Australia v South Africa: Second Test, Day One – Live | Australia cricket team

Australia unchanged then, and SA bring in de Bruyn for Rassie van der Dussen.

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South Africa
Dean Elgar *
Sarel Erwee
Theunis de Bruyn
Temba Bavuma
Khaya Zondo
Kyle Verreynne +
Marco Jansen
Keshav Maharaj
Kagiso Rabada
Anrich Nortje
Lungi Ngidi

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Australia
David Warner
Usman Khawaja
Marnus Labuschagne
Steven Smith
Travis Head
Cameron Green
Alex Carey +
Pat Cummins *
Mitchell Starc
Nathan Lyon
Scott Boland

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That’s interesting. The pitch is nowhere near as green as Brisbane, but it does look grassy enough from a distance, that kind of patchy grass that has characterised the surface over the last few years. It’s also fairly cool and a bit cloudy right at the moment, mid 20s with a forecast high later of 32, and forecast to be sunny and in the high 30s tomorrow, so maybe Pat Cummins thinks that the bowling conditions will be easier to handle and will hope to be batting by the time it gets hot.

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Merry Boxing Day. The best part of the season. The sweat and effort of yesterday is behind you, the rush and worry is no more, and leftovers always taste better than the original meal. Time to kick back on the couch, or take a long walk in the hills, or gather in someone’s garden, and keep an eye on the cricket with us.

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The principal equation for this Test is pretty simple. South Africa need runs. Their batting has been dross lately. If they can score some, they’re a chance to level up this series. At least they got a nice long break after losing in two days in Brisbane.

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Australia want a win. Captain Obvious, yes, but it’s not just about wrapping up this series. It’s that winning here and in Sydney should (as far as my suspect arithmetic suggests) pretty much guarantee them a spot in the World Test Championship final. They have four Tests in India after this, and winning even a match over there is very difficult, let alone a series. If they go there not needing anything from the series for WTC rankings, that would be one less thing to worry about.

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Also, milestones! Little Davey Warner is playing his 100th Test. I’m sure that everyone reading this in England shares the Warner love that is enveloping Australia. Or if we concede that neither of those things are accurate, there is still a lot of admiration for what Warner has been able to achieve in Test cricket from unlikely beginnings, even while accounting for the aspects of his career and conduct that have been less admirable. This week can be about the former.

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And Scott Boland is playing. On the arena where he took his famous 6 for 7 last year, winning the Mullagh Medal for best afield, it was unthinkable that he would miss out. So much so that Josh Hazlewood apparently ruled himself unfit. He must have been feeling the vibes.

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Key events

“I would have been first at bat as well,” Dean Elgar said. “A little surprised [at Cummins’ decision]. Normally you would want to beat first and get through the day. It’s going to be sunny and warm, so it’s all in the batters’ favor. We just have to apply ourselves and make the most of the conditions available to us. We’re in a good space ball-wise so hopefully those mental scars are there [for the Australians].”

“Looks like a good wicket, the max that will be there will be this morning,” was Cummins’ reasoning. “Here at the MCG, the box office normally gets better and better. We had to have a Victorian on the side, so Scotty Boland was there. Josh Hazlewood had a few good bowls, but once we got close he put his hand up and said I wasn’t quite right.

Teams

Australia then remained unchanged and SA brought in de Bruyn for Rassie van der Dussen.

South Africa
Dean Elgar *
Sarel Erwee
Theunis de Bruyn
Temba Bavuma
Khaya Zondo
Kyle Verreynne +
Marc Jansen
Keshav Maharaj
Kagiso Rabada
Anrich Nortje
Lungi Ngidi

Australia
David Warner
Usman Khawaja
Marnus Labuschagne
Steven Smith
Travis head
cameron green
Alex Carey +
Pat Cummins*
Mitchell Starc
Nathan Lyons
Scott Boland

Australia win the toss and bowl

It’s interesting. The pitch is nowhere near as green as Brisbane, but it does look quite grassy from a distance, that kind of uneven grass that has characterized the surface for the past few years. It’s also pretty cool and a bit cloudy right now, in the mid 20s with a later forecast high of 32, and it should be sunny and in the high 30s tomorrow, so maybe Pat Cummins thinks bowling conditions will be more manageable and hope to be at bat by the time it gets hot.

And why not a potentially redundant argument for David Warner at the top of the list? A few more low scores might throw this out the window, but I think patience is the right way to go when a player’s record is this good.

How about my now redundant argument that Boland needs to play in front of Hazlewood, even if it’s just once? It could also be categorized as Boxing Day leftovers.

If you want to know more about what’s going on in the South African team, with their insanely good bowling and extremely bad batting, here’s Daniel Gallan.

Preamble

Geoff Lemon

Happy Boxing Day. The best part of the season. The sweat and effort of yesterday are behind you, the rush and worry are gone, and leftovers always taste better than the original meal. It’s time to relax on the sofa, take a long walk in the hills or gather in someone’s garden and keep an eye on the cricket with us.

The main equation of this test is quite simple. South Africa needs races. Their batter has been filthy lately. If they can score any, they have a chance to level up in this series. At least they had a nice long break after losing in two days in Brisbane.

Australia want a win. Captain Obvious, yes, but it’s not just about wrapping up this series. It’s that winning here and in Sydney should (as far as my suspicious arithmetic suggests) pretty much guarantee them a spot in the World Test Championship final. They have four Tests in India after that, and even winning a game there is very difficult, let alone a series. If they go there without needing anything from the series for the WTC rankings, that would be one less thing to worry about.

Also, milestones! Little Davey Warner plays his 100th test. I’m sure everyone reading this in England shares Warner’s love for Australia. Or if we accept that none of these things are accurate, there is still plenty of admiration for what Warner has been able to achieve in Test cricket from such unlikely beginnings, even taking into account aspects of his career and his conduct that have been less than admirable. . This week can be dedicated to the premiere.

And Scott Boland is playing. On the arena where he won his famous 6 for 7 last year, winning the Mullagh medal for best on the pitch, it was unthinkable that he missed his shot. So much so that Josh Hazlewood apparently declared himself unfit. He must have felt the vibrations.

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