Heads to roll after Oz crushed

2011-11-12 06:43

Sydney - Australian cricket must make ruthless decisions about its aging side in the wake of the team's shattering defeat to South Africa in three days in Cape Town, Australian newspapers said on Saturday.

South Africa staged one of the great Test comebacks to win by eight wickets after trailing by 188 runs on the first innings, skittling Australia for 47 in their second innings and then cruising to victory on the third day.

While South Africa celebrated an astonishing victory, the Australian press called for action.

"Australia's humiliation is complete and the retribution starts now," The Australian said.

"Heads will almost certainly roll after a devastating loss in the first Test and it remains to be seen if Mitchell Johnson or Ricky Ponting play the next Test in the wake of the Newlands loss."

The Daily Telegraph's Malcolm Conn singled out former Test skipper Ponting for blame and called for the blooding of new players.

"It's time. Ricky Ponting's mortality has caught up with him," Conn wrote.

"Some former teammates of Australia's best batsman after Bradman were right to believe that when he retired from the captaincy earlier this year Ponting should have walked away altogether.

"His downward spiral has become a freefall but Ponting is not tumbling alone among those involved in Australia's second-innings debacle of 47.

"It will be a tough assignment for captain and new selector Michael Clarke to make some ruthless decisions for the sake of Australia's future. If there's going to be continuing pain let's have it with young players on the way up, not fading players on the way down."

Conn said the Australian summer was the perfect opportunity to continue blooding new players, adding "there will be few more comfortable assignments than meeting New Zealand in Brisbane and Hobart next month."

Erratic paceman Johnson was another in the media's sights.

"Johnson got a consolation wicket in the 30th over, but there have to be serious questions about his future," The Australian said.

"The left-hander has failed to take a wicket in seven of his last 17 innings and is averaging more than 50 runs per wicket since the Perth Test (against England last December)."

The Sydney Morning Herald's Peter Roebuck said that even if the Proteas deserved praise the Australians could not escape censure.

"It is one thing to lose a match, another to throw it away," he said.

New chief selector John Inverarity and a fresh panel take over next week, he pointed out. "Already they have plenty to think about, not least their supposed strike bowler (Johnson), greatest batsman (Ponting), batting order and gloveman (Brad Haddin)," he said.

"It's hard to change a team on tour but as the ceremonies were completed, the sound of sharpening knives echoed around the ground."


  • Peter - 2011-11-12 07:19

    It is only one loss they bowled brilliantly in the first innings, I wonder what would have happened if the had bowled out south africa for a few lesser runs in the first innings and then made them follow on, it could have been the same result but in reverse, anyway well played South Africa a great comeback win ,,,

      fishycraig - 2011-11-12 07:48

      Yeah, see your point but... This wasn't a loss - it was an utter capitulation. This wasn't the Australia we know. They didn't have any players who stood out other than Clarke in the first innings. And when you take into account how seriously the Aussies view their cricket and the world dominance for so many years, it is understandable. Especially when they were very lucky to not get the dubious record of the lowest test innings when they were 21/9. And we won because (and remember both teams were down and out at certain times of the game) SA had the drive - something totally lacking with the Aussies. Sad it has finished cause now I will have to mow the lawn this weekend.

      david.s.lewisohn - 2011-11-12 08:03

      I agree Peter. It's Aussie pride more than common sense that drives these sentiments. I believe the North Wester weather was the main culprit

      cjsmit.christo - 2011-11-12 08:12

      "Australia's humiliation is complete and the retribution starts now," The Australian said. I say, "Australia's humiliation starts now."

      Wimpie - 2011-11-12 08:57


      whusselmann - 2011-11-12 10:12

      What if OZ was bowled out for less than a 100 in their first innings[Clark had a lot of luck],what if the dog actually caught the car ,what if.The if game is not based in reality ,but in wishfull thinking.

  • louis.langenhoven - 2011-11-12 08:00

    mitchell johnson - cricketer of the year. how could everyone have been so blind- the guy is a joke

  • Stirer - 2011-11-12 08:05

    The comment before the match was that the Proteas were "undercooked" and ill prepared. After the match, it can be said with emphasis - Australia choked and south Africa was ruthless.

  • cjsmit.christo - 2011-11-12 08:06

    I love it !!! The arrogant Aussies deserve nothing less. For years they were the ones uttering arrogant remarks and statements. The wheel has finally turned and I look forward to see them in dismay for years to come. I will have to start the backlash against them by saying ... That was one of the biggest chokes of all time. Never again will Australians have the opportunity to call us chokers without this game being thrown back in the faces of them sheep lovers. It reminded me of the greatest game ever played which we also won. They have big trouble and loads of problems and difficult decisions to make unlike the Proteas. We only have one problem and that is one of luxury .. which one of our brilliant rising and upcoming stars to field. Philander was awesome and he will be in Aussie heads for the remaining of his career and will always be a problem for them as this was a big mental victory for him not even mentioning the team. Amla needed the knock to get his confidence back and so did Biff, so once again, thank you to Australia for helping us out in this regard. I waited a long time to be able to say this but the time is here and I am sure it will be for a long time for many more Aussie losing, Protea praising comments.

      Ray - 2011-11-12 08:57

      Agree 100%-I support ABA in all sports.Anyone But Australia!!!

      Chumscrubber1 - 2011-11-12 11:45

      Hmmm, they had earned the right to be arrogant as far as I'm concerned. That amazing team with Warne, McGrath, Hayden, etc - they were unbeatable in their day. This current Aus team is far off that level, but Aus always produces plenty of talent, so they will be good again in the not too distant future. I wish we had competed internationally in the Pollock, Richards, Proctor era - I think we would have been similarly dominant. We're always very good, but have not managed to reach the earned arrogance level - I look forward to that day.

  • colin.dovey - 2011-11-12 08:09

    Am I being can they choose Clarke as their Captain? He may be a very good batsman....but as a leader he comes across as a whimp, and certainly does not inspire confidence.

      Wimpie - 2011-11-12 08:59

      this is true...

  • Wimpie - 2011-11-12 08:57

    knee jerk reaction...those are still great players and while it is a good idea to blood younger players it is however a stupid idea to drop all players with the experience to lead and teach the newcomers.

  • Polotic - 2011-11-12 09:08

    An overreaction! But that's the Australian Press for you.

  • Atholl - 2011-11-12 09:30

    No McGrath and No Warne ! ... no penetration ... no guile ...

  • stephen.nel1 - 2011-11-12 11:05

    I think the sides are very evenly matched, it could have gone any way. The next match is gonna be a thriller!!!

  • Shirley - 2011-11-12 11:29

    One thing that has dissapointed me is the dissent which Ponting shows when he loses his wicket.I followed his reactions very closely this tour and he seems to have turned into a very "nasty" player. I agree he should of bowed out after end of captaincy. Johnson definately hasnt looked on par and australia have so many talented players waiting in the wings,maybe he needs a break. Shane Watson is a real china doll and constantly has injuries. I do believe however Oz were out played on the day and selectors could be over reacting. Time will tell.

      Skwertno1 - 2011-11-12 13:36

      Ponting has always been a nasty piece of work

  • Nanga - 2011-11-12 15:04

    aaaargh.......get of ricky pontings back i myt be south african but i'm nt blind ponting is stl a great cricketer his jst going through wt graeme smith went through. dnt be quick to judge him he'l get back up again

      Shirley - 2011-11-12 15:49

      Um we were talking about his dispostion,not his batting ability.

  • Barry - 2011-11-12 19:10

    Who cares. This match was fixed.

      Douglas - 2011-11-12 21:00

      You crack me up, B. Honestly.

      Ian - 2011-11-13 06:45

      your ass is fixed

  • John - 2011-11-14 17:56

    Wow South Africans should be making many more positive comments after this match... South Africans are a hard bunch to please...

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