GUNS FAIL TO FIRE
Another crash for our flop order
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.