Can South Africa justify their top billing in the Test series against Australia?
The most high-profile series of the year 2014 is scheduled to kick start from February 12th, when South Africa will lock horns with the visitors Australia in the first Test at Centurion.
If the hosts are right at the top in the ICC Test rankings, then Australia is not far behind and are placed at the third position. If we talk in football term then it’s certainly an El Classico. Both the teams have undoubtedly one the best fast bowling attacks in the world. If, South Africa has a deadly bowling combo in Dayle Steyn, Morne Morkel and Vernon Philender then the Aussies have Mitchell Johnson, Ryan Harris and Peter Siddle, who can rip apart any batting line up.
Another factor that makes this contest more interesting is that both the teams are probably playing their best cricket at the moment. On one hand, if Proteas have been right at the top of the rankings from last 18 months, on the other, Australia have clean swept England 5-0 in the return Ashes in style.
Whichever team will bat well in the three-match Test series, will dominate the proceedings, as it would be a test of true temperament for batsmen of both the teams.
Reputation of both the skippers – Graeme Smith and Michael Clarke will be at stake in this much-hyped series, which also has three Twenty20 matches, which are scheduled after the Test series. Pressure would be on the skippers as it would be a golden opportunity for them to not only show their batting prowess but also their leadership qualities.
Though, South Africa have an upper hand in the series, as they are playing at home, one notable factor is that South Africa will be playing in their first Test series after the retirement of their most talented all-rounder Jacques Kallis.
On one end, where the hosts will try to justify their top billing, the visitors will try to carry on with their winning momentum.
We at Zeenews.com invite you to post your comments and tell us who you think will emerge as the winner in the high-profile Test series.