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Fourth Test South Africa v Australia - Game On?

Bancroft OUT - South Africa v Australia

With the Fourth Test due to start in just a few days’ time, there is not a lot of time for the Australian squad to prepare and recover from the Cape Town Test and everything that went on. Australia will have to work hard to come back level the series against South Africa. The ball tampering scandal has certainly taken over the headlines and over shadowed an emphatic win by South Africa in the 3rd Test Match; however, it is difficult to see anything other than South Africa winning the match and with it the Series.

On the recent ball tampering events in Cape Town, ICC CEO David Richardson stated: “The decision made by the leadership group of the Australian team to act in this way is clearly contrary to the spirit of the game, risks causing significant damage to the integrity of the match, the players and the sport itself and is therefore ‘serious’ in nature. As captain, Steve Smith must take full responsibility for the actions of his players and it is appropriate that he be suspended.”

“The game needs to have a hard look at itself. In recent weeks we have seen incidents of ugly sledging, send-offs, dissent against umpires’ decisions, a walk-off, ball tampering and some ordinary off-field behaviour.

“The ICC needs to do more to prevent poor behaviour and better police the spirit of the game, defining more clearly what is expected of players and enforcing the regulations in a consistent fashion. In addition and most importantly Member countries need to show more accountability for their teams’ conduct. Winning is important but not at the expense of the spirit of the game which is intrinsic and precious to the sport of cricket. We have to raise the bar across all areas.”

There was no suggestion that there were any betting irregularities involved around this match and all legal cricket betting sites for Australia have been watching the series with interest and will be looking forward to resuming activity for the Fourth Test at the weekend.

As to who will win the upcoming Test, let’s have a look at who will be likely to play in team for Australia should the match actually be played. There are many people in Australia and around the world who think that the Australian team should either go home or be replaced in its entirety.

For the good of the game, the match should go ahead and the sooner Cricket Australia make a full disclosure statement on what exactly happened, who was involved and who knew about it, the better. Then a new line up can be announced for the Fourth Test.

Our starting line-up for the new Australia team - J Burns, U Khawaja, G Bailey, S Marsh, T Head, M Marsh, T Paine (Wkt), P Cummins, M Starc, N Lyon, J Hazlewood

South Africa – no change - D Elgar, A Markram, H Amla, AB de Villiers, F du Plessis, T Bavuma, Q de Kock (Wkt), V Philander, K Maharaj, K Rabada, M Morkel