Aussies now play catch-up
SYDNEY ? Australian vice-captain, Adam Gilchrist, was forced to defend his skipper's under-bowling of champion leg-spinner Shane Warne today after South Africa posted the commanding score of 3-230 in the third Test.
South African captain, Graeme Smith's dismissal for 39, was one of the few highlights for Australia, with the SCG crowd booing the feisty left-hander all the way off the field as he shook his head angrily.
Smith won the toss and batted on a steaming wicket, but after Australia initially made inroads at 3-86, the momentum was lost with Jacques Kallis (80 not out) and Ashwell Prince (62 not out) sharing an unbeaten fourth-wicket stand of 144.
Gilchrist said Australia obviously had hoped to win the toss and bat and use its spinners Warne and Stuart MacGill to dominate on day five.
"Sometimes you are going to get caught out and have to bowl on a moist wicket with only two fast men and Andrew Symonds,'' Gilchrist said.
The crowd of 36,882 also booed Australian captain, Ricky Ponting, who is playing his 100th Test, for bowling part-time seamer, Mike Hussey, ahead of home-town hero MacGill. Warne was also used sparingly, taking 0-24 off seven overs. "Rick just felt there might be a little bit on offer for a guy (Hussey) who is very much a part-timer, just to maybe nip one off the seam,'' Gilchrist said. "When you sit at the end of the day at 3-230 maybe we should have bowled Warney more''.
"Shane was of a similar opinion, that the seamers looked like the guys who might get the wickets, so that's what we stuck with.''
Gilchrist said the fourthwicket partnership was "frustrating'' after paceman Brett Lee (2-42) had led the initial charge. But Australia did have some joy with Lee leaping in the air with delight after trapping Smith lbw for 39 at 3-86. Smith has infuriated the Australians, describing their habit of constantly appealing as "annoying.