Rotten batting. Fabulous fightback.
Sums up day two at the WACA. Australia squandered an almost impregnable position at Perth. They had the game by the short and curlies at stumps on day 1 after they had bowled South Africa out for a cheap 242 and sailed to 0/105.
By stumps on day 2 South Africa led by 102 runs and were in the box seat to beat the Australians, who had lost 10/86 either side of lunch on a fabulous batting strip.
The acronym WTF comes to mind, but nobody should be surprised. Absolutely nobody.
Cricket Froth predicted this type of scenario would unfold throughout the summer. The prediction wasn’t based on some specialist inside knowledge. Australia’s batting is really quite poor.
They have been susceptible to devastating batting collapses for several years.
Cricket Froth described this trend in October 2014. I detailed how Brad Haddin – at number 7 – saved Australia in virtually every major game-changing innings of the home 2013-14 Ashes Series win against England.
The Aussies won 5-0. The mainstream media tarted up the Aussie performance, which at times was amazing. Mitchell Johnson’s fast bowling was as good as anything ever seen in the game, including the great West Indians.
But the issue of the collapsible batting was lost in the archives. The collapses have continued since then, most notably away from home.
This home summer is going to be really tough because it looks as though the mediocrity is going to be difficult to contain.
The worst thing for the neutral was the best thing for Australia today; Dale Steyn’s injury. A potential blow for the series. This might offer a glimmer for the Aussies as they look ahead to their inevitable run chase, which is still a long way off yet.