Posted by: nestaquin | March 3, 2009


australia-winMagnificent. Truly magnificent.

It’s been a day to savour. The first Test with only the youngest member of Steve Waugh’s champions present, the true beginning of a new era and Australia’s next generation, led and inspired by the working class ethic of skipper Ricky Ponting, played with grit, patience, verve and quality to humble South Africa on their own turf in a display that will be fondly remembered in the long and glorious annals of BaggyGreen history.

The three green pace bowlers, who only a few years back were employed as a plumber, a woodchopper and a bricklayer, cleaned up the hosts on the final day with an aggressive and controlled display that deserves every accolade forthcoming.

Apologies to our hungry readers but it is time to celebrate and I’ll share my more considered thoughts in the morn. For now, I’ll leave you with a phrase that was enthusiastically and spontaneously shouted throughout the continent on this historic and triumphant night.


Image: Getty



  1. I can only concur – I didn’t think they would make it, but a bunch of blokes young enough for me to be their father got Aus over the line against a top side at home brimming with confidence.

  2. Congratulations Nestaquin – party like its 1999 :)

  3. Stand out performance by AUSTRALIA !

    Congratulations on a very deserving win..and yes, a great test match indeed.

    From a SAF point-of-view, they must be ruing some of the shots in the 1st innings.But if they introspect, they would probably realise that this Australian team just had more hunger.I don’t know, but the match probably got decided by North and Mitch’s innings.That was too much of a bonus for Oz to throw away. And when they got shutout for 200+, it was obvious that barring a miracle, even a draw was out of the question for SAF.

    Mitch Johnson – okay, I am not a fan of his bowling action, but he made this test match his own.Outstanding all round performance- not seen from any one in a long time.

    Andrew McDonald- great control but should make room for Watson when fit or better still, Brett Lee.

    South Africa will bounce back-they have the best batting lineup on pacy pitches in the world today, but they need to regain the hunger they showed down under.

    With England and WI showing signs of improvement, and SL not far away, Test Cricket is looking extremely healthy.Nothing to worry !

    G’d night and have fun, you Aussies ! Great win !

  4. working class heroes indeed.

  5. Hmmm. Australia getting the better of the South Africans on their turf, and England being outplayed by the West Indies. This is not in the Ashes script I was sent.

    How nice does it feel to feast on some good, hard, competitive test cricket once again? Fighting performances, round the wicket hositility, big runs (small, but priceless runs too!) – it’s all there. I love it!

  6. After recent test results around the globe, I’d give man of the match to the curator of the Wanderers, for giving us a ground that rewarded both batsmen and bowlers.

  7. An immensely satisfying test. In years to come we may look back on the scorecard and see a team full of champions win with ease. But as with the team that conquered the West Indies in 94/95, that would miss the nervous anticipation and uncertainty that preceded it.

    I’d like to mention Andrew McDonald though. You were right on in saying he was “maligned and misinterpreted” nesta, moreso than any bowler I can recall, and certainly more than he deserves.

    He did an awesome job in this test. On at least three occasions, South Africa threatened to accelerate their scoring and build a total. And on every one of those occasions, Ponting tossed the ball to McDonald who hauled them back in. Long periods where the scoring rate was ticking over at the same rate as the overs.

    Ponder this, South Africa batted for 21 more overs than Australia, but made 162 fewer runs. In Perth, they chased down 414 in exactly the same amount of time they batted yesterday (119.2 overs).

    McDonald was the biggest difference in those chases (and in Sydney), he kills the game so Ponting can set tight attacking fields, he builds pressure, he takes the odd important wicket, and he gives Johnson and Siddle a chance to rest between spells without the game slipping in between times.

    Most importantly, he brings to the side something that noone else does, something that Brett Lee (Kumar) decidedly does not.

    • The same howls of uninformed protest will be heard when McDonald plays in Durban too. He’s played two Tests for two wins and is a captain’s delight. He won’t be a fixture in the first XI but he will be in every touring squad for the next several years.

      As for Brett Lee, and Roy for that matter, I hope they never wear the BaggyGreen again. Still think they have a bit to offer in the shorter formats but their presence in pyjamas is doubtful too.

      It’s a new dawn and there are dozens of hungry young bucks itching for a chance to play under Ricky. If Hussey doesn’t pull his head in, Ferguson will have his spot before the year is out too.

  8. Congrats on a great win. Unfortunately real-life intervened and I could only dip in and out of the game today. But of what I did see, I was impressed with Siddle. He may not be the most skilful bowler to ever don a baggy green, but he’s quick, aggressive and has plenty of character. I’ll put him in the Merve Hughes/Andrew Flintoff bracket until I see a bit more of him. Johnson led the line well too; he seems to be living up to some of the billing he got as a young man.

    I would sound a word of caution though. From what I saw (and I admit that was limited) Australia seemed to rely on a combination of two bowlers playing out of their skin as well as some poor South African batting. That might win the odd test match but isn’t the basis for consistent success, particularly with back-to-back test series. I still think you need back your injured guys: Lee, Clark & Watson. If you find a decent spinner to add to that (McGain perhaps) you should be well sorted for the Ashes.

    South Africa on the other hand seems to have been caught cold in the first test of a series. Weird, it should be the tourists who are at most risk of that.

  9. Maybe Ponting is finally coming to realise the opportunity he has of helping build a new look squad full of enthusiastic freshmen. He seemed to be the one always calling for experienced players, be they Hayden, Symonds and so on.

    South Africa definitely have it in them to still win this series. It was their first innings bowling that did them over. But they’ve probably got rid of those cobwebs now.

    • No doubt at all that South Africa will come at the Aussies hard in the next two Tests but with only one draw required to retain the prize, Ponting’s team are in a very sound position considering they have won the last two and won’t be lacking confidence in themselves or each other.

  10. Just dropping by.Btw, you website have great content!

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