Brisbane: Rain played spoilsport, leading to a washout on the second day of the first Test between Australia and South Africa at the Gabba on Saturday.
A torrential downpour some 45 minutes before the scheduled start was followed by drizzle, which persisted throughout the day.
It was the first time a whole day’s play had been lost due to rain at the ground since 1983, when Australia’s Test against Pakistan was similarly disrupted.
South Africa were set to resume on 255 for two in their first innings with Hashim Amla (90) and Jacques Kallis (84) closing in on centuries.
The tourists have been reduced to 10 batsmen after JP Duminy was ruled out for the series with a rupture in his Achilles tendon during the warm-down training after the first day’s play.
Given the current scenario of the game, Australia’s bowlers must make the most of second new ball if they want to get anything out of this rain-disrupted encounter after disappointing on the opening day, coach Mickey Arthur said on Saturday.
If the wet weather relents on Sunday, Australia will still need to dislodge seven South African batsmen before they get a chance to bat.
“Our bowling probably wasn’t good enough…
“I thought we got our lengths wrong and needed to be a bit fuller,” Arthur conceded at a rain-soaked Gabba.
“We weren’t bad by any stretch of the imagination, but we weren’t as clinical as we had been and as we had hoped to be. We weren’t able to put South Africa under pressure for long enough.
“So, on our report card, probably disappointing. We still have the second new ball up our sleeve, that’s the one trump-card we have and we need to make that work for us.”
Arthur said that the “massive hype” before the series, in which South Africa’s number one Test ranking is on the line, had perhaps made some of his seamers nervous.
“When I say disappointed, I say that lightly because first and foremost, I thought South Africa batted very well,” he said.
“Maybe nerves played a part, but that is something we have to overcome because we have to be on the money from the first ball.”