Vernon Philander has Australia on cusp of defeat

Erica Murray
April 4, 2018

Against all expectations, he featured in the first game and did reasonably well but a crushing defeat warranted some changes on the part of the hosts, so Morkel was left out in favour of Ngidi, who justified his selection in South Africa's series-equalling win in the second Test. At that stage Philander's figures for the morning were 5.2-2-3-6.

Australia lost the Marsh brothers in the opening over as Shaun (seven) got an inside edge onto his pads and was caught by Temba Bavuma, and Mitchell was caught by wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock, both off Philander's bowling. They crashed from 88 for three to 119 all out in 16.4 overs.

The series moved to Port Elizabeth where Kaiso Rabada was involved in a shoulder incident with former Australian captain Steve Smith and there was more drama in Cape Town where Smith‚ Warner and Cameron Bancroft were banned for ball-tempering.

"We were extremely motivated before this series and up for the challenge, but there was definitely a shift in mindset after that first test", du Plessis said.

"Obviously there was a lot of off-field stuff that was hard for them to handle and that's why, we thought, pushing them mentally as far as we can - even [on Monday] - it would be really tough for them". "This group had a chance to show some fight and determination today and we weren't able to because mentally we weren't quite there".

Currently Australia cricket team is travelling South Africa. I thought we were going to be better than we were.

"The guys were extremely motivated to turn it around - I've never seen us more motivated - and our cricket has been wonderful".

"It's odd", said Elgar, who is playing his tenth Test against Australia.

"The opportunity to get home and take a breath and reset and start again might be refreshing to guys in the next couple of days".

Paine was made skipper and spoke of a change of culture that needed to be addressed by the team.

"We had a really tough week but from the Durban Test match, if we're completely honest, South Africa just outplayed us purely on skill", Paine said. "We've done it in the past and nothing is going to keep us from doing it now".

Meanwhile, it is also South Africa's first-ever home Test series win over Australia their re-admission in 1991 - and the first since Ali Bacher's iconic team of 1969-70.

"There are lots of positives and messages that we can take out of it (the series) and it'll be good to get home, have a rest and think about it". We've been winning a lot of series but there have been little holes where we could improve. "This series has been incredible the way we have put it all together", he said.

"Those are the sort of things I'm going to miss a lot".

South Africa's dominance was built on their batsmen scoring five centuries to none for Australia while their bowlers took all 80 wickets available. "Our bowling unit was exceptional". "They went nearly from motivated to motivated-slash-angry and they were determined to turn it around".

Other reports by Insurance News

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