Australia vs South Africa - The battle for ICC Test Championship
Last time South Africa toured Australia in December 2008 for a 3 test series, Australia was No.1 in ICC Test ranking. But this time around, things have changed and it’s the tourists who are the top team in Tests.
Australia would have advantage of playing at home with the support of home crowd. Shane Watson injured his calf and was ruled out of the first test, but he was in great form this season with both bat and bowl, and his presence in last two test will be very effective for Aussie. Captain Clarke and former captain Ponting have huge responsibility in batting department. Australia have an inexperienced but talented bowling attack. It would be a big stage for the pace battery of Pattinson, Hilfenhaus, Siddle and Starc to show their ability.
South Africa have the same squad that defeated England at their home. South Africa have one of the best pace attack than any other team currently. Pacers like Dale Styen, Vernon Philander and Morne Morkel can destroy any batting line-up. World No. 2 test batsmen Amla and AB de Villiers will lead South African batting line-up, not to forget the ever-reliant Kallis.
It’s all about ICC Test Championship:
Currently South Africa is on top of the table with 120 rating points, England in second position with 117 rating points and Australia at third place with 116. So, Australia is just 4 points behind the leaders and would try to reduce the gap further.
Equation for South Africa:
If South Africa manage to win or draw the series, they will maintain their top position in the rankings. South Africa will try to win this series and increase their tally in the rating points up to 126 points. In worst case scenario, they can collapse to the third place with 113 points, losing all 3 matches.
Equation for Australia:
It is a very simple equation for Australia to become the top Test team again, and they have to win this series to achieve that target. Australia can gain up to 6 points if they complete a whitewash over the Proteas.
Possible Ranking table:
Aus – SA
Hashim Amla – South African batting mainstay, the Proteas will hope that he continues his rich vein of form.
Shane Watson – Though ruled out of the first test, this allrounder is key to Australia’s success and many Aussie hopes will be pinned on his fitness.
Dale Steyn – The premier fast bowler in the world, there’s no denying that South Africa’s dominance will closely be related to Steyn’s form in the series.
Michael Clarke – At the helm, his last test series against the Proteas was sensational, and he would like to remember the positives from it, than the disappointment and shame of 47 all out. Both teams have come quite a distance from there, and the Aussie captain would like to post a resounding success story this time around.