Cricket

SA are predictable - Johnson

2014-09-05 12:00
Mitchell Johnson (AFP)

Harare - Predictability will meet adaptability when South Africa face Australia in Saturday's triangular series final in Harare - at least according to Mitchell Johnson.

Days after fracturing South Africa all-rounder Ryan McLaren's right arm, the Australian quick has ramped up the mind games after the Proteas saw off Zimbabwe on Thursday to confirm their place in the final at Harare Sports Club.

Johnson claimed that Australia can easily forecast South Africa's game plan, and suggested his own side are more versatile in the way that they go about their cricket

"We know what they're like and they're pretty structured in their ways," he said. "They like to play a certain way and they do it most times. It gets brought up in most meetings that we have, that they have that structure.

"We're ready to adapt to any conditions and we've done that in the past. We go out there and play our own game."

There is some truth in Johnson's assessment.

Australia have a middle order packed with power hitters such as Glenn Maxwell and Mitchell Marsh, who have twice seen them to scores above 325 in a tournament characterised by slow, dry pitches.

Meanwhile, South Africa's batsman tend to be more orthodox as they rely on their inherent quality - as they did when AB de Villiers and Faf du Plessis scored hundreds to chase a target of 328 in the first meeting between the two sides last week.

However, Australia's own adaptability has not always been up to the mark - most notably when they failed to get the hang of a turning pitch on Sunday and lost to Zimbabwe for the first time in 31 years.

While Australia appear to have settled on their best team since that defeat, with Steve Smith returning to provide a second spin option and Kane Richardson preferred to James Faulkner, McLaren's departure has forced South Africa to rebalance their side.

Rilee Rossouw was drafted into the team to provide an extra batsman in Thursday's victory over Zimbabwe, as Imran Tahir made way to leave Aaron Phangiso as the only specialist spinner.

"We felt it was really important to get runs on the board, which worked exceptionally well," De Villiers said of the selections.

"Saturday's obviously a different opponent. It's a possibility that we will use the same ploy. It's definitely something to talk about."

While both sides still have plenty of cricket to play before next year's World Cup - and will face each other in a five-match series on Australian soil later this year - De Villiers acknowledges that there are points to be scored in a rivalry over which no love has been lost.

"It's a make-or-break game and those are the sort of games you want to be a part of and that you want to test yourself in," he said.

"It's a great opportunity to go one-up on them before we go into that all-important series before the World Cup in Australia."

Read more on:    proteas  |  mitchell johnson  |  cricket
NEXT ON SPORT24X

What To Read Next

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com 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
30 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter

Featured

The 2017/18 Absa Premiership season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs
Vote

The Proteas have announced plans to play a four-day Test against Zimbabwe starting on Boxing Day. What do you make of this?

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.