Arthur warns Proteas batsmen

2012-10-16 07:45

Sydney - Top order batsmen will face a "baptism of fire" in South Africa's upcoming tour Down Under as the world's two best pace line-ups face off, Australian coach Mickey Arthur said on Tuesday.

Australia are hoping to reclaim cricket's world number one ranking over a packed Test schedule in the year ahead, starting with the first of three against top-ranked South Africa in Brisbane on November 9.

"It's going to be about the batters," Arthur said of the series.

"It is going to be about which top six can adapt better, which top six is going to be more consistent over the three Test series. I think both top sixes are in for a real baptism of fire."

Arthur said the ability of the Australian batsmen to hold off South Africa's bowling line up, which includes pacemen Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel and Vernon Philander, was an opportunity to prove themselves.

On Australia's side, selector John Inverarity said there could be as many as five pace bowlers in the squad for the first Test at the Gabba, with James Pattinson, Peter Siddle, Ben Hilfenhaus and Mitchell Starc all in the mix.

"We're just delighted that we've got the pace bowling on tap that we have," Inverarity said.

The toughest choice for Australian selectors will be that of wicket-keeper and whether to name the more experienced Brad Haddin over Matthew Wade.

"We are aware of all the factors; I mean the fact that Matthew is 24 and rising and Brad turns 35 about now," Inverarity said.

"Obviously Matthew is more for the future, but we're very focused on who deserves and who will be best against South Africa."

Cricket Australia also defended its decision to withdraw Shane Watson midway through the Twenty20 Champions League in South Africa to have the all-rounder fresh and rested for the upcoming Test campaign at home.

"We need Shane to be best prepared for that first Test match," Arthur said of Watson, 31, who has proven himself with bat and ball in all forms of cricket and is a star of the Indian Premier League.

"For us right now his best preparation is coming back and playing some red-ball cricket."

South-African born Arthur admitted there was an extra incentive for him to "get one over" the Proteas in the upcoming series.

"On a personal level for me, I guess it has a little bit of extra spice to play against the country of your birth, the country that I coached for five years," he told journalists in Sydney.

But he said "first and foremost" the series was about Australia getting back to the top position in international cricket.

Australia dominated world cricket from 1995 but its fortunes dived after Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath, Adam Gilchrist and Matthew Hayden retired, culminating in a 3-1 Ashes defeat at home in the 2010/11 season.

There have been recent signs of a revival with a 4-0 whitewash of India last summer at home and the emergence of a new generation of rising stars such as Pattinson, David Warner and Pat Cummins.

"We have a massive opportunity here to get back to number one in the world and that's what this series is going to be about," Arthur said.


  • gary.doyle.520 - 2012-10-16 07:58

    The sleepless nights watching Proteas play test cricket down under, I can't wait!!!

      jaco.groenewald.731 - 2012-10-16 08:23

      Yea prepare for long days at the office, thank goodness for coffee

      gary.doyle.520 - 2012-10-16 08:32

      I hear you, but it's so worth it. We just can't miss a days play even if we try. I see the mind games have started, got goose bumps!!

      wesley.rousseau.58 - 2012-10-16 08:39

      Totally worth it!

      jaco.groenewald.731 - 2012-10-16 08:49

      I remember Dale getting 70 odd down under; I was paste for several days, but my word it was worth it. Don’t even get this excited about a world cup!!

      gary.doyle.520 - 2012-10-16 09:04

      The Phalaborwa express has become quite the allrounder.

      jaco.groenewald.731 - 2012-10-16 09:09

      Well if the batsmen do the job, he can do his, to bowl as fast as humanly possible, scare the shankers out of them, and let Vern capitalize at the other end!!! Gona be a cracker, enjoy it Gary!!

      TravieGrif - 2012-10-16 10:13

      I cannot wait. This is going to be magic entertainment. I think both sides have a great bowling attack. Its the batting side that is going to dictate the results. Totally agree with the guys about AB not keeping. He must bat without a shadow of a doubt. Make us proud lads!

      gary.doyle.520 - 2012-10-16 10:29

      Thanks Jaco, and hope you enjoy it too. We number 1 now, let's hope our boys can keep us there.

      deon.louw.7505 - 2012-10-16 11:55

      I reminds me of Fanie and Donald's "test" downunder in Sydney. I watched all other 4 days but decided to miss the last day as I thought we had no chance, we won!

      jaco.groenewald.731 - 2012-10-16 12:06

      That should teach you, cricket is a funny old game

  • jaco.groenewald.731 - 2012-10-16 08:04

    I think AB will be key, how we use him and manage him. Yes its fantastic to be able to play an extra batter, but at what cost?? AB must bat and only bat, get Thami Tsolekile to keep!!! If Biff, Amla and Kallis can continue the form shown in England, we should be ok!!! Bring it on OZ!!! Go Proteas!!!

      victor.freeman.39 - 2012-10-16 08:49

      Fully agree. AB must bat and take his place on the field, not behind the stumps with the gloves.

      grant.noble.961 - 2012-10-16 09:13

      Problem with Thami is that he doesnt know which end of the bat to hold onto. He also talks so much that he forgets to keep wicket. With a first class average of 46 Heino Huhn would be my man for the job if we are worried that AB would not cope with batting at nr 5 and keeping.

      daleinn - 2012-10-16 09:14

      I beleive we have a psychological advantage , and we need to build on this! reading the pitch conditions will be crucial... Arthur is telling us something that we already know, and which we need to be well prepared for. They will be exploiting all our weaknesses, so lets hope our homework has been done!!

      jaco.groenewald.731 - 2012-10-16 09:16

      Grant, irrespective of what we think of Thami, the point is AB should bat, just bat!!!

      sean.brady.14224 - 2012-10-16 09:55

      AB also needs to concentrate. He has gone on record as saying he wanted to be #1 in the world. Yet he tends to get the hard work done, score 30 and then plays silly shots. He is at his most vulnerable just after he scores 50!

      jaco.groenewald.731 - 2012-10-16 10:49

      @sean, yes agreed, but He will never be world nom 1 if he keeps!!

  • nkwe.mahlanghu - 2012-10-16 09:10

    Yes but WP will still choke

      dragonfire47 - 2012-10-16 10:42

      your point please

  • kenpeg.dawson - 2012-10-16 10:10

    we must get Ponting and Watson to send some SMS's and Steyn to send some thunderbolts down.

      jaco.groenewald.731 - 2012-10-16 10:51

      OZ is more sophisticated, they send email!!

      yagyah.rabin - 2012-10-16 13:15

      BBM Maybe?

  • dragonfire47 - 2012-10-16 10:26

    remember 46/10 mickey, get used to it, we coming for your little boys again

  • Jacques - 2012-10-16 10:32

    Our bbatsmen face steyn/morkel in the nets on a daily basis... Although I tend to agree, it's going to be won by who bats best, both bowling attacks can easily get 20 wickets. Proteas!

  • deon.louw.7505 - 2012-10-16 11:58

    We must just keep reminding them of the Newlands test, from nearly following on we bowled them out for 47 and won!

  • gerald.smith.9041083 - 2012-10-17 08:18

    Old motor-mouth Arthur is at it again. He seems to have a very short memory. Every time he opened his big mouth when he was trying to be the SA coach, the opposite happened. What a wally!!!!!

  • pages:
  • 1