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.”

India tour of Australia 2014, Practice matches

Nov 24, 2014 (05:29 IST)   at Glenelg, Adelaide

Hong Kong tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 24, 2014 (10:00 IST)   at Colombo

Pakistan vs New Zealand in UAE, 2014

Nov 26, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Sharjah

England tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 26, 2014 (14:30 IST)   at Colombo

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 26, 2014 (12:00 IST)   at Dhaka

More

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 23, 2014  at Chittagong

Bangladesh won by 68 runs

South Africa tour of Australia, 2014

Nov 23, 2014  at Sydney

Australia won by 2 wkts

Hong Kong tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 22, 2014  at Dambulla

Match abandoned without a ball being bowled

Hong Kong tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 21, 2014  at Dambulla

Match abandoned without a ball being bowled

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 21, 2014  at Chittagong

Bangladesh won by 87 runs

Photos

Australia vs South Africa, 3rd ODI at Canberra

Videos

SL vs Eng: Buttler practices wicketkeeping in nets

Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe 2014, 2nd ODI at Chittagong: Highlights

Australia vs South Africa 2014, 5th ODI at Sydney: Highlights

Quinton de Kock’s century in vain as Australia register two wicket win over South Africa

Saeed Ajmal: 99 per cent bowlers will fail 15 degree test

Tamim Iqbal, Anamul Haque register second-highest opening partnership for Bangladesh in ODIs

Australia Australia vs South Africa Australia vs South Africa 2014 Bangladesh Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe 2014 India New Zealand Pakistan South Africa South Africa tour of Australia 2014 South Africa vs Australia South Africa vs Australia 2014 Zimbabwe Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh 2014 Zimbabwe vs Bangladesh Zimbabwe vs Bangladesh 2014

Sri Lanka vs England 2014: Moeen Ali, Alastair Cook’s form bodes well, says Mark Ramprakash

Mithali Raj: India women confident ahead of ODI series against South Africa

Sri Lanka vs England 2014: England’s 2nd practice match washed out

Bangladesh bring up 100th win in international cricket

India vs Cricket Australia XI, 1st Tour Game Preview: India eye good warm-up to kick-off tour Down Under

Vijay Hazare Trophy 2014-15: Robin Uthappa, Yuvraj Singh, Manish Pandey will get another chance to impress in final

Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe 2014, 2nd ODI at Chittagong: Highlights

Australia vs South Africa 2014, 5th ODI at Sydney: Highlights

Saeed Ajmal: 99 per cent bowlers will fail 15 degree test

Tamim Iqbal, Anamul Haque register second-highest opening partnership for Bangladesh in ODIs

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

681 Posts | 6 Fans

Video Highlights: Virat Kohli vs Australian cricketers

हेल्थ टिप #2: घरेलु उपचार के द्वारा जले हुए घाव से ज़ल्द राहत पायें

Sri Lanka vs England 2014: Moeen Ali, Alastair Cook’s form bodes well, says Mark Ramprakash

International programme in Animal Husbandry

Live Cricket Score Indians vs Cricket Australia XI, 1st Tour Game at Adelaide

India is becoming our largest overseas market, Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun says

सौन्दर्य टिप #43: मुँहासों से छुटकारा पाने के लिए शहद से बना पैक लगाकर देखें

More broadband connections to boost GDP growth in Asia Pacific: GSMA

Bangladesh outclass Zimbabwe by 68 runs in 2nd ODI; take 2-0 lead in series

NGOs pursue education for all

Bigg Boss 8 highlights: Nigaar Khan leaves the house, says she is shocked by Gautam Gulati and Puneet Issar’s hatred towards her!

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here