Mop-up of the day – runs down south

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After day-night Tests, the latest innovation in the ongoing Australia v New Zealand Test series has been additional opponents. Sri Lanka and the West Indies have been drafted in to keep things fresh, but they couldn’t tip the balance. Australia still had marginally the better day.

New Zealand would have felt confident of finishing the first day in the ascendancy after making 409-8. That is a lot of runs to make on any day of a Test match, let alone the first. However, Australia struck back with 438-3 and it’s hard to see how the Kiwis can haul things back from there.

AB de Villiers’ new hobby

Cricinfo reports that vehement letter-C denier, AB de Villiers, will ‘keep wickets’ for the first two Tests against England – although they do not specify how many. It is a little-known fact, but keeping and raising wickets is de Villiers’ new pastime. He says it helps him get away from the game and relax and he’s looking to become a professional breeder when he retires. De Villiers was of course a schoolboy wicket-breeding champion.

There are also rumours that as well as becoming a wicketskeeper, he might fill-in as wicketkeeper. This may seem a strange decision, but it could be a quota thing. Clearly, you always want at least one AB de Villiers in your side – that’s not the issue. It’s more that de Villiers’ selection as keeper may be a means of allowing other players to be picked.

It strikes us that Imran Tahir has been dropped and if Tahir is out, maybe someone else has to come in. Assuming the first-choice seam attack for the first two Tests will comprise Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel and Kyle Abbott, South Africa presumably need to bring in a batsman to ‘balance the side’.

Vernon Philander’s due to return for the third Test, incidentally.


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  1. So the lack of batting depth and the absence of run(s) in India was down to ABDV slacking off and not pulling his weight sufficiently for the team, was it?

    Interestingly, the selectors ‘left out’ Dane Vilas but merely ‘didn’t select’ Quinton de Kock, as the latter made two hundreds in the earlier ODI series and so is presumably being rested and/or rotated.

  2. Australia hardly had a great 1st day of the test. They merely scored 29 more runs than New Zealand.

    I seem to remember a test earlier this year where the Baggy Green’s opposition scored 214 more runs than them on the first day of a test, with the added disadvantage of losing 18.3 overs due to the need to bowl for a bit first.

    1. That first innings sounds like a catastrophe, Alec! Could you refresh our memories please? But I don’t have much time – could you do it quickly? Maybe in 140 characters or fewer?

      1. Rogers 0 Warner 0 Smith 6 Marsh 0 Clarke 10 Voges 1 Nevill 2 Johnson 13 Starc 1 Hazlewood 4* Lyon 9

      2. You mean like this?


      3. Alec’s post emphasises how sloppy our bowling was in the first hour or so. Too many boundaries.

        If the BG’s had had 50 wickets to play with, they would have made300+.

      1. He’s had to watch powerless while Cook surpassed his test runs aggregate, and now wants to slay one last England captain.

      2. Well, given the current openers haven’t made a case for being much better than an out of form and injured Smith…

  3. It looks like both Australia and New Zealand will need to take 10 wickets for victory, it could be a close match.

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