When Dale Steyn walked off the field clutching his broken right shoulder one would have thought the Test would be a cake-walk for the hosts who were then in a commanding position at 166/1 in pursuit of South Africa’s first innings total of 242.
The Proteas had also come into the tour without their talismanic batsman AB De Villiers who missed out with an injury. Dented, South Africa looked down and out.
But that’s what everyone thought. They battled the odds to first dismiss Australia for 244 in the first innings and then rode on the knocks of JP Duminy and Dean Elgar to amass 540 and set Australia a mammoth target of 539 runs.
On a pitch that was offering quite a bit for the pacers, Kagiso Rabada delivered the goods picking up figures of 5-92 for the visitors to set up their 177-run victory.Now South Africa played brilliant cricket throughout the game to seal the deal but Australia too made a lot of mistakes.
In this article, we look at five weaknesses of the Australian’s that South Africa exploited to claim a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.
#1 Over dependence on Mitchell Starc
After the retirement of Mitchell Johnson, it was Starc who took over the huge burden off carrying the Australian bowling unit on his young shoulders. Though he has had a lot of injury problems lately, Australia have always looked up to him to deliver when it requires.
But now it seems like, there’s an over dependence on him to deliver every time, which in cricket is so not possible.In the last Test that Starc played before this was in Sri Lanka, where to he had grabbed a five-for but then again it was not enough to save his side from a defeat.
At Perth too, he started off brilliantly by getting rid of Stephen Cook for 0 in the first innings and went on to bag figures of 4-71 as South Africa were bowled out for 242.
Now in the second innings, Dean Elgar and JP Duminy took the left-armer to the cleaners, smashing him to all parts of the ground. He picked up just one wicket giving away 114 runs as South Africa got to a massive 540. The over dependence showed as no other bowler could step up to curtail the flow of runs.