Prior to today’s match, South Africa had taken on the Aussies five times in ODI’s at the MCG and had won on each of those occasions. You could have heard this stat a million times by now, but i had to mention it. It is truly a remarkable stat considering how Aussies have humiliated the Proteas time and again, albeit everywhere else in the world.
After today’s match it has become an incredible 6-0, and that scoreline, however optimistic, looked quite distant when they stumbled from requiring 60 from 54 balls with 7 wickets in hand to requiring 50 from 30 with 3 wickets in hand. Ultimately, Albie did a Zulu and bailed us out but the lower middle order is a worrying sight. Vaughn Van Jaarsveld looks like he doesn’t belong and No.6 is a place too high for Boucher. Hopefully, AB should be fit enough to replace Van Jaarsveld in the upcoming ODI’s, which i reckon Australia will win by a canter, provided Duminy returns back from the Gambhir-esque level he finds himself in at the moment.
Why do i say that, The last time, South Africa was in Australia playing in a triangular with Sri Lanka being the other team, they won their opening match against the Aussies at this venue but from there on they couldn’t even make the final. Previously, I had predicted a 5-0 drubbing by the English and now a series defeat even after going up 1-0. (Why am i such an ass?)
By the way, what’s all that fuss about the ICC all time rankings? I think those ranks were based upon a player’s highest point score achieved at any instant of time during his career (with plenty of bonus points for match winning efforts). This system doesn’t necessarily award consistency but rather awards flamboyant match-winning brief string of performances. That may well account to why Steyn is above Wasim and why Sachin is behind more than just a Bradman. For example, if you were to score 3 match winning centuries on the trot against the Aussies while playing for a team ranked lower than them on a pitch assisting bowlers, your score will certainly go past 800 and in the process may catapult you over a player with some 30 odd centuries mostly scored on batsmen assisting pitches, in matches ending up in either draws or in defeats.