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South Africa are the only ones who could challenge Australia

Salamuddin

International Debutant
I honestly think Australia would beat South Africa quite comfortably.

The Saffies just don't have the batsmen IMO to compete with Australia's batting lineup.
Kallis is probably their one true world class player with the bat and that's not enough to take Australia on.

And regarding their bowling, yes their pace attack is good but good enough to stop Australia , I don't know......
They seem to be a lot more intimidating on the high veldt than elsewhere......and Ntini's recod certainly reflects that. Steyn looks impressive but we'll find out how good he areally is when he comes up against the Aussies.
Australia have seen Nel before and while I think he's a decent bowler I don't think Australia will lose too much sleep over him.
Harris has had a bit of a honeymoon period in intl cricket so far but it'll be interesting to see how he develops in the longterm....I certainly do not think he turns it as much as Panesar or Kartik and he doesn't have Kartik's variety IMO.

THe other thing with the Saffies I think is that there is a bit of sameness across their seam attack....Kallis, Styen, Nel, Ntini all right arm seamers ....Steyn' probably a little bit different in the sense that he's probably the most skillful exponent of swing in their lineup but I think Australia has better variety with the express pcae of Lee, the left arm angle of Johnson and the hit the deck accuracy of a good length of Clark.

They're a decent side but Australia all round have a much better outfit. I don't think it would be close if they met in a series.
 

Richard

Cricket Web Staff Member
And regarding their bowling, yes their pace attack is good but good enough to stop Australia , I don't know......
If they catch their catches, it very much is. The last series between the two demonstrates this - there were hardly any large Australian scores that didn't require a dropped catch - sometimes 2 or 3.
 

aussie

Hall of Fame Member
Even South Africa seem to have a mental block against the Aussies in close contest as it has been proven time & again. I think they could run Australia hard. Steyn, Ntini, Nel, Morkel, Dewet along with Harris is a solid bowling unit & their batting is ok. It could probably end of up a series where both South Africa's & Australia pacers cancel out each others batting line-ups more often that not.

In India next year will be stern challenge for Australia as well, in the current batting line-up other than Clarke, Hayden (not sure if he will be around next year time) & an improved Ponting the ATM i don't have great confidence in them doing well consistently on turning tracks in India although maybe in years time Katich could win a place, don't think any of the quicks ATM other than Tait has the ability to bowl well in India & we don't know if MacGill or Hogg will still be playing next year since the younger spinners in Oz aren't doing much although alot could happen in a years time

Don't forget England, once the injury curse that has been haunting English sportsmen eases between now & the 2009 Ashes as i keep saying that is a brilliant series in the making.
 

social

Hall of Fame Member
If they catch their catches, it very much is. The last series between the two demonstrates this - there were hardly any large Australian scores that didn't require a dropped catch - sometimes 2 or 3.
3 - nil without McGrath.

Saffies are miles behind in every respect
 

Richard

Cricket Web Staff Member
No, the only respect they were behind in said series is catching. Their batting was poor, and so was Australia's - a fact that would have been demonstrated had catching been equal. Equally, their seam-bowling was good, and so was Australia's - a fact that would have been demonstrated had their catching been equal.

People seriously, seriously underestimate the value ridiculous numbers of dropped catches like SA's in those 4 Tests have on batting and bowling figures.

Had they held their catches and had they had better luck with the weather they could easily have won all 3 games in Australia (with McGrath playing) and the Fourth Test (first at home). They almost did draw the Fifth and win the Sixth anyway.

In any case, the "McGrath missed the games in SA" aspect is overrated. McGrath could not have bowled better than Clark did, and had McGrath played, Clark would have not. Ergo, McGrath's absence made no difference to the series.
 

JASON

Cricketer Of The Year
IMO, this Australian has yet to prove itself on tours Overseas as the number one side like its predecessor. By this I mean the Team with McGrath, Warne and Langer.

Number 1 side Mantle does not automatically pass from one side to the next after a massive change like that (the top 2 bowlers and one of the senior Batsmen).

Everyone seems to assume they are number 1. No they are not.Sure they are walloping Sri Lanka at home...But thats nothing new ...every team is expected to wallops every other Team at home...But I bet they cannot repeat the successes of their predecessor (the Team with Mcgrath and Warne) overseas...For instance last time they beat Sri Lanka in Sri Lanka 3-0 , when Sri Lanka were leading in all three Tests on First Innings, because of 1 man Shane Warne...They are definitely not going to be able to repeat this success without him and I can bet you a million dollars now the result would be the opposite 3-0 to Sri Lanka or at least 2-1 if they toured Sri Lanka now... Likewise they are definitely not going to be able to repeat their success in India where McGrath had a significant impact...

The Number 1 mantle cannot be automatically assumed with a massive personal change as they have had ...ie their top 2 bowlers....Until they can prove themselves overseas I don't think they can continue to assume the Number 1 tag....For it would be wrong...

Can you say Roger Federer is still number 1 after his arm or a leg is replaced by a new arm or leg or for that matter Tiger Woods... Losing their top 2 bowlers is exactly the same...Until they prove themselves overseas with this bowling attack.... they simply cannot assume the number 1 tag...
 

Richard

Cricket Web Staff Member
If Australia aren't number one, TBH, that would mean rankings had been started afresh - a completely blank slate.

As long as there is a ranking, no-one bar Australia can head them. :p
 

JASON

Cricketer Of The Year
If Australia aren't number one, TBH, that would mean rankings had been started afresh - a completely blank slate.

As long as there is a ranking, no-one bar Australia can head them. :p
They may remain number 1 but that will be based on past performances overseas , when they replace those with their next few Overseas tours they will drop ranking points as they will find they cannot maintain their winning streak with the new bowling attack ,particularly the absence of Warne.

If you started with a clean slate today they will struggle to maintain their number 1 ranking as they will find it a struggle to maintain the winning ratio overseas like their predecessor (the team with Warne and Mcgrath).
 

Slifer

International Regular
IMO, this Australian has yet to prove itself on tours Overseas as the number one side like its predecessor. By this I mean the Team with McGrath, Warne and Langer.

Number 1 side Mantle does not automatically pass from one side to the next after a massive change like that (the top 2 bowlers and one of the senior Batsmen).

Everyone seems to assume they are number 1. No they are not.Sure they are walloping Sri Lanka at home...But thats nothing new ...every team is expected to wallops every other Team at home...But I bet they cannot repeat the successes of their predecessor (the Team with Mcgrath and Warne) overseas...For instance last time they beat Sri Lanka in Sri Lanka 3-0 , when Sri Lanka were leading in all three Tests on First Innings, because of 1 man Shane Warne...They are definitely not going to be able to repeat this success without him and I can bet you a million dollars now the result would be the opposite 3-0 to Sri Lanka or at least 2-1 if they toured Sri Lanka now... Likewise they are definitely not going to be able to repeat their success in India where McGrath had a significant impact...

The Number 1 mantle cannot be automatically assumed with a massive personal change as they have had ...ie their top 2 bowlers....Until they can prove themselves overseas I don't think they can continue to assume the Number 1 tag....For it would be wrong...

Can you say Roger Federer is still number 1 after his arm or a leg is replaced by a new arm or leg or for that matter Tiger Woods... Losing their top 2 bowlers is exactly the same...Until they prove themselves overseas with this bowling attack.... they simply cannot assume the number 1 tag...

I completely agree with ur assessment. Australia beating ne sub continnt team at home is nothing new but I'd really like to see them dominate the said teams in their own backyards (particularly India).
 

Slifer

International Regular
IMO, this Australian has yet to prove itself on tours Overseas as the number one side like its predecessor. By this I mean the Team with McGrath, Warne and Langer.

Number 1 side Mantle does not automatically pass from one side to the next after a massive change like that (the top 2 bowlers and one of the senior Batsmen).

Everyone seems to assume they are number 1. No they are not.Sure they are walloping Sri Lanka at home...But thats nothing new ...every team is expected to wallops every other Team at home...But I bet they cannot repeat the successes of their predecessor (the Team with Mcgrath and Warne) overseas...For instance last time they beat Sri Lanka in Sri Lanka 3-0 , when Sri Lanka were leading in all three Tests on First Innings, because of 1 man Shane Warne...They are definitely not going to be able to repeat this success without him and I can bet you a million dollars now the result would be the opposite 3-0 to Sri Lanka or at least 2-1 if they toured Sri Lanka now... Likewise they are definitely not going to be able to repeat their success in India where McGrath had a significant impact...

The Number 1 mantle cannot be automatically assumed with a massive personal change as they have had ...ie their top 2 bowlers....Until they can prove themselves overseas I don't think they can continue to assume the Number 1 tag....For it would be wrong...

Can you say Roger Federer is still number 1 after his arm or a leg is replaced by a new arm or leg or for that matter Tiger Woods... Losing their top 2 bowlers is exactly the same...Until they prove themselves overseas with this bowling attack.... they simply cannot assume the number 1 tag...

I completely agree with ur assessment. Australia beating ne sub continnt team at home is nothing new but I'd really like to see them dominate the said teams in their own backyards (particularly India).
 

Lillian Thomson

International Coach
Can you say Roger Federer is still number 1 after his arm or a leg is replaced by a new arm or leg or for that matter Tiger Woods....
So you're going to remove Roger Federer's arm or leg and replace it with Tiger Wood's entire body. It would certainly cast doubt over his participation in a Mexican Wave.
 

Richard

Cricket Web Staff Member
They may remain number 1 but that will be based on past performances overseas , when they replace those with their next few Overseas tours they will drop ranking points as they will find they cannot maintain their winning streak with the new bowling attack ,particularly the absence of Warne.

If you started with a clean slate today they will struggle to maintain their number 1 ranking as they will find it a struggle to maintain the winning ratio overseas like their predecessor (the team with Warne and Mcgrath).
I don't find that at all inconceivable - but aside from Australia, there's no reason to start from a new set of rankings from scratch as of now though. :p No other team has had a large sea-change recently.
 

JASON

Cricketer Of The Year
The way they struggled yesterday through the Afternoon and evening and again today when Sangakkara took them on should give India hope in that with their much stronger and confidant batting line up if they take the attack to the Aussies they will struggle even at home with their current bowling line up, which holds no real terrors bar Brett Lee...It was poor batting by the Sri Lankans that let them down during the chase..

It also helps emphasise my point before ...this Team is no longer Number 1. They can't just assume that ranking, because their Top 2 attack weapons have retired. These guys will be reaping from their performances(of the Team with Mcgrath and Warne) such as in Sri Lanka and India, but they will struggle in these 2 countries if they toured today ...I know in Sri Lanka they will struggle to win given their loss of Warne (and most certainly get beaten) and in India without McGrath , Brett Lee alone cannot do much for them...when those LG ICC ranking points from those series and few other overseas tours are replaced (whenever they tour these countries again) they will struggle to maintain that ranking..

They are just very smart in playing not much Test cricket (post retirement of McG and Warne) and then playing a couple of home series ...If they had started off with overseas tours they would've had their no1 ranking brought down to earth.
 

pasag

RTDAS
Lol, anyways people can use whatever arguments they want but Australia struggling in the field here or there is nothing new. Even with McGrath and Warne in last years Ashes, there were very frustrating days with guys like Paul Collingwood and KP holding off the attack or Rudolph the year before. A spirited performance from the opposition is nothing new and I'm not too worried here, it will always happen.

There were alot of good signs for Australian fans, Brett Lee being the main one and Mitchell Johnson who is only going to get better and better. Stuart Clark didn't have the best of series according to his lofty standards, but he is of the highest quality and will always be a rock in bowling lineup. Plus our batting is so on-song it's not funny. The only worrying issue is the fourth bowler/ spinner at the moment.
 

social

Hall of Fame Member
The way they struggled yesterday through the Afternoon and evening and again today when Sangakkara took them on should give India hope in that with their much stronger and confidant batting line up if they take the attack to the Aussies they will struggle even at home with their current bowling line up, which holds no real terrors bar Brett Lee...It was poor batting by the Sri Lankans that let them down during the chase..

It also helps emphasise my point before ...this Team is no longer Number 1. They can't just assume that ranking, because their Top 2 attack weapons have retired. These guys will be reaping from their performances(of the Team with Mcgrath and Warne) such as in Sri Lanka and India, but they will struggle in these 2 countries if they toured today ...I know in Sri Lanka they will struggle to win given their loss of Warne (and most certainly get beaten) and in India without McGrath , Brett Lee alone cannot do much for them...when those LG ICC ranking points from those series and few other overseas tours are replaced (whenever they tour these countries again) they will struggle to maintain that ranking..

They are just very smart in playing not much Test cricket (post retirement of McG and Warne) and then playing a couple of home series ...If they had started off with overseas tours they would've had their no1 ranking brought down to earth.
The only problem with this assessment, so far as the just completed series goes, is that it was an absolute thrashing and the gulf between Oz and a supposedly very good SL team was simply enormous thereby implying that their no.1 status is not under any threat whatsoever (to put things into perspective, Australia lost 11 wickets in 2 tests for an average of well over 120 per wicket).

That being said, it's ludicrous to suggest that you can replace Warne and McGrath overnight. As such, taking 20 wickets will be much harder.

However, given the strength of the batting, this will simply amount to more draws rather than a string of defeats which will still be sufficient to hang onto no.1 for the foreseeable future

As for touring schedule,Iwasnt aware that we actually got a choice
 
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