Sport

SA dossier not worth the paper it was written in

STRUGGLING: Aussie bowler Ben Hilfenhaus.
STRUGGLING: Aussie bowler Ben Hilfenhaus. Mark Kolbe - Getty Images

IDENTIFYING opposing batsmen's weaknesses is one thing.

Of much more importance, however, is bowling in a manner to exploit them.

Which is why the supposedly leaked dossier on the South Africans, as published in News Limited papers on Thursday, was of less value than the paper it was written in.

As Australia's bowlers dished up tripe throughout day one of the Test yesterday, it looked like the instruction for Hashim Amla was "give him enough rope and he'll hang himself".

There was short and wide stuff being cut over the top of gully or pulled over midwicket, and full and wide stuff sent to the cover boundary.

In the Australians' defence, Amla does have a habit of getting himself out to loose deliveries - once he's passed about 200 or 300.

As for the chin music, mooted in the alleged dossier - it is a lesson for medium pace bowlers not to kid themselves they are Michael Holding.

The short stuff Peter Siddle was dishing up at 130kph was pulling practice for the South Africans.

The pitch obviously didn't help, which is why accuracy was so important.

Our renowned swing bowler Ben Hilfenhaus, in particular, demonstrated a penchant for the short and wide, when he should have been full and straight.

If Australia somehow manages to win this series and with it reclaim the world number one ranking, all I can say is it is a sad indictment on the state of Test cricket.

A colleague asked me hypothetically what the West Indies quicks of the 1980s would do to this Australian batting line-up.

It was hypothetical because we both knew exactly what they'd do.

In most sports you can't compare generations because advancements mean the modern game quickly leaves the past in its wake.

But not so in cricket, despite the sports scientists gaining an increasing hold over the way things are done.

According to the leaked dossier, the plan was to "really test" Jacques Kallis out with a bouncer onslaught.

Yet he was facing the bowling of Mike Hussey before he'd reached 20.

Since the supposed leak of the dossier, there have been denials from the Australians that one ever existed.

It would not surprise given the dross it included was nothing that was not obvious to anyone with half an interest in world cricket.

After the way Australia bowled yesterday, you can expect the denials to get louder.

Topics:  australian cricket team gabba opinion passing the buck proteas



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