On the last day at the SCG, a pair of spinners—but not the two that Australia had hoped for—played the crucial hand. Despite not preserving the follow-on, Keshav Maharaj and Simon Harmer’s obstinacy prolonged the game for long enough that Australia could not force a conclusion with just 47 overs left to bowl.
When play finally started on Saturday, it was always going to be a tough order for the home side to capture 20 wickets in a day and a half, but six wickets at the end of yesterday had boosted optimism. On the last day, they missed four catches of varied difficulty, which did not assist their cause.
Despite being advertised as the closest conditions Australia would get to India before their tour of that country next month, Pat Cummins acknowledged that it did not quite work out that way. The wicket perhaps didn’t perform precisely as we had anticipated; we had hoped for a bit more breakup and spin.
“I’m not sure how much of it was a misreading or how much of it was the recent weather and not continuous days of travel. Probably not the typical India wicket we could anticipate.” While Nathan Lyon bowled without reward or luck in both innings, Cummins and Josh Hazlewood’s speed posed the biggest danger. The pair found tricky reverse swing.
He was unsuccessful in a few of line-ball decisions and finished with 2 for 120 from 55 overs. It followed the pattern of the SCG being one of his least productive home grounds. Even with the fact that the field did not have as much wear as it could have, Ashton Agar’s comeback to the Test team did not end out well.
He received just 22 over the course of the two South African innings, which totaled 149.5 overs. When questioned about the side’s balance, Cummins acknowledged that extra quick would “possibly” have been useful, but he also implied that it would have come at the price of Matt Renshaw rather than Agar.
When Agar was given the new ball in the second innings, there was a wink to the upcoming India tour, but he had trouble maintaining consistency. As the game dragged on to a stalemate, Cummins stated that this encounter had never served as a trial run for the India trip selection.
Cummins assured that “He’ll be there.” “This wicket differed slightly from India’s in that it wasn’t at all an audition. was barely spinning out of the wicket’s centre.
The left-arm orthodox becomes slightly more efficient against right-handed hitters when an Indian wicket actually breaks up from the centre of the wicket. Thought he played pretty well; the game had three or four wickets for spin. He found it challenging, but he did a great job in his role.”