TELFORD VICE, Melbourne
WITH just four days between the first and second tests in the series between Australia and South Africa, fitness will be a vital factor.
In fact how the bowlers recover from their workout at the WACA, where South Africa won by 177 runs on Monday, could determine which team finishes on top at Bellerive Oval.
Australia bowled on the first four days in Perth, while South Africa’s attack did not have to mark out a run-up from tea on the second day to after lunch on the fourth day thanks largely to a partnership of 250 between Dean Elgar and JP Duminy.
“They have bowled four days in a row,” Lehmann said of his seam attack of Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Peter Siddle and Mitchell Marsh.
“They are pretty sore, as I would imagine the South African boys would be – the two bowlers that bowled the whole game for them.”
That would be Vernon Philander and Kagiso Rabada, who had their workload dramatically increased when Dale Steyn left the field with a broken shoulder and never returned after bowling 12.4 overs in the first innings and never returned.
“All bowlers are going to be pretty sore and tight,” Lehmann said.
“We’ll just have to see how they pull up and make a call from there.
“(South Africa) will have the same issues.”
Not quite. South Africa’s seamers sent down 117.4 overs and Australia’s 173.4.
Take out Steyn’s contribution and that’s 56 overs, or almost two full sessions, less work the remaining South African seamers had to do compared to their Australian counterparts.
All of the latter are in danger of being picked for the second test, although Peter Siddle will undergo scans in Hobart after complaining of back pain.
And even though Steyn was removed from the equation, the busiest fast bowler in the game was neither Philander nor Rabada but Australia’s Josh Hazlewood, who steamed in for 54 overs.
So the visitors, bolstered by the addition of Morne Morkel, Kyle Abbott or Dwaine Pretorius, should be the fresher side in Tasmania on Saturday.