Australia fall to 177-run defeat to South Africa as Smith demands improvement

  1. South Africa defeat Australia by 177 runs in the first Test at the Waca
  2. Joe Burns, Callum Ferguson called up as Shaun Marsh ruled out for Hobart 
www.theguardian.com

Usman Khawaja and Peter Nevill showed admirable resistance on day five of the first Test but couldn’t stop South Africa recording a 177-run win over Australia late in the second session at the Waca.
After the match Smith said his team has allowed South Africa back in the game after their disastrous collapse on the second day and demanded an immediate improvement before the second Test in Hobart starting on Saturday.
“They ran away with it. Scoring only 240, it certainly wasn’t anywhere enough,” Smith said. “Every aspect of the game needs improvement. We’ve got to turn it around quickly in Hobart.”
“We have to do things better ... we’ve had a few collapses of late,” the skipper said.
“They outplayed us in this Test match and we are going to have to play a hell of a lot better if we want to compete with them.”
The loss was further compounded by a broken finger to opening batsman Shaun Marsh, who will miss the Tasmania Test.
Queensland opener Joe Burns and South Australian veteran Callum Ferguson have been drafted into an extended squad as possible replacements for Marsh and Adam Voges, who is carrying a hamstring injury from a fielding incident on day four.
It’s the first time since 1988 Australia have started a home summer with a Test defeat and that was against a West Indies attack that featured Malcolm Marshall, Curtly Ambrose and Courtney Walsh.
On Monday, South Africa secured victory despite being a bowler down from the moment spearhead Dale Steyn suffered a series-ending shoulder injury early in Australia’s first innings.
Khawaja top-scored with 97, while Nevill soaked up 153 deliveries in an unbeaten knock of 60 but they were left with far too much work to do. Proteas paceman Kagiso Rabada was inspirational in the absence of Steyn, swinging the ball both ways at pace to grab five wickets.
The result follows Australia’s shambolic 3-0 series loss in Sri Lanka earlier this year. Australia haven’t lost four Tests in a row since their calamitous tour of India in 2013. That debacle delivered a reminder of their subcontinent struggles, exposed bitter divides in the squad and essentially cost coach Mickey Arthur his job.
In Perth, Steve Smith spoke pre-match of a return to familiar surrounds and the resultant spike in confidence. Smith declared his batting order wouldn’t be as brittle at home.
Instead Smith was out for a duck in a first-innings collapse of 10-86 that changed the course of the game and left underdone pacemen Mitchell Starc and Peter Siddle bowling on four consecutive days.
But for the tourists it was another star performance from Rabada, who can lay claim to being better than Courtney Walsh, Dale Steyn, Richard Hadlee and Curtley Ambrose – in comparative terms anyway. Rabada’s seven wickets in Perth – including 5-92 in the second innings – has cemented his reputation as one of cricket’s rising stars.
In nine Tests, he’s has snared 36 wickets at 24.41. That return is even better than Ambrose (35), Hadlee (32), Steyn (32) and Walsh (31) at the same point of their careers. And Australian great Glenn McGrath was even further behind that group with 25 scalps in his opening nine Tests.
South Africa’s crushing win was symbolic for many reasons. One was the passing of the pace baton from Dale Steyn to Rabada. Steyn’s career hangs in the balance after he broke his shoulder while bowling on day two at the WACA Ground. Whether he can return after surgery and a six-month layoff remains to be seen.
But even if he can’t, South Africa fans can take heart from the prospect of Rabada anchoring their attack for the next decade. The 21-year-old’s raw pace and ability to swing the ball are major weapons. His blistering over to Adam Voges on Sunday – in which he was able to get the ball to move through the air both ways – was breathtaking.
Rabada’s bowling coach Charl Langeveldt said he got goosebumps just watching the spell. But bigger tests are set to come. The Waca clash was the first time in his fledgling career Rabada had bowled more than 300 balls in a match. He spent some time off the field on Monday icing his right shoulder before returning in time to take the second new ball.
“I can confidently say there’ll be not a lot of bowling at training in the next few days,” Rabada said with a smile. “But I’ll be ready for Hobart if I get chosen.”

Australia fall to 177-run defeat to South Africa as Smith demands improvement Australia fall to 177-run defeat to South Africa as Smith demands improvement Reviewed by Usa Tv on November 07, 2016 Rating: 5

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