AUS vs SA | Twitter reacts to tactical genius Pat Cummins' Gabba gamble paying off to perfection
Pat Cummins' surprising call to bowl first paid rich dividends for the Aussies|
The big occasions call for the bold and the brave to step up to the plate and make decisions that might decide their legacy for years to come. Pat Cummins took on the challenge by opting to bowl first on a tricky Gabba pitch, despite his counterpart wanting to bat, and Australia reaped the rewards.
Australia are well on top in the first session of the opening Test against South Africa at the historic Gabba in Brisbane, leaving the visitors reeling at 44/4 with less than 20 overs bowled in the game. The pace trio of Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, and Scott Boland wreaked havoc in the much-anticipated encounter, taking full advantage of the "greenest Gabba pitch" if legendary Australian cricketers Justin Langer and Ricky Ponting are to be believed. However, while the bowling has been threatening, the Kangaroos are due a lot of credit to their skipper for taking the bold decision to bowl first.
Historically, Australia are notorious for choosing to set a target regardless of the conditions on offer, especially when playing at home. In the last 22 Tests on home soil since 2014 ahead of the ongoing encounter where the men from Down Under won the toss, they had only chosen to bowl first once -- against England in last year's boxing day Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. At the Gabba itself, the last time an Australian skipper sent in a team to bat was Steve Wagh against West Indies 22 years ago. In fact, even in away Tests, the Aussies have only chosen to bowl first in four of their last 38 Test matches.
Cummins' decision seems even more palpable when considering the fact that counterpart Dean Elgar admitted he would have anyway opted to bat first had the Proteas won the toss. However, with commentators and experts all skeptical as to how the pitch would behave, the Australian skipper's tactical reading proved astute with Mitchell Starc getting rid of the opposition's best batter Dean Elgar in the fifth over itself. Cummins himself opened his tally in the 10th over by having Rassie van der Dussen caught behind and paving the path for Scott Boland to create chaos with South Africa on their knees at 27/2. Two scalps in the next over meant the visitors were down and out at 27/4, even as Temba Bavuma and Kyle Verreynne aimed to rebuild the innings.
First blood for Starc
Cummisn gets the 2nd!
What. A. Catch.
South Africa are in massive trouble
Cameron Green's low catching at gully is unbelievable for such a tall guy. He's such an asset to this team.#AUSvSA— CricBlog ✍ (@cric_blog) December 17, 2022
Alex Carey Supermacy
Scott Boland currently has 22/222 in Test cricket pic.twitter.com/yFASxQqOdm— Ethan (@ethanmeldrum_) December 17, 2022
scott boland is genuinely one of the best things to happen to australian cricket— bella (@zampstagram) December 17, 2022
Oh my goodness gracious!
Australian captain Pat Cummins has won the toss and elected to BOWL first at the Gabba.— Nic Savage (@nic_savage1) December 16, 2022
The five most recent Tests in Brisbane were won by the team that bowled first.#AUSvSA
Looks like it was a great call
Test cricket special
Scott Boland two wickets in an over, traps newcomer Khaya Zondo LBW for duck after DRS and #RSA tumble to 4-27, still inside the first hour of play on a Gabba greentop, great toss for Pat Cummins to win and insert. #AUSvRSA— Robert Smith (@OnyaDon) December 17, 2022
AUS pace attack is lethal
Pick any 5 batters in test cricket right now and put them to face Starc, Cummins, Hazlewood and Boland on this green Gabba pitch.— Nikhil Uttamchandani (@NikUttam) December 17, 2022
I’ll pick this AUS attack to win the battle every day of the week and twice on Sundays.
They are that serious. #AUSvsSA
It will be intresting!
Iyer (@Chandra06367932) December 17, 2022
South Africa can still do it!