Australia crushed, loses to South Africa by 492 runs

Australia crushed, loses to South Africa by 492 runs

Javier Howell
April 4, 2018

The tourists were chasing a nigh-on impossible target of 612 and crumbled from their overnight 88-3 to 119 all out, Philander's haul including his 200th Test wicket and 50th against Australia in a rampant showing - at one point the seamer had claimed his six victims for just three runs from 32 balls.

It is hard to believe Australia won the first Test of this series.

Wicketkeeper Tim Paine‚ Smith's replacement as Australia's captain‚ offered Temba Bavuma a friendly hug around the thighs - a gentle rugby tackle‚ perhaps - after the ball nestled between the flap of one of Bavuma's pads and his leg as he batted at the Golf Course End during South Africa's first innings on Saturday. "Nice guys come second". Now we can look to build a new culture and hopefully perform a hell of a lot better than we did in this Test match. "There was probably some noise being made from the public in the past year or so and the guys thought maybe while we kept winning and playing a certain brand of cricket, while it was working we wouldn't change it".

Australia said their goodbyes to coach Darren Lehmann, who has been a popular figure in the dressing room since his appointment in 2013. He is the amusing guy in the dressing room, and he'll be missed a lot on the field.

In another twist, he injured himself during the fourth Test and again it appeared the world had seen the last of him in South Africa jersey.

As an example he described his series-long battle with Australian off-spinner Nathan Lyon as "great".

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"We've potentially maybe had our head in the sand a little bit over the last 12 months (thinking) if we continue to win we can kind of act and behave how we like and the Australian public will be OK with that", Paine said.

Ottis Gibson - "One thing that I have concentrated on all the time is keeping the support staff focused on the cricket and not what's been going on off the field".

As a batsman who has faced more balls than any other player in the series, Elgar is ideally placed to comment on on-field attitudes, although he says he has always enjoyed the challenge posed by verbal jousts. "To get 80 wickets means your bowling unit is tough. I could feel all 11guys were really motivated to make a play in this series". There are some gaps we have to fill, but on the flip side, it's a huge opportunity for someone to step up and play Test cricket for Australia. In the end, it was a run-out, perhaps appropriately effected by Markram, who with 480 was comfortably the leading run-scorer in the series.

"We just couldn't get to grips with what has happened in the last week and we couldn't apply ourselves mentally".

There had been discontent in the crowd, as the message wasn't conveyed as to why South Africa was batting on. "We all know there were a lot of incidents in this series, but after each day I would sit in the dressing-room and sense that there was a calmness to our emotions and we were really just focused on winning games of cricket".