Test Cricket Tours - Australia to South Africa 1957-58
Tour of South Africa
1957-58Captain: Ian Craig
Fifth Test-playing tour
of South Africa by Australia
Australian cricket has
characteristically taken a forward-looking attitude and the bad memories of
the 1956 Ashes tour were cast aside by Ian Craig’s new-look side in South Africa.
Craig had led Australia on
a tour of New Zealand
and was appointed in preference to Neil Harvey. He was the youngest Test
captain at 22 years 194 days until Pataudi in 1962. He
Most of the new players did
something to justify their selection while those retained from the old team
rehabilitated themselves completely. The batsmen had the better of the
threatening Hugh Tayfield coming to terms with playing off-spin bowling.The hostile opening bowlers Heine and
The strength of the side lay in
the blossoming of two bowlers, Davidson and Benaud (who has written how
curing the torn skin on his spinning finger allowed him to bowl so
Mr J U ‘Jack’ Jantke, South
Australian delegate to the Australian Board of Control, was appointed as
manager on 4 January 1957.He
collapsed with a heart attack at his Adelaide
home a few days before the tour and his doctor forbade him to travel.
The Australians requested the
services of a temporary manager, Mr C J R Howard of Bulawayo, until Jack
Norton, who had managed Craig's side in New Zealand in 1956-57, took his
Sir Donald Bradman, Dudley Seddon, Jack Ryder.
Tour Party Announced :3 May 1957.
Not selected : Ray Lindwall, Norman O'Neill.
On 6 May 1957 the Board appointed Ian
Craig as captain and Neil Harvey as vice-captain.
Withdrawal: Ron Archer
withdrew after failing a fitness test on his leg. He had strained his thigh
bowling on the mat in Pakistan
in 1956 and did not play first-class cricket at all in the 1956-57 season.
Ken Mackay was selected as his replacement.
Time between selection and departure from Australia155 days
(3 May - 5 October)
Ian Craig came by ship from England where
he had a position with a pharmaceutical company.
The team, under Harvey's
leadership, flew by Super-Constellation from Sydney
on 5 October via Perth and the Cocos Islands
arriving on 7 October.
Jack Norton arrived in Johannesburg on 21 October.
Time spent in South
(7 October - 15 March)
Ian Craig (captain),Neil Harvey (vice-captain), Peter Burge.
The surprise choice of Burge (Queensland)
rather than Benaud (New South Wales)
was because there should be no more than one member from any state.
Neil Harvey (broken finger) and Colin McDonald (his jaw
broken in the nets) missed the opening part of the tour in Rhodesia.
November the Australian Cricket Board of Control denied a rumour that the
tour management had asked for Ray Lindwall and Bruce Dooland to reinforce the
R A Gaunt
On 5 January the tour committee asked for Ray Gaunt (of
Western Australia, later to transfer to Victoria) to assist
when Ian Meckiff (muscle strain) and John Drennan (hamstring strain) were
injured. Gaunt left Australia
three days later, arriving on 9 January. He was immediately included in the
team to play against Transvaal.
•Alan Davidson took six for 36 in the first
Test match at Johannesburg. In the same innings
wicket-keeper Wally Grout held six catches, to equal the world record.
•Jim Burke (99) and Colin McDonald (189)
added 190 for the first wicket at Cape
•Lindsay Kline brought the second Test at Cape Town to a
conclusion by taking a hat-trick.
•Richie Benaud’s outstanding Test series with
the bat, scoring 122 in the first Test and 100 in the 4th, both at Johannesburg, was
equalled by his bowling.Four times he
took five wickets in the innings.
•Alan Davidson took 25 wickets and Benaud 30
in the series.
Other first-class matches
ϯ Minor matches
Cape Town TMelbourne
On Good Friday 15 March 1958 the team sailed from Cape Town on the ‘Dominion Monarch’.
The tour ended with the ship berthing at Station Pier, Port Melbourne,
on the morning of 2 April.
Time away from Australia
(5 October to 2 April)
The players received an allowance of only £650 for nearly six
months away on tour.
accounts of the tour
"Sackcloth without Ashes" (1958)by Roy McLean[Hodder & Stoughton]
Century All-rounder’”by Clive van Ryneveld[Pretext Publishers]
Ian Craig, Neil Harvey, and Richie Benaud were the three main candidates for the
position of Australian captain in the forthcoming Ashes series (1958-59).
Craig stood down from international cricket in November because he was not
fit - he had had hepatitis - and Neil Harvey seemed the most likely choice to
succeed him but the Board passed the team’s vice-captain over and went for
Benaud because of his outlook for brighter cricket.