Australia player ratings: Mike Hussey
Legendary Australia batsman Mike Hussey saw the action unfold at Blundstone Arena and below he calls it how he sees it.
David Warner 5/10
Played a shocking shot in the first innings to get out in the first over. Was very unlucky to get out for 45 after making a great start and showing a fair bit of fight. Once again provided energy and put on an excellent partnership with Usman Khawaja where he tempered his game to suit the conditions and looked much better for it.
Joe Burns 2.5/10
Scored one and duck and put down some very difficult chances at short leg. He was pretty unlucky to get a pretty good ball in the first innings where there wasn’t much he could have done, and in the second innings he was caught down the leg side. You’ve got to feel for him. It certainly wasn’t the return he was hoping for in his comeback match.
Usman Khawaja 6/10
Out for four in the first innings and batted well in the second innings for 64. I thought the partnership between Uz and Warner was excellent. It showed a bit of fight, showed a bit of character. They had a bit of luck along the way – a lot of balls went past the outside edge but some days you miss them, some days you nick them. They seemed to be a bit more determined with their defence and really wanted to get stuck in there and do the hard work. They played the ball a bit later, waiting for the ball to move and played a little tighter to their body.
Steve Smith 6.5/10
The standout in the first innings with 48no when all the wickets tumbled around him. Another 31 in the second dig showed he wanted to fight it out and be there all day. What stood out for me was that he was prepared to play the ball really late. You’re going to look ugly at times when the ball is darting around like it did in Hobart, but he was prepared to fight it out and survive as best he could. On the captaincy side of things, when you get rolled for 85 your back is always going to be up against the wall. As a captain you’re really only as good as what your players back you up with and unfortunately his players aren’t backing him up as much as he would like at the moment.
Adam Voges 2.5/10
Copped an absolute peach in the first innings to be out for a golden duck. In the second innings it was a bizarre dismissal really. It looked like he was trying to play it then it looked like he was trying to leave it. I’m sure he’s probably thinking that this might have been his last chance as an older player or is he just being undone by some quality South African bowling? He certainly doesn’t look as decisive as he did last season when he was scoring so many runs and confident. But is that because the bowling has put him under so much pressure? Only he can answer that.
Callum Ferguson – 2.5/10
Your debut is always tough emotionally, especially for someone like Ferg who has had to wait a long period of time. And they were difficult conditions to bat in. I felt for him. I heard a lot of people say ‘what’s he doing taking such a risky run?’ but you’ve got to understand there’s so much emotion going through your body in your first Test match. The adrenaline would have been pumping, he’s a very good runner between the wickets generally speaking, and I’m sure if he had his time again he wouldn’t have taken that second run in the first innings. I don’t know what they’re going to do selection-wise but surely you can’t flick him after one Test.
Peter Nevill 3.5/10
No scores to speak of, only three and six with the bat. He missed a stumping, not an easy one, but overall he was tidy behind the stumps. He’s in to keep, especially with six specialists batsmen in there. If there was an allrounder batting at No.6 he’d need to score more runs, but he still needs to contribute with the bat.
Joe Mennie 4.5/10
I thought Joe bowled pretty well, collecting 1-85 from 28 overs. Like Ferg, his first Test match would have been emotionally really tough. I don’t know how he handled it internally but I thought he bowled quite well.
Mitchell Starc 5.5/10
While he took 3-79, Starcy wasn’t quite at his best in Hobart. I know he had that spell after tea on day one where he got three wickets very quickly, but he’s still not at the peak of his game just yet after coming back from that leg injury and bowling a mountain of overs in the first Test.
Josh Hazlewood 8/10
With 6-89 he was head and shoulders the best performer for Australia. Line and length, used the conditions well and was pretty frugal with 10 maidens in 31 overs. Five wickets is like getting a hundred, and if we take off one wicket due to the helpful conditions Hoff scored the equivalent of a ton.
Nathan Lyon – 4.5/10
No wickets for Gaz but I thought he bowled pretty well early, generated some bounce and created a few chances. Tough work for a spinner in those conditions in a Test where no wickets fell to spin bowling.
South Africa player ratings: Neil Manthorp
South Africa commentator and journalist Neil Manthorp has been touring Australia to follow the Proteas for more than two decades and offers his expert assessment of their performances in Hobart.
Dean Elgar 6/10
Quiet game for the combative opener - but only as far as the scoreboard is concerned. He was loud, energetic and busy throughout. Surviving the new ball for 61 deliveries was more important than his 17 runs but ducking at third slip with a David Warner edge flying towards his head didn’t look good.
Stephen Cook 6/10
Another relative failure and another quiet Test match for the 33-year-old who knows he needs to keep scoring runs to stop selection talk. He certainly hasn’t looked out of his depth and will be given another chance to contribute in Adelaide
Hashim Amla 7/10
Not even a 50 for the great man in the first two Tests but he showed his class and quality when the innings crashed from 0-43 to 3-46 in a couple of Mitchell Starc overs. His serene 47 calmed everyone down and put things back on track. Is improving all the time at first slip.
JP Duminy 7/10
If you can’t contribute with bat or ball, do it in the field. Duminy’s remarkable catch in the gully to dismiss Starc in the first over was yet another highlight during a series in which the Proteas have reached new heights and set new standards.
Faf du Plessis 8/10
Du Plessis has at least half a dozen coaches and strategists to help him make plans but ultimately he makes the calls and his bowlers execute the plans. When they don’t work, he takes responsibility so it’s only right that he takes the credit when they do. Outstanding. Would have liked more runs.
Temba Bavuma 9/10
Once again it was Bavuma to the rescue. At 4-76 the innings, and match, might have been in the balance had the little big man not added 56 with Amla and then 144 with Quinton de Kock. His fielding reputation has grown so quickly he strikes fear and confusion into Australia’s batsmen every time he goes near the ball.
Quinton de Kock 9/10
His carefree approach to batting isn’t carefree at all, it is a disguise. He may read the game instinctively rather than clinically, but he reads it perfectly. Didn’t put a glove wrong and his century was demoralisingly brilliant. Only error was (again) being over-ruled by Vernon Philander in asking for a review. Quinton always knows best.
Vernon Philander 9.5/10
On a green pitch under cloudy skies Vernon Philander is in bowling heaven. His extraordinary control of both seam and swing brought him 5-21 and contributed most to Australia’s humiliation. His 32 with the bat felt like the ‘nail in the coffin’ followed by more relentless bowling pressure in the second innings. Faultless.
Keshav Maharaj 7/10
Hard to do anything wrong when you aren’t required to do anything. Bowled four overs for two runs, polished the ball enthusiastically in the field, encouraged the seamers cheerfully and wore his sunhat at a jaunty angle. More importantly, looked like he belonged.
Kyle Abbott 10/10
Outstanding. His knowledge and skill are often under-appreciated and he is often under-estimated, but not here. A couple of loose deliveries at the start of each spell was all he gave the batsmen before teasing and testing them with every ball. Magnificent control and heaps of patience when the ball was beating the bat.
Kagiso Rabada 9.5/10
His eight over spell on Monday evening to Khawaja and Smith was as good as anything in the series – and brought him nothing. His demeanour never changed, very unusual for a 21-year-old. Four quick wickets on Tuesday morning, using the bouncer as weapon of choice, were clinically taken. Another faultless showing.