Australia has secured their first home series win against South Africa in over 15 years after a dominant performance in the Boxing Day Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. Skipper Dean Elgar said that South Africa should play more red-ball cricket to challenge the likes of India, England and Australia.
“We need to be playing more Test cricket and our players need to be exposed to this level. Even though we’re taking a hiding like we’ve had in the first two Tests here and the England series that we had, our players need to be exposed to that.”
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“Unfortunately we are all learning in the most ruthless and brutal way but I think there are more learnings out of this than going out and playing against a team that’s of similar strength and we beat them.”
The result has also ended South Africa’s hopes of qualifying for the World Test Championship final, as they must now win the final match of the series to stay in contention.
South Africa was bowled out for 204 in their second innings, with only Temba Bavuma reaching a half-century. Nathan Lyon and Scott Boland each took two wickets, while Pat Cummins impressed by conceding only 20 runs in 16 overs and using the DRS to dismiss Sarel Erwee and Marco Jansen.
“There’s a saying in cricket – you’re only one knock away from being back in form and got to believe that. For me, it’s not just a cliche. I think there’s a lot of merit in it. We have to still keep the encouragement and keep reminding the guys that they’re not crap cricketers – let’s put it that way and to be blunt.”
Earlier in the match, Australia declared their first innings at 575/8, thanks to David Warner’s double century and Alex Carey’s maiden century, in response to South Africa’s score of 189.