Like a certain cricketing Superpower Australia have faltered again and this is an important phase of cricket, to make Australia great again. Not we have misled ourselves to think was happening.
Fifteen wickets fell by the end of the first day of the second test in Hobart, but plenty of questions will be asked from Australia who was skittled by South Africa at a score of 85. As unbelievable it may seem it just took 32.5 overs for South Africa to inflict the worst of damages on the home team at the Bellerive Oval.
This was not a cricketing heavy-weight action bout between the top two teams of the world, not even close. South Africa is ranked at 5th in the test ranking and this begs to ask the question, what Australia thinking was.
The likes of David Warner, Usman Khawaja, Joe Burns were made to look like amateurs in front of short of pace bowling of Vernon Philander(5-21) and Kyle Abbott(3-41).
Skipper Smith did manage to get 48 runs off 137 balls, while debutante Joe Mennie scored 10 off 30 balls. These were the only two stats catching the eye in the rather embarrassing Australian scorecard.
The conditions were challenging, and no one expected 500, but would 100 have been too much to ask? As the day transpired, those scores of run so willfully foregone became even more crucial as South Africa labored over their reply.
As a test side, Australian has been rounded for a score of less than 100 for the fifth time in the last six year. It has not been able to even break-even Test victories and the few moments of being at No.1 earlier this year were like the polls, a deception.
At stumps, South Africa was 5-171 with Quinton de Kock (28 not out) and Temba Bavuma (38 not out) the unbeaten pair at the crease, leading Australia by 86 runs. It proved to be an excellent fight back from the Australians after a terrible first innings, with Mitchell Starc proving troublesome in seaming, swinging conditions at Bellerive Oval who bagged 3 wickets in 10 deliveries.