first_imgBy Brydon CoverdaleAUSTRALIA faced only 558 deliveries in losing the Hobart Test to South Africa, their fourth-lowest tally ever in Tests they have lost at home. Here is a closer look at their worst five.360 balls1904 v England, MCGMonty Noble’s Australians were bowled out for 122 and 111 in this match, in which England’s Wilfred Rhodes not only took 15 wickets but had a further eight catches dropped off his bowling. But these were the days of uncovered pitches, and Wisden’s report made clear that the weather was responsible for this outcome: “The significance of the (England) win, however, was altogether discounted by the fact that before the Australians had any chance of batting, rain had ruined the pitch.”429 balls1888 v England, SCGAgain, this was a match – and a pitch – badly affected by rain. Australia were dismissed for 42 in the first innings and 82 in the second, with England bowlers George Lohmann and Bobby Peel proving impossible to handle in the conditions.457 balls1928 v England, Brisbane Exhibition GroundEngland won this Test by the monumental margin of 675 runs, though Australia lost both Jack Gregory and Charles Kelleway mid-match to injury and illness. The match was also notable for being Don Bradman’s Test debut, Wisden describing the situation thus: “Australia relied largely upon tried men, Bradman being the one youngster to secure inclusion”.And in the final innings, having been set 742 for victory, heavy rain rendered Australia’s task utterly hopeless. “Woodfull, batting splendidly, received no support at all,” Wisden reported, “nearly everyone who joined him hitting out wildly immediately on going in.”558 balls 2016 v South Africa, Bellerive OvalAustralia could not use uncovered pitches or mid-match injuries as an excuse here. Outplayed in every way by South Africa, the Australians simply lacked the ability to handle the swinging and seaming balls delivered by Kyle Abbott, Kagiso Rabada and Vernon Philander. Skittled for 85 and then 161, it consigned Australia to a third consecutive home series loss to South Africa.611 balls 1984 v West Indies, WACAOn the list of excuses for poor batting, there have been few more understandable in recent decades than facing Malcolm Marshall, Michael Holding, Joel Garner and Courtney Walsh at the WACA. Pre-match rain left the pitch “under-prepared and unpredictable”, in the words of Wisden. Little wonder, then, that Australia were rolled for 76 and 228.Still, it took only one more Test for Australia captain Kim Hughes to resign in tears.(ESPN Cricinfo)last_img

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