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Australia v South Africa, 2nd Test – 5 Talking Points

Kyle Abbott of South Africa
Kyle Abbott of South Africa. (Photo by Robert Prezioso – CA/Cricket Australia/Getty Images)

Is the Australia Test setup on a decline or the Proteas fire was a bit too much to handle for them?

This question will surely be lingering in the minds of the Cricket Australia fans after witnessing their team getting drubbed in a worse manner than what happened in the first Test at the WACA. The Hobart fixture was expected to be well-fought one and most would not have expected the game to finish in such a lopsided manner. Kyle Abbott along with Kagiso Rabada led the rampage with the ball and bundled out Australia for just 161 runs in the second innings, after having previously rolled them over for just 85 runs in the first two sessions of the opening day. This spectacular bowling show saw the visitors claim a dominating win by an innings and 80 runs. Australia now has lost all their last five Test, five ODIs and are on the being of losing their 6th straight Test series.

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1.85 in the 1st innings; 161 in the 2nd innings:

At the time when Steve Smith lost the toss and was asked to bat first by his counter Faf du Plessis, the Australian skipper would have not even thought that his and his men’s psychic would get unsparingly damaged. It seems that it has become quite usual for them to get razed for cheap team totals. There was 47 all out in Cape Town in 2011. There was 60 all out in Nottingham last year. And, now we have 85 all out at Hobart.

It took just 197 balls for the Proteas wrap up their job and head back to the pavilion with a great advantage. This miserable batting show caused Australia to slump to a 32-year-old low at home. The most recent time when they were bowled out under 100 runs came against England in 1984.

2. Australia loses 8 wickets for 32 runs

Australia showed signs of getting back into the rhythm yesterday. After losing Burns early, Usman Khawaja and Warner help the team find some stability as the home side ended on a bit comfortable 121/2 on day three.

There was some hope that they would finally get going and the match might get stretched till the fifth day. But, Australia’s batting slumped to a new low today as they lost all their 8 remaining wickets for just 32 runs, going down from 121/2 to 161 all out.

The wickets which the Proteas fast bowlers took no doubt were the pillars of the east win but more spectacular was the manner in which they bowled. The trio bowled some really unplayable deliveries (ask Warner of Burns). And, perhaps no other bowling attack would have made them feel so uncomfortable like the Proteas made them feel in the last four days.

3. The lethal pace troika

The victory belongs to the South African pace attack featuring Vernon Philander, Kyle Abbott and Kagiso Rabada who took 19 wickets out of the 20 wickets and script a famous win for their team. The only wicket that didn’t go into their kitty was a run – out by substitute Dane Vilas in the first innings. The match revolved around the bowling performances of these three bowlers. Vernon Philander stunned everyone with his fifer and played a chief role in Australia’s batting debacle in the first innings. If Kyle Abbott who warmed up with a 3/41 while Philander was causing chaos, took the centre stage and snapped 6/77. The young Kagiso Rabada, the man of the match in the first match, played supporting roles in both the innings taking 1/20 and 4/34 in both the innings.

4. Spectator faces three years ban:

Cricket Australia has slapped a 24-year-old spectator for a racist graffiti directed towards South Africa Hashim Amla. It is reported that the youngster wrote an offensive message on the fence facing the crowd. The shameful incident took place during the third day’s play of the ongoing 2nd Test at the Bellerive Oval, Hobart, Tasmania.

Police have confirmed that the 24-year old from Longford in Tasmania’s north has been charged on summons. Cricket Australia later stated that it has no tolerance towards anti-social behaviour and the offender will be at the risk getting banned from attending live matches. The Cricket South Africa also thanked the Australian Cricket Board for acting swiftly.

5. South Africa – The Supreme:

No AB de Villiers, No Morne Morkel, No Dale Steyn too; a team touring without three of its star players never carry the favourites tag and the same was the case with the Proteas team who landed in Australia about a month ago. But as things have unfolded in the last couple of weeks, South Africa have not only shed their underdogs’ tag but have reigned supreme over the home side after handing them two humiliating defeats.  After clinching a hefty win at WACA, South Africa pulled their show strings and registered an even more emphatic win at Hobart. These consecutive wins have now taken the visitors only one step away from a famous series win.

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