SPORT

Adam Voges Just Summed Up The Whole Summer In One Miserable Shot

And it's not even summer yet.

15/11/2016 11:04 AM AEDT | Updated 15/11/2016 12:20 PM AEDT
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It was a really dumb time to practise his golf swing.

The second Test between Australia and South Africa in Hobart is over. South Africa won by an innings and 80 runs. The moment that summed up the match? Watch it. Digest it. Laugh a little. Cry a little. Shrug your shoulders. Shrug them some more. Seek meaning elsewhere in life. Anywhere but cricket.

So that was Adam Voges being dismissed by Kyle Abbott for 2. You can see for yourself what happened. How to explain it. Hmmm. Let us imagine the monologue inside Voges' head.

"OK, I'm an Australian Test batsman. I hit balls for a living. Ooh, this one looks juicy. Think I might do a pull shot. Wait, maybe not. After all, I am an Australian batsman in the summer of 2016-17. Hitting balls is not really part of my cricket repertoire anymore. Think I'll leave it. Or maybe I'll hit. Actually, I have no idea.

Why am I even here? Not sure. How did I make all those runs against the West Indies and average more than Bradman for about five seconds there? Oh, that's right. It's because the West Indies are no longer a serious Test cricket power. I was lucky to start my career against them, wasn't I. Yes I was.

Wait, where I was I? Ah yes, Hobart. Thinking of playing a pull shot and then deciding not to play one. Oops, left my bat dangling out there. D'oh! Caught behind. Oh, well. Better walk off I guess.

At least they'll pick me for the next match because there are no other batsmen worth selecting in Australia right now..."

Earlier on Tuesday morning, Usman Khawaja was caught behind, also off Abbott, for 64. Khawaja got a good ball. These things happen. South Africa bowled a lot of good balls.

But the manner of the Voges dismissal seemed to be a presage of doom. Callum Ferguson's miserable debut Test continued, as he was dismissed for 1. You won't believe this, but he tried to leave the ball too. The delivery from Rabada flicked his glove and the rest you can find on the score sheet.

Not long afterwards, Peter Nevill decided he didn't want his teammates to get to the beers before he did. He also fell to Rabada. So did Joe Mennie a couple of balls later, giving Rabada a third wicket.

Rabada soon struck again, removing Australian captain Steve Smith for 31. The skipper's body language had changed from its usual calmness to frustration by this stage. A man can only do so much.

South Africa has now wrapped up the three Test series. That they did so against a relatively weak Australian team is no huge surprise. The shock is that it was so easy. This was an unheralded South African team, which had won just one of its four previous Test series. It came here without its best batsman and captain, AB de Villiers, and lost its legendary paceman Dale Steyn early in the first Test.

But everyone has chipped in. Who had heard of Kagiso Rabada or Temba Bavuma before they came to these shores? Who thought the likes of Kyle Abbott and Vernon Philander could lift the way they have? Philander took the bulk of the wickets in Australia's first innings, but was wicketless in the second. His contribution? Dry up the runs. Give Australia nothing. His figures for his initial six over spell on Tuesday are below. Brilliant.

Kyle Abbott made it a five wicket haul in the second innings as he removed Mitchell Starc for a duck. That moment was emblematic of the way the Australian team is playing. Starc is not in the team for his batting. Yet he's passed 50 six times in Test cricket and has a top score of 99, so clearly he can bat. The fact he's averaging just 4 in this series says something.

South Africa, by contrast, is contributing in every way they can. Look at the Bavuma run-our in Perth. Australia look competent for a few balls here, a few balls there, but then look second rate. We lack technique, penetration, consistency, but above all, we just seem to lack fight.

MONDAY'S ANALYSIS: EVERYTHING WRONG WITH AUSTRALIAN CRICKET IN ONE DEPRESSING STORY

"They have never beaten a top-ranked nation like this," long-serving South African journalist Neil Manthorp said on ABC radio, one ball before the demolition was complete. The last wicket was also Abbott's, giving him six for the innings as he removed Nathan Lyon.

As you'd expect, Steve Smith was pretty sombre after the match.

"For us, it was just about trying to fight and spend some time in the middle and try and bat for the day. If we did that, we'd be scoring 280 or 300," he told Channel Nine.

"But credit to South Africa, I thought they bowled beautifully this morning and in good areas and challenged our defence. They gave us no freebies. They were hitting good areas and got rewards.

"We have to find a way to be a bit more resilient. We need to find a way to be successful, because what we are doing at the moment is not working.

Smith wouldn't be drawn on whether there would be personnel changes for the next match in Adelaide, a day-night Test which starts on Thursday November 24.

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