A slow Gabba wicket and a bad case of stage fright threw Australia on Day One of the first Test against South Africa, according to young paceman James Pattinson.
The Proteas were 255 for two at stumps and in complete control in Brisbane with Hashim Amla unbeaten on 90 and Jacques Kallis 84 not out after Australia’s much-vaunted pace battery failed to fire. Pattinson was the only paceman to taste success on the day, grabbing the key wicket of South Africa skipper Graeme Smith for 10.
Australia’s inability to adapt to an unusually soft surface at the Brisbane ground and the class of South Africa’s top order proved the difference, Pattinson said. “We can make excuses but we lacked a bit of penetration, consistency and probably our maiden count (16) was a big thing.
We did well in patches, but you play against world class batsmen and they’re good on soft wickets at getting those balls into the gaps and rotating the strike as they did,” he said.
Pattinson was at a loss to explain why the pitch was the way it was. “It wasn’t the Gabba wicket we were probably used to. “It was a bit slow and there was no real sideways movement. It’s the first time I’ve played on a wicket like this at the Gabba. A few of the boys were saying as well it’s the first time there wasn’t any catches go to slip on the first day,” Pattinson said.