AUS v SA, 2nd Test Review: Rabada and Abbott rip through hapless Australia

HOBART, AUSTRALIA – NOVEMBER 15: Kyle Abbott of South Africa celebrates after taking the wicket of Usman Khawaja of Australia during day four of the Second Test match between Australia and South Africa at Blundstone Arena on November 15, 2016, in Hobart, Australia. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

The last time Australia suffered a series defeat at home was in the fall of 2012. Ironically, it was South Africa who handed them the series defeat which saw them lose the series all those years ago. Moreover, the fact of the matter remained that it was the close of the rotten coaching era of Mickey Arthur, who had been hired in the pretext of making Australia as great as South Africa were in his time as coach.

It was a chilly morning at Hobart, but, the heat was well and truly felt by the Australians. The absence of Dale Steyn meant very little when it came to bowling the Aussies out as his role was well and truly filled in by the likes of Vernon Philander and Kyle Abbot. Whilst being supported by the likes of Kagiso Rabada, the duo were all over the Australian batting like a rash.


The day began with Usman Khawaja and Steve Smith putting a quiet lid on their charge ahead. The previous evening had seen some rain enter the fold of the Test match, but, there was a cap on the scoring. The duo seemed quite eager to play the waiting game and frustrate the South African bowlers into submission before cashing in.

They were initially successful in their crusade before the viciousness of Kyle Abbott began to set into the fold. The first to depart was Usman Khawaja when he nicked one of Abbot’s outswingers to Quinton de Kock. This quite effectively triggered the downfall of the Australians. In effect, the Australian batting order crumbled like a pack of cards.

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The wind-tails were up as skipper Faf du Plessis added yet another player to his slip cordon in the form of JP Duminy. Sure enough, the latter was brought into action a few minutes later in Abbott’s very next over when Adam Voges nicked one to the slips. This line and length were proving to be so profitable for Abbott that du Plessis stuck to the same plan for both Rabada and Philander as well.

While Philander was getting his natural seam movement off the surface despite the fact that he was not picking wickets, it was clear that Kagiso Rabada was going to get his long overdue extended spell. Callum Ferguson and Peter Nevill were the next to depart when Rabada’s pace proved to be too hot to handle. And, all this while, there was Steve Smith lingering on in the other end, making futile attempts to make something happen.

However, in spite of this, the wickets kept tumbling. Rabada’s next wicket would come barely a few deliveries later when Joe Mennie was the unfortunate guinea pig. Mennie had been undone by a peach of a delivery from Vernon Philander in the first innings, and, this time around, there would be a repetition of the same.

A leg-before ensured that Steve Smith now had to take a call on how long he wanted to prolong the Test match. In a nutshell, the writing was on the wall as far as he was concerned. In a futile attempt to get going, Rabada had his number as well, something Smith certainly did not expect, to say the least. Mitchell Starc and Nathan Lyon were the last two wickets to fall as Kyle Abbott completed wicket number five and six thus completing South Africa’s much-deserved win by an innings and 80 runs.

Brief Scores:

Australia, 1st innings: 85 all out

South Africa, 1st innings: 326 all out

Australia, 2nd innings: 161 all out (U Khawaja 64; K Abbott 6/77)

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