About the Match
South Africa has registered an emphatic series victory over hosts Australia 2-0 after winning the 2nd test by an innings and 80 runs; both teams will now clash in the 3rd Test at Adelaide from 24th November. Although a dead rubber, Australia has a lot to prove here, and will be eager to redeem itself with a consolation win; the hosts have been struggling to get a foothold, and have made several changes to the squad in order to put their best foot forward. The Proteas have dominated throughout and it needs to be seen if they can maintain the winning form in the coming weekend.
After a humiliating defeat in the second test, the team has made drastic changes by removing players like Joe Mennie, Peter Nevill, Adam Voges and Joe Burns, who were unable to perform. Top-order batsmen, Peter Handscomb and Nic Maddison, Matt Renshaw, the promising all-rounder, and Chadd Sayers, the medium pacer are likely to debut in this upcoming day/night test at Adelaide.
Players like Khawaja, Warner and Smith made amends in the second innings of the 2nd test but they could only muster 161 runs in the end, with all others getting dismissed for single digits. In the first innings, Smith led from the front posting 48 from 80, but there was no support and they were all-out for a humiliating 85 runs. They can make a turnaround and try to build a solid foundation here.
Fast bowler Hazlewood picked up 6 wickets and he is in terrific form; along with Mitchel Starc and Jackson Bird, they can sharpen the pace attack here. Spinner Nathan Lyon has done well and with others like Maddinson, Smith and Renshaw, can try to outwit the visitors in the third and final test.
Faf du Plessis was found guilty with ball tampering but will be allowed to play; the test captain will be eager to lead the side in a clean whitewash against the Aussies. The batting line-up has in-form players like Hashim Amla, who scored 47 off 67 in the previous game, and Quinton de Kock at No.7, who posted a brilliant 104 off 143, and can stabilize the innings from the middle.
Stephen Cook and Elgar open the innings but haven’t been able to build a strong foundation yet. Temba Bavuma has proven to be a strong middle-order batsman, scoring 74 in the 2nd test and getting a half-century in the first test. Faf du Plessis, JP Duminy and Amla bring their experience to the team, and can guide the others to post a stiff challenge yet again.
In the bowling department, Kyle Abbott has been ruthless as he took 9 wickets in the 2nd test with an economy of just over 3 while Philander continued to stifle the opposition as he claimed 5 wickets. Young speedster Rabada took 5 wickets in total while spinner Maharaj bowled with accuracy and discipline. They have a strong bowling attack, and can prove to be a tough unit in the upcoming match.
Australia’s performance here has gone down in history as the worst ever in this series defeat; they have a lot to prove to themselves and their fans, and they could come out with all their firepower here. However, South Africa with its tight bowling and an in-form batting unit looks better placed to win the third test.