Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Not the Biggest Test Series at all ...

Damith over at flyslip has taken an interesting look at who will lose their balls during the Australia vs South Africa test series that starts tomorrow.

That was a very entertaining piece but one suggestion in there left me puzzled.

Damith began his post with "The biggest test series of the year has ... "

Excuse me but the biggest?

I wonder if that was a random honest mistake considering Australia and South Africa look like the strongest sides in the world to the naked eye or was that an opinion based on I'm not sure what.

The biggest test series of the year took place in India recently and India won that 2-0.

Even an Ashes series is bigger than an Australia vs South Africa one.

Hell even an India vs Pakistan series is bigger than Australia vs South Africa.

Or atleast the results and the competitiveness of these serier suggest so.

Australia have had South Africa's goat since their readmission to the world of cricket some 18 years ago.

Australia have beaten them 15 times in 24 tries, losing only 4 times since the 1993/94 series.

This decade the record looks even more lopsided at 10-1 for the Aussies in 12 matches.

So then what makes this series the biggest of all?

The fact that they are the number 1 and number 2 ranked teams?

Well that was the case in 2001 and 2002 as well when the Aussies beat the Proteas 3-0 and 2-0 in the 2 series played that season.

So then what makes this series the biggest?

Nothing at all in my opinion.

I honestly believe that South Africa don't stand a chance unless Steyn, Ntini, and Morkel are operating at 150% and in full flow without either of them breaking down, in which case Australia don't stand a chance.

It will be one very one-sided series.

Nothing like the India-Australia or India-Pakistan test series in recent times.

Make your pitch on this post...

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18 Pitched:

  1. straight point said...

    can't argue against this 'biggest series' facts provided by u, q...

  2. Viswanathan said...

    If we are to take the hard fought 1 st test as a sample, India -England could also qualify as a bigger Test series.

  3. Aashrey said...

    Completely agree with you on this.

  4. Damith S. said...

    Q, you rascal! Picking on an innocent blogger like that. Pah ! Must be from the lack of test cricket coming your way :P

    Actually, I also agree with you. I put that in there for added effect.

    Clearly the Ind - Aus series was the biggest of the year.

    However, Id like to think that the SA v Aus series comes in pretty close. For the fact that these are two big teams and SA have been the best test nation this year. Winning nearly 70% of their matches. And with Australia still considered the best test nation around, that to me spells a massive series.

    It is massive challenge or the SA's and could be the first instance where they beat Aus since re-entering.

    Although I think Australia will win, this series has potential to be a very very close series. Much closer than Ind- Aus.

    SA's attack, although overrated as we discussed sometime ago, is suited for the Australian pitches.

    With Warne also missing. This might be the closest tussle between the two nations to date.

    Cheers mate.

  5. Anonymous said...

    I don't think its going to be that one sided simply because Australia's bowling attack doesn't look anywhere near strong enough to dismiss the Saffers twice in a match. Either that or I've both underestimated Krejza and overestimated SA's ability to handle a nothing-special spinner in Australia.

  6. karachikhatmal said...

    i have to agree with damith... every time we all wish for this to be the biggest test series, especially since the two sides are theoretically supposed ot be similar - what with their bouncy pitches and fast men.

    yet every time, every fucking time...

    i think everyone owuld love to see ntini and steyn really ripping into the aussies, and hayden, ponting et al putting up a great fight.

    unfortunately, its far more likely that after a drawn first test, the saffers would just wilt away, would get lots of injuries and would generally look toothless. exactly like last time...

  7. Anonymous said...

    I think it will be a contest of same proprtion as Ind V Aus if the the south African batting line up didn't wilted away, they are the #1 and # 2 ranking teams in the world and are quite evenly matched.
    India because of it's batting line up is in a league of it's own right now.

  8. SledgeHammer said...

    Q - you mention Pakistan vs India as a bigger series.

    From the whole historical perspective (and with the current situation thrown in) - sure. But competitively I wouldn't say it's a big series, at least at the outset. Now it could turn out to be competitive, but so could a lot of series with low expectations.

  9. Anonymous said...

    Yes, Aus vs SA isnt a biggest series of all.......

    Ashes was the biggest till 1990s in historical context, Ind vs Pak in terms of passion untill 2004 and in terms of quality and spirts nothing comes in a mile's distance for India vs Australia

  10. Q said...

    Sledge and Sam - the reason I mention India vs Pakistan being bigger is because:

    1)ofcourse due to the histry and the rivalry..

    2) If you look at the recent series played between the 2 sides, the matches were way more evenly contested than any Aus vs SA match in the past... not only the matches but even the series...

    2004: India won 2-1 with the 3rd test being the decider.. they were all very closely fought tests..

    2005: Remember the Mohali fightback for a draw by Pakistan?

    2006: 2 draws and the decider in Khi - Pak were down at 26-6 or something and turned it around.. could have gone either way..

    2007: India thrashed Pak in the 1st test and then it was all fighting back from Mibah in the next 2...

    All these series have been evenly contested in my view..

    While Aus vs SA has never lived upto its hype - not in test cricket atleast..

  11. Q said...

    I know ur by my side SP...

    I tend to agree with you Ott..

    I agree too Ashrey ;-)

  12. Q said...

    Damith, I agree with you that on paper Aus vs SA looks huge.. it has been hyped in the past as well but has never lived upto its expectations as Australia have always steam rolled them.

    Agreed they are ranked 1 and 2 and SA have had a brilliant year but as I pointed out the same was the case in 2001-02..

    Either way Australia have weakened significantly, which gives SA a better chance this time round.. I was just speaking from the historical perspective of how this series has never met expectations..

    We might be in for something different this time round - Aus fighting back from 15-3.. quite a start!

  13. Q said...

    Achettup I think ur over estimating the SA batting.. but u never know.. there's no McGrath or Warne.. might be a different story.. but i still dont think the SA batting has it to play under pressure, which the Aussies will defnitely put them in..

  14. Q said...

    Karachi Khatmal, I agree with you too.. this series is alays hyped up but never meets expectations - that was my point..

    Im sure all of us would like a more competitive contest between these 2 sides.. I sense we're getting one right now..

  15. Q said...

    Wasim, refer to 2001-02 - pretty much the same build up, Aus ranked 1, SA ranked 2, SA had brilliant year, Aus won 5-0!

    More evenly matches this time? Lets find out..

  16. Gaurav Sethi said...

    ponting doesn't score, this series does.

  17. Damith S. said...


    Friendly fire :)

    Btw, the last sentence on that post is not intended towards you in case anyone gets the wrong idea.

    More towards the idiots who dont like test cricket.

  18. Q said...

    NC, I'm not too sure abt that.. Taylor remained captain for a long time despite scoring much.. Australia tend to stick to their men.. lets c how this goes..

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