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|Faf du Plessis||27||15||4||0||180.00|
|Quinton de Kock||22||16||0||2||137.50|
South Africa’s tour to Australia is about to come to end as the visitors prepare to play their lone remaining T20 international match. It is difficult to get excited about a lone T20 match as it does not really have much context behind it.
Australia lost the ODI series 2-1 and continued its recent struggles in international cricket. There were criticisms of the side that it resembled a T20 side rather than an ODI one from all quarters. Aaron Finch, the current ODI captain went so far as to say that the players at his disposal were too one-sided and needed to find another gear for longer formats of the game.
This should mean that the Australian players are at their best playing T20 cricket and should be looking forward to getting some revenge on South Africa. The visitors, though, are a formidable T20 side in their own right and are not going to be easy to beat.
Australia has been undergoing a lot of turmoil in its cricket ever since the whole ball-tampering saga broke. Without two of its best batsmen, and arguably two of the best batsmen in the world, Australia has struggled.
Aaron Finch is once again going to be tasked with leading a side that is short on international experience against a formidable South African side.
The batting lineups for Australia are very similar in their ODI and T20 formats. Aaron Finch is going to be one of the key batsmen here as well taking strike at the top of the order. Finch made his name as a dasher similar to David Warner but the increased responsibility of having to shepherd a young batting lineup seems to be getting to him.
Finch is at his best when he is playing freely but some recent failures seem to have dented his confidence.
Darcy Short looks likely to open the batting alongside Finch with Chris Lynn at number 3. On paper, this is a very dangerous top-3. Finch has enough international experience and T20 pedigree to be feared. Short and Lynn, on the other hand, have given the world a glimpse of what they can do in the Big Bash League.
Short only played one ODI before being shunted out of the side while Chris Lynn found adapting to international cricket a bit tough.
We would very much like to see his response to Faf du Plessis calling him a medium pace bowling bully who will struggle against real pace.
There are some familiar but very exciting young batsmen in the side to follow as well. Alex Carey, Marcus Stoinis, Ben McDermott, and Glenn Maxwell are all T20 superstars for their respective franchise sides.
We think they are having trouble fitting in the same team because not all of them are able to bat in their preferred positions. Australia’s batting order is packed with power and seems to be a perfect fit for T20 cricket.
The bowling will be led by Andrew Tye, Billy Stanlake, Adam Zampa, and maybe Nathan Coulter-Nile. Once again, all of these bowlers are very experienced in playing the T20 format.
Billy Stanlake can get some very disconcerting bounce from the pitch while Tye is going to trouble the batsmen with his variation. Tye actually played the warm-up fixture for South Africa and got hit for 53 runs in his four overs but that is not something that will bother him too much.
Australia may be down but we refuse to believe this quality of players can be kept quiet for too long.
Aaron Finch, D'Arcy Short, Chris Lynn, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Ben McDermott, Alex Carey, Nathan Coulter-Nile, AJ Tye, Jason Behrendorfff, Billy Stanlake.
It is difficult to imagine how South Africa is going to approach this one-off T20 match against Australia. A win here may be billed as winning the T20 leg of the Australian tour but in the long run, the result really does not matter.
South Africa has already won the more important ODI series and is going to go back and play the inaugural edition of the Mzansi Super League.
Can an international match against Australia be looked at as a warm-up fixture for a domestic T20 competition? Cricket has certainly come a long way!
Irrespective of the stakes, though, Sout Africa ia going to come hard at Australia. The South Africans know they have this Australian side under tremendous pressure and would love to continue reasserting that dominance.
South Africa has been better than Australia in all aspects of the game but they would internally like a better performance from their top-order. Quinton de Kock and Reeza Hendricks have not got South Africa the starts that Faf du Plessis and his men would like.
If that one aspect of the game can be improved then South Africa is going to be even tougher to beat.
The idle order has been firing for South Africa thanks to the awesome form that Faf du Plessis and David Miller have been in. Both of the players will once again be the heart of the South African batting in this match.
Players like Farhaan Behardien, Aiden Markram, and Heinrich Klaasen have started to become accustomed to international cricket and are becoming a very good batting unit to contend with.
Aiden Markram has shown a tendancy to hit the long ball on this tour, something that was not too apparent earlier. Given the license to play with freedom, he could be a very difficult batsman to contain.
The presence of Chris Morris, Andile Phehlukwayo, and Dwaine Pretorius gives South Africa unbelievable balance in the squad. It is likely that only two out of the three will play with Pretorius being the player most likely to miss out.
South Africa’s bowling has been very good on this tour. Dale Steyn has come back a rejuvenated man while Kagiso Rabada and Lunge Ngidi continue to get better with each game. Add Imran Tahir, and Tabraiz Shamsi to the mix and South Africa has some hard choices to make as to who to leave out of the side.
Quinton de Kock, Reeza Hendricks, Faf du Plessis, David Miller, Heinrich Klaasen, Farhaan Behardien, Andile Phehlukwayo, Chris Morris, Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi, Tabraiz Shamsi.
The side winning the toss is likely to want to field first
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This match is going to be played at the Carrara Oval, a ground which last hosted a match of any international significance in 1992. This will be the first international T20 fixture held at the ground.
We are expecting a flat batting track with nothing much in it for the bowlers. The surface is expected to help the wrist spinners, though.
There are some short square boundaries which could be exploited by the batsmen. A score of around 180 should be seen as par.
South Africa looks a far superior side to the current Australian side. The Aussies have many dangerous players in the eleven but they are short of confidence and have not quite cemented their place in international cricket. The South Africans have a better bowling attack and some very good batters in form.
Back South Africa to win.
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