BRISBANE, Nov 14: South Africa's celebrated pace attack took a hammering in the first Test against Australia and has much to prove in next week's second match but batsman Hashim Amla still believes it is the best in the world.
The tourists fielded a four-pronged pace attack in Dale Steyn, Vernon Philander, Morne Morkel and debutant Rory Kleinveldt but they conceded centuries to Ed Cowan and Mike Hussey as well as an unbeaten 259 to Australia captain Michael Clarke.
Amla scored a century in South Africa's first innings as the Proteas took early charge of the match and then played a key role to hold off Australia's fired up quicks and eke out a draw on Tuesday.
“Australia has a good attack, obviously they had home conditions and so on,” said the quietly spoken Amla. “In world cricket there are a lot of good attacks. In my opinion, we have the best attack and Australia and England are also up there.”
Bowling coach Allan Donald thought his attack had performed well in parts on a surface that offered little movement.
“I thought we created some chances, I thought we created some chances for long periods,” he said on Monday.
“We could have had Michael Clarke caught a couple of times with some really good telling deliveries that fell into spaces.
“You go through those periods as batsmen, you ride that pressure and I thought that Australia rode that pressure really well and got through those stages.”
That said, figures of 1-129 for Steyn, 0-103 for Philander, 3-127 for Morkel and 0-97 for Kleinveldt did not make attractive reading for the South Africans.
For Philander it was a first real setback since the late bloomer burst onto the Test arena and started his meteoric rise to No 2 in the world rankings behind Steyn.
“He knew at some stage that he would run into something like this. He is a class bowler,” said Donald.—Reuters