins’ likely XI

Champions League T20 (CLT20) 2014: Kuldeep Yadav’s dramatic debut for Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) shows he is one for the future

Cape Cobras v Hobart Hurricanes CLT20 2014 — Highlights

Fan of the Day

Cyrus Irani

Cyrus Irani

770 Posts | 24 Fans

Italy 0 Costa Rica 1 Full Match Highlights and Goals Video: FIFA World Cup 2014 Match 24

International programme in Animal Husbandry

Deepika Padukone gets sympathy and support from fans over ‘cleavage’ controversy

Cleavage controversy: Whose point of view do you support – Deepika Padukone or The Times of India?

Ebola in Sierra Leone: Lock-down ends, 70 dead bodies uncovered

Thousands protest in Moscow against Russian intervention in Ukraine

Shashi Kapoor hospitalised due to chest infection

CLT20 2014: Gautam Gambhir is a very attacking captain, says Kuldeep Yadav

Facebook says won’t miss out on key stories for its users

Asian Games 2014: Indian women win bronze in 25-metre team pistol

60,000 Xiaomi Redmi 1S to go on sale tomorrow, last day to register

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here