Australia in SA

Clarke tips Lopsy battle

2011-11-08 15:26
Michael Clarke (File)
Rob Houwing, Sport24 chief writer

Cape Town - The Australians are bracing themselves for a Proteas attack that will include leg-spinner Imran Tahir and left-arm seamer Lonwabo Tsotsobe in the first Test at Newlands from Wednesday, if Michael Clarke has his intelligence correct.

Sign up for Sport24 promo mailers and win

The Aussie captain said as much at his pre-match press briefing at the rain- and wind-lashed venue on Tuesday.

Local thought has tended to lean toward South Africa indeed handing a Test debut to Tahir, at the expense of incumbent slow bowler Paul Harris, but prolific Cape Cobras wicket-taker Vernon Philander eclipsing Tsotsobe for the position of first-change bowler.

Nevertheless, Clarke believes the lanky left-armer from the Warriors will instead keep his Test place (he turned out the last time the Proteas played a Test, at the same venue against India last season).

“Philander was a good bowler (in the SA ‘A’ game against the Aussies in Potchefstroom) but I don’t think he’ll play. I think they’ll play the three quicks who played the one-dayers (Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel and Tsotsobe).

“I think they’ll stick with Tsotsobe, who has good control ... but again it’s their choice. We’ve studied all their bowlers.”

Clarke is especially adamant that Tahir will be preferred to Harris if the Proteas, as now anticipated, do only go in with one spinner.

“I’d be very surprised if he doesn’t play, yes. I think on that wicket spin will play a big part; he’s a very good bowler and a wicket-taker.

“On the other side of things they’ve got Paul Harris who has experience and has played against us before. Me as a captain? Who’d I pick? I’d pick Tahir.

“But I’m not the South African captain so I don’t need to worry about that.

“A lot of (the Aussie players) have played against Tahir in county cricket, and a few fortunately also in the warm-up game ahead of the last World Cup - but we’ve looked at a lot of footage too.

“He’s got a handful of variations that he likes to bowl quite often - as I said, he’s an attacking bowler.”

Asked by Sport24 whether he thought the South African speedsters may be short on stamina, given that they haven’t played an extended-format match for several months, Clarke said: “I hope so ... I hope we can bat well enough to find out. That’s more important.

“The better we bat the more it’ll take out of their attack, knowing they haven’t played much five-day cricket.

“It takes it out of all bowlers if you have to, say, bowl for two days in a row, and it certainly does take it out of you as both a bowling and fielding unit if you haven’t played much Test cricket (previously).”


What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

03 November 2016
Australia v South Africa, Perth 04:30
12 November 2016
Australia v South Africa, Hobart 01:30
24 November 2016
Australia v South Africa, Adelaide Oval 05:30
Previous Results

Date Match Result

Graeme Smith's shock decision to retire is...

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


With the Absa Premiership in full swing, who will be crowned champions when all is said and done? Will Mamelodi Sundowns defend their title? Or can Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates or Bidvest Wits mount a serious challenge? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.