Originally Posted by 1985mb
RSA coming along pretty nicely. Could be a good contest when they face Aus next.
Strengths: Settled + in-form top & middle order, combative wk-batsman, battery of fast bowlers, captain at top of his game, currently playing very well as a unit.
Weaknesses: No Test spinner, possibility of Morkel losing his radar and Ntini his pace, enough variety in the bowling? Batsmen haven't done well on prev Aus tours, but then again there is no McGrath or SK Warne to torment them (tho Clark should do well). None except AB De Villiers likely to try to dominate the bowling, which allows Aus to be the aggressor.
Other: doubt they'll tinker with their settled batting order, but I'd like to see AB bat further up. Seems as likely as anyone else to be the 1 of the batting stars of the next decade or at least put up some memorable innings on Aus soil in the post Lara/Tendulkar/Laxman/Dravid world. Let the likes of McKenzie, Amla or Prince shepherd the tail.
Yes AUS is an interesting team at the moment, the thing to remember though is the batting order is as strong as ever with quite a few quality players still waiting in the wings. Which should mean we'll actually see some 5 day tests this summer, as our bowling line up is a little weak and will probably struggle to dismiss teams quickly. I really think Shane Watson is the missing peice in the line up, injury free he could be one of the best and most valuable players in world cricket.
As for no Gilchrist, Haddin gives the team more than Gilly was able in his last few years as Gillys keeping had really started to slide and his batting was the definition of hit & miss. However his still the best batsman-keeper to have set foot on the park.
AB De Villers played quite a few good innings last time they toured AUS, i think they actually had him at the top of the order and he was probably RSA's best bat for the entire tour.