GUNS FAIL TO FIRE

An­other crash for our flop or­der

The Weekend Post - - Sport - RICHARD EARLE

SEVEN months from its World Cup de­fence Aus­tralia is still search­ing for a sense of self and style un­der Justin Langer with Chris Lynn (right) a poster boy for the big tease. Aus­tralia was dis­missed for a sub-par 231 in a dou­ble blow to its hopes of lev­el­ling the se­ries against South Africa in Ade­laide. En­dur­ing a record, seven-match los­ing streak Aus­tralia needed Lynn (44) and skip­per Aaron Finch (41) to turn solid starts into tons in game two against South Africa at Ade­laide Oval.

SEVEN months out from their World Cup de­fence, Aus­tralia are still search­ing for a sense of self and style un­der Justin Langer, with Chris Lynn a poster boy for the big tease.

Aus­tralia were dis­missed for a sub-par 231 in a dou­ble blow to their hopes of lev­el­ling the se­ries against South Africa in Ade­laide and bed­ding down bat­ting slots ahead of the first Test against In­dia in Ade­laide.

En­dur­ing a record sev­en­match los­ing streak, Aus­tralia needed Lynn (44, 44) and skip­per Aaron Finch (41, 63) to turn solid starts into tons in game two against South Africa at Ade­laide Oval.

Aus­tralia’s bat­ting linch­pins fell to the ir­re­sistible ta­lent of cricket’s most ex­cit­ing young tear­away, Kag­iso Rabada (4/54), who re­turned to nail top scorer Alex Carey (47, 72). If only Aus­tralia’s bat­ting could em­u­late im­pres­sive keeper-bats­man Carey’s com­po­sure.

Travis Head (8) and Shaun Marsh (22) fell short of the com­pelling knocks that would se­cure Test re­ten­tion.

Glenn Maxwell (15, 19) fluffed a golden chance to a paint a point of dif­fer­ence with a flaky dis­missal in the 34th over.

Aus­tralia needed a recog­nised bats­man to stay with Carey but Maxwell fell edg­ing an at­tempted guide through third man to Quin­ton de Kock.

Aus­tralia have only bat­ted out 50 overs once since their last win on Aus­tralia Day here against Eng­land.

That an un­her­alded bat­ting all-rounder bowl­ing 120km/h au­di­tion­ing for a World Cup berth — Dwaine Pre­to­rius — could fin­ish with 3/32 showed the depth in South African cricket.

Aus­tralia never re­cov­ered af­ter Lynn’s exit at 4-133 in the 27th over. Finch — who struck four bound­aries in a con­trolled dig — chopped on to Pre­to­rius which started the rot.

Hav­ing re­cov­ered from shoul­der surgery, Lynn is des­per­ate to make the 2019 World Cup but has no half-cen­tury af­ter 17 Twenty20 and one-day in­ter­na­tion­als.

Rabada set up Lynn’s down­fall with two short balls and burst of pace that de­ceived the set No.4. Lynn had plun­dered three bound­aries spliced by a six over long off be­fore glov­ing an at­tempted hook shot to a faster bouncer from Rabada.

Shane Warne says Lynn should be open­ing with Head down the or­der where the left­hander is best suited once David Warner and Steve Smith re­turn. Aus­tralia — in­sists Warne — needs a clear, at­tack­ing one-day blue­print like all-con­quer­ing Eng­land un­der Eoin Mor­gan.

“The roles are the key. What hasn’t been work­ing is search­ing, chop­ping and chang­ing and bat­ting peo­ple out of po­si­tion be­cause you are look­ing for mir­a­cle for­mu­las. You take a step back and say ‘th­ese are our best open­ers, best mid­dle or­der player and bowlers’, let them play and stick with them,” Warne said on Fox Sports.

Aus­tralia have a world-class at­tack but needs score­board pres­sure to ap­ply the blow­torch to op­po­si­tion bat­ting.

There was at least 275 in a bril­liant Ade­laide pitch but runs went beg­ging — again.

Dale Steyn (2/31) is hum­ming af­ter shoul­der surgery and deadly ac­cu­rate.

South African skip­per Faf du Plessis — anx­ious to “keep the foot on the gas” — sent Aus­tralia in and his mind ploy worked.

Aus­tralia would lose 4-21 and hopes of for­mi­da­ble to­tal with Pre­to­rius claim­ing Maxwell (15) and Mar­cus Stoi­nis (2) be­fore Steyn knocked over Pat Cum­mins (3) and Mitchell Starc (6). Re­called Adam Zampa swat­ted an in­valu­able 22 from 24 balls.

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