South Africa’s No. 1 test in second Test
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Australia were charged with confidence by their performance in the opening Test against South Africa and are determined to ride the momentum to victory in this week's second Test at the Adelaide Oval. South Africa's number one Test ranking is on the line in the three-match series and it lived up to its billing as a heavyweight contest at the Gabba, where the tourists took the early initiative but Australia finished on a high.
A brilliant unbeaten 259 from skipper Michael Clarke combined with centuries from Ed Cowan and Mike Hussey defused the celebrated South African bowling attack and left the Proteas to bat out the final day for a draw.
"We came out of that Test on top and thought there were a couple of big blows we landed," Australia spinner Nathan Lyon said."We have to start well on Thursday and take that momentum from the first Test into the second and third Tests and hopefully win this series and become number one nation in the world."
Australia's main selection quandary is whether all rounder Shane Watson will have recovered sufficiently from the calf strain. Watson has already ruled himself out of bowling in the match and left-hander Rob Quiney looks more and more likely to retain his spot at number three in the batting line-up in his place. Spinner Nathan Lyon is certain to remain in the side at a ground where he was an assistant groundsman only two years ago, while Mitchell Starc is pushing Ben Hilfenhaus for his place in the likely three-pronged pace attack.
South Africa's bowlers have been left in no doubt that better is expected of them in Adelaide after they toiled on a wicket that offered them little in Brisbane.
Having left specialist spinner Imran Tahir out of the Gabba Test only to then lose all rounder JP Duminy to a ruptured Achilles, South Africa are unlikely to leave their bowling unit similarly exposed in Adelaide. Paceman Rory Kleinveldt, who ended up with figures of 0-97 on debut at the Gabba, looks set to make way for Tahir's return with Faf du Plessis coming in for Duminy.That will leave Dale Steyn, Vernon Philander to lead the pace attack with back-up from Morne Morkel and all rounder Jacques Kallis.
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