Welcomeback guys, this edition of The Fine Leg is not brought to you by The Naaige as he is still on leave so I will try my best to fill his spot in the batting Line up…. So be nice …..
The Aussies are 1-0 in the race for the ICC’s top earner ….oh yes as well as one up after a thrilling match that could probably not have ended better if it was written by Tony Greig and edited by Mark Nicholas and Richie Benaud. For a game that was tipped to be another hance for Mitch Johnson to bruise a few of the Indian batsmen, it was Nathan Lyon that spun them to victory. With one of the view times I can remember he was allowed to bowl attackingly and not just as support to the brutish Johnson, hardworking Harris and the Banana loving Siddle. Unfortunatly the last day was dampered buy something other than the exciting cricket. (Insert comment on the umpires an lack of DRS here..) Look, I will be the first to advocate the fact that all tests should include the DRS system. Its still your choice to use it or not. In this game it could actually have saved India. But this is not the place nor the time to have this debate, I’m sure you all have waaay more boring this to do today….
With the visitors needing 364 for the win after an over night declaration one the final day they looked like the had the game in the bag. They only needed 154 runs from the final session with 8 wickets still in tact. Even with an immense effort from Virat Kohli with his second ton of the match, becoming only the second batsmen to do that on his captaincy debut. But it was not to be. Australia took the last 8 wickets for just 73 and forcing India to snatch defeat from the hands of victory.
With the second test looming the Aussies are going in to it with one up on the scoreboard but one man down on the field. Michale Clarke will undergo hamstring surgery that threatens the rest of his playing career, but taking over the captaincy is the ever impressive Steve Smith. Since coming back in the test squad Smith has done more than enough to justify his selection and I for one am kind of excited to see what sort of game he will adopt. Dont’t expect it to be too much different from Clarke’s in the beginning. But I think, no, hope that he will come into his own by test no 4. I am already very impressed with Kohli’s leadership, and you could see that they are not going to give the home team an inch. With a result as close as the last one I for one will not be missing one ball from the second test. As it should be!!
Now closer to home, or let me say, on home soil the Saffas are taking on the always trying West Indies. This series has the familiarity of having to play with your younger annoying cousin just because your mother said so. It’s not that you don’t want to, it’s just that you would rather play with the older kids.
Now don’t get me wrong, I am always excited when the Proteas play and with all the stuff the Windies have been saying in the press I really can’t see them putting up a very big fight. Although they have been improving over the last two years, they don’t have their best players, except Chanderpaul (The WI Rahul Dravid)here and the bouncy track of Centurion will surely prove too much for them.
I predict, or rather hope, that with JP Duminy injured, and with it being a home series that the selectors give the young Stiaan van Zyl a chance. Now this is the best time for this young batsmen from the cape who has shown enough talent and skill to perform at the highest level. Also, with Tahir being a dissapointment for SA in tests I would love to see Kyle Abbott make a return to the test arena at the same place he made his debut against Pakistan in 2013. I predict a white wash for the proteas with one or two of the Windies players giving noteworthy perfomances, but nothing that will trouble the proteas.
With both test starting tomorrow I need my sun screen ready and ensure that I don’t miss a single delivery.
Thanks for sticking with me, The Naaige will back next time.