AUS v SA Preview, with some Dodgy Stats

There has been so much said about the quality of the South African Bowling attack. But really, its the top 2 that are the worry – guns Steyn and Philander. Get through these guys and the going should be easier for the Aussie batsmen. Morkel is an honest bowler but nowhere near the level of the other 2, his average over his last 10 tests only 33.80. I don’t get the fuss about Tahir. In his 10 test career he has averaged 40.19, quite ordinary really. Meanwhile poor Nathan Lyon barely gets a mention in the list of threats, but he has averaged 26 over his last 10 tests, that isn’t too far away from Warney!!! Kallis seems to be a spent force in terms of bowling lately, his average almost 50 for his last 10 tests. It doesn’t look like Aus need to worry about him.

What about Aussie quicks. Their stats over the past 10 tests match up to the Proteas. Pattinson averaging a brilliant 19, not too far away from Philander, Hilfy 22, he has Steyn covered, so does Siddle with 24. Looking at the figures, you would surprisingly conclude that the Australian attack has the edge going into this series!

The real worry for Australia is their batting line-up. The stats suggest we will be relying heavily on the big 2 – Clarke and Ponting. Who else will stand up? Again looking at the last 10 tests, Australia only have 3 averaging above 40, compared to SA’s entire top 6. In the batting department SA have us well covered.

How will the pitches play this summer? Over the past couple of years a large number of matches have seen pitches that benefit the quicks. Will that change this summer? It’s also hard to decide which team would benefit from certain pitches. At first thought you would think that green decks would mean trouble for Australia coming up against Steyn and Philander, but we’ve just identified that Australia best strength is their quicks as well. On the flip side, SA’s batsmen seem to have it over us, so a flat wicket doesn’t seem like a good idea either. So perhaps they prepare for Lyon, and try to provide a bit of spin? It has been mentioned that the Brisbane pitch may in fact be like this, although a bit of wet weather up their may have ruined that plan. The other thing to remember here is that the Aussies tend to struggle with spin and too much assistance to Tahir could have his 40 average plummeting down.

All in all it should be an incredibly close and interesting series. I expect momentum to ebb and flow between each team in different conditions and different toss winners. South Africa are deserved favourites, but Australia could definitely cause an upset.

Bring on the first test.

Averages over Player’s Past 10 Tests

SA Batting
G Smith 44.93
A Petersen 49.06
H Amla 66.71
J Kallis 49.57
AB de Villiers 62.07
J Rudolph 40.66
JP Duminy 30.76

SA Bowling
D Steyn 26.53
V Philander 15.96
M Morkel 33.80
I Tahir 40.19
J Kallis 49.40

AUS Batting
E Cowan 29.83
D Warner 42.14
R Quiney
R Ponting 53.18
M Clarke 61.75
M Hussey 37.12
M Wade 39.60

AUS Bowling
P Siddle 24.39
J Pattinson 18.96
B Hilfenhaus 22.00
N Lyon 25.70

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