Proteas expect Aus backlash
Johannesburg - The Proteas expect Australia to come back hard at them in an effort to level the series at the Wanderers after the tourists came crashing down in a remarkable Test match in Cape Town last week.
Top-order batsman Hashim Amla said on Monday that the South Africans were bracing for a backlash from the Baggy Greens when the second of two Tests gets underway on Thursday.
“Australia are a very good team, and it will be no surprise if they come out firing,” Amla said.
“They will want to play some very good cricket, and we would be the same if we lost the last game, so we’re not going to get complacent.”
Australia were dismissed for 284 runs in their first innings in the opening match, and South Africa coasted to 236/2 in their second innings to seal an eight-wicket victory.
The game, however, will always be remembered for the second day’s play, one of the most bizarre in the history of Test cricket.
The Proteas were bundled out for 96 runs, but before Australia could commence early celebrations, they were bowled out for an abysmal 47.
“We’re going to keep it simple and not place too much on what happened in the first Test,” said Amla, who made 112 in the fourth innings to help steer his side to victory.
“We’ll have to see what the wicket is like first, but this is a new game and each Test match is different.”
Amla believed the tourists were likely to brush off the lone freak day of the last game, and the hosts would need to be at their best to secure a series win.
“A match like that happens probably once in every 500 Tests, so I don’t think they’ll look too much into it,” he said.
“They will probably be a little demoralised, but we’re going to need to put in a good performance at the back end of this series.”
South Africa have lost their last four Test matches against Australia at the Bullring, going back more than 17 years to their 197-run victory in March 1994.
They have also not beaten Australia in a Test series at home since 1970, but Amla said the hosts were not concerned about their past record.
“In 1994 I was 11 years old, so I don’t know about what happened back then,” he said.
“I don’t think the guys really know about those stats, so we’re not going to read too much into that.”