‘Awesome foursome’ – England blitzed by South Africa’s Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje, Lungi Ngidi and Marco Jansen at Lord’s

Posted on

Kagiso Rabada claimed match figures of 7-79 as South Africa hammered England at Lord’s

What do you get if you mix Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje, Lungi Ngidi and Marco Jansen?

It sounds like the beginning of a joke but it’s not a joke. The answer is a serious bowling attack or, in former South Africa seamer Shaun Pollock’s words, an “awesome foursome”.

Let’s get things right. England’s capitulation against the Proteas at Lord’s – they were rolled for 165 and 149 inside a combined 83 overs – was not due to giving their wickets away with too much aggression. They were simply blown away by South Africa’s potent pace unit.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Michael Atherton and Shaun Pollock on the impact of Rabada, Allan Donald, Dale Steyn and more as they look at South Africa’s all-time fast-bowling greats

Michael Atherton and Shaun Pollock on the impact of Rabada, Allan Donald, Dale Steyn and more as they look at South Africa’s all-time fast-bowling greats

Rabada took seven wickets all told, including a first-innings five-for. Nortje struck three times in each England knock. Ngidi dismissed Joe Root second time around. Jansen ousted Root first up. There was no respite. When one fine bowler went off, another came on. The pressure was relentless.

Rabada was Player of the Match. He is also one of the bowlers of his generation – and previous ones, too. Of all those to have taken over 200 Test wickets, none can match Rabada’s strike rate of 40.2.

Speaking in the immediate aftermath of South Africa’s innings victory at Lord’s, Sir Andrew Strauss told Sky Sports Cricket: “Everyone talks about Rabada’s strike rate being the best of all time and I think we saw in this game why that is. He has so many ways of taking wickets.”

One of those ways was batter error – Alex Lees’ loose, wafty drive outside off stump handed Rabada his first scalp of the Lord’s Test, Ollie Pope’s drag on his third. Another was a superb catch – Keshav Maharaj’s fine take at mid-wicket removing Ben Stokes on the third and final day.

But a hint of away movement did for the terribly out-of-sorts Zak Crawley. Slower deliveries twice did for Stuart Broad. A full ball did for James Anderson as Rabada completed his 12th Test five-for and etched his name onto the Lord’s honours board. A moment he called “a dream come true”.

For England, facing Rabada was a nightmare.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Rabada says taking a five-wicket haul and getting his name on the Lord’s honours board was a dream come true

Rabada says taking a five-wicket haul and getting his name on the Lord’s honours board was a dream come true

Pollock said of Rabada, who now has 250 wickets in 53 Tests: “South African conditions are conducive to him being successful and he enjoys using and shaping the Dukes ball in England, but the way he bowls around the world, it doesn’t matter what the conditions are.

“He is very athletic. He has a fantastic action and it looks like he doesn’t put too much stress into his delivery. He must be wonderful to have as a captain. He is so consistent and whenever you go to him he is up for the challenge and bowls at the same speed.”

Speed was one of the keys for South Africa at Lord’s. They had it. England, shorn of Mark Wood and Jofra Archer due to long-term injuries, did not. “There was a real contrast,” added Strauss. “For all of Anderson and Broad’s enduring quality, South Africa had that extra edge England couldn’t match.”

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Highlights from day three of the first Test as South Africa thumped England by an innings and 12 runs

Highlights from day three of the first Test as South Africa thumped England by an innings and 12 runs

In fact, South Africa’s pace cartel has edged all others to visit England since 2006 in terms of highest average speeds, reaching 86mph in London to pip the 85mph managed by Australia twice in 2019 and once in 2009.

Nortje regularly rose above 90mph in the first Test, including after lunch on the third day when he hurled down the quickest over in terms of average pace (92mph) that England have faced at home in the past decade.

In that over, Jonny Bairstow was caught behind off a 91mph thunderbolt – out to Nortje for the second time in the game – before Stokes was welcomed to the crease with balls marked at 94 and 92mph respectively. Stokes survived. Not so Lees and Ben Foakes in Nortje’s next over.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Anrich Nortje’s searing bowling spell saw him nick off Jonny Bairstow, Alex Lees and Ben Foakes in the space of 10 balls

Anrich Nortje’s searing bowling spell saw him nick off Jonny Bairstow, Alex Lees and Ben Foakes in the space of 10 balls

Lees snicked an 89mph delivery through to wicketkeeper Kyle Verreynne. Foakes was vaporised in similar fashion when Nortje cranked his velocity back above 90mph. Nortje had three wickets in 10 balls.

South Africa captain Dean Elgar said: “Anrich’s spell was something that just broke the back. He ran in with a lot of intent and a lot of anger. It was great to watch from where I was fielding and I’m sure it wasn’t nice to face. He bowls with the speed of light when he gets it right.”

Rabada and Nortje were the most prolific South Africa bowlers at Lord’s, then, but Ngidi was the most accurate, according to CricViz, while the 6ft 8in Jansen posed England problems with his vast height and left-arm angle.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

The towering Marco Jansen bowled James Anderson to seal South Africa’s innings win in the first Test

The towering Marco Jansen bowled James Anderson to seal South Africa’s innings win in the first Test

All four are consistent wicket-takers and with Nortje the oldest, at just 28, they could be dominating Test cricket for years to come, particularly if their fixture list were broader.

The next cycle of the Future Tours Programme, which was released this week, shows that South Africa will play only 28 Tests between 2023 and 2027. That is 15 fewer than England (43), 12 less than Australia (40) and 10 fewer than India (38). Bangladesh and New Zealand will also play more.

That paucity of fixtures could possibly prevent Rabada becoming South Africa’s leading Test wicket-taker of all time. He needs a further 190 to overhaul Daye Steyn’s record of 439. Pollock said: “If you give KG another 40 Tests, he will get past [Steyn], no doubt.”

England vs S Africa

August 25, 2022, 10:00am

Live on

Rabada and co have another two Tests on this tour to try and secure their side’s first series victory over England in the format, either home or away, since 2012, when Graeme Smith’s men beat Strauss’ 2-0 to become the No 1-ranked Test side on the planet.

This Proteas batting line-up is not a patch on the one they had back then, which featured Smith, Jacques Kallis, Hashim Amla and AB de Villiers.

However, their current crop of seamers could follow in the footsteps of Kallis, Steyn, Vernon Philander and Morne Morkel, who ended that 2012 tour with 42 scalps combined. That was an awesome foursome. So is this one.

Watch day one of the second LV= Insurance Test between England and South Africa, from Emirates Old Trafford, live on Sky Sports The Hundred from Thursday. Build-up starts at 10am ahead of the first ball at 11am.

Jasaseosmm.com Smm Panel is the best and cheapest smm reseller panel Buy Spotify Promotion for instant Instagram likes and followers, Buy Verification Badge, Youtube views and subscribers, TikTok followers, telegram services, and many other smm services. telegram, and many other smm services.