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|Theunis de Bruyn||36||84||6||0||42.86|
|AB de Villiers||0||1||0||0||0.00|
|Faf du Plessis||4||8||1||0||50.00|
|Quinton de Kock||83||149||11||0||55.70|
|Theunis de Bruyn||6||15||1||0||40.00|
|AB de Villiers||71||127||11||0||55.91|
|Faf du Plessis||15||22||1||1||68.18|
|Quinton de Kock||20||33||4||0||60.61|
|Theunis de Bruyn||2.0||0||6||0||3.00|
South Africa and Australia have played each other in some of the most memorable series in recent times. Both the teams have had success in each other’s homes with the most recent series result being a South African result in Australia. Times have changed since that series in 2016-17 though. Australia is a much better team and Steve Smith is by far the most prolific batsman in test cricket. South Africa is also coming into this series after a tough series against India where they lost 8 out of their last 10 matches.
This series promises to be another tightly fought contest between two very accomplished teams.
It seems like a long time ago but South Africa did beat India 2-1 in the test series. It is a measure of their dominance at home that the winning scoreline is being seen as inadequate by their critics. The good news for South Africa is that the players they lost due to injury are set to return. Faf du Plessis, Quinton de Kock, and AB de Villiers are all available for the first test.
We are very excited to see what AB de Villiers can achieve in this series. He was the one batsman that never looked troubled on surfaces that offered ample help to the seamers. De Villiers may not have scored a century against India but he played some brilliant counter-attacking innings that changed the nature of test matches. On surfaces that are expected to be much more sedate, AB de Villiers could prove to be the backbone of this South African batting.
On paper, this South African batting lineup looks pretty good. Dean Elgar, Aiden Markram, Hashim Amla, AB de Villiers, Faf du Plessis, and Quinton de Kock are all world class batsmen. India’s pacers, however, showed that they can be very vulnerable to the seaming deliveries.
We think that Hashim Amla needs to have a really good series alongside de Villiers and probably du Plessis for South Africa to have sustained success against Australia.
Chris Morris and Vernon Philander will play as the all-rounders, Keshav Maharaj the spinner, and the remaining two spots will probably be taken by Kagiso Rabada and Morne Morkel.
This series is being billed as a showdown between the two best bowling attacks in the world and it is hard to argue against that.
The last time South Africa and Australia locked horns, Kagiso Rabada was the standout bowler. He is will once again be the biggest threat to the Aussies along with Vernon Philander. Durban, the venue for the first test is a fresh wicket having had very little cricket this summer and will definitely offer something for the pacers for the first couple of days.
Media reports are suggesting that the South Africans have asked for slower wickets that will bring the spinners into play and negate the threat of Australia’s fast bowlers. If that is indeed the case then we think the South Africans are already turning negative before the series starts.
Dean Elgar, Aiden Markram, Hashim Amla, Faf du Plessis, AB de Villiers, Quinton de Kock, Theunis de Bruyn, VD Philander, Kagiso Rabada, K Maharaj, Morne Morkel.
Steve Smith and his men will arrive on the shores of South Africa with a team that will be confident of victory. After all, this is a team that possesses the best test batsman in the world, the best fast bowling lineup in the world, possibly the best off-spinner in the world, and an opener that can destroy bowling attacks at will.
Australia will be itching for revenge against South Africa and will be keen to inflict as much damage on them as possible. The Australian batting is pretty formidable as well led by Warner, Bancroft, Khawaja, Smith, Shaun Marsh, Mitchell Marsh, and Time Paine at number 7.
We think that while this Australian batting lineup is very good in their own conditions, they can be put under pressure in some more testing conditions. Cameron Bancroft is still new to international cricket, David Warner has been quiet over the last few months, and Khawaja is not a very good traveler.
If the South Africans can find a way past Steve Smith’s broad blade then this Aussie lineup can crumble. The Marsh brothers had a very good Ashes series but are notorious for being inconsistent. This entire lineup will also be tested much more than they were by England both in terms of pace and skill.
While Australia may be a shade weaker than South Africa in the batting department, they are definitely a stronger bowling lineup. Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, and Josh Hazelwood make a formidable fast bowling trio. All the three bowlers bowl around the 145km/h mark with Starc and Cummins hitting close to 150km/h as well.
These three will be backed up by Nathan Lyon who is easily the most improved off-spinner in the world right now. Lyon is not going to be content sitting back and playing a defensive role but is going to actively look for wickets.
The only concern we have is about the ability of the Australian bowlers to last an entire series injury free. The three fast bowlers lasted the distance in the Ashes but repeating the same may be a task too much for their injury-prone bodies.
Australia has had a lot of success in test cricket over the last year or so but we think that has been down to some incredible individual performance streaks. If Steve Smith finally falls out of form or one of the fast bowlers gets injured, then this Australian side is very beatable.
David Warner, CT Bancroft, Usman Khawaja, Steven Smith, Shaun Marsh, Mitchell Marsh, Tim Paine, Mitchell Starc, JR Hazlewood, Pat Cummins, Nathan Michael Lyon.
South Africa has shown the tendency to win the toss and bat first while Australia will probably want to make first use of the bowling conditions.
Read our guide on toss predictions to learn how we analyze and come up with our tips.
The weather forecast for the test match is pretty good with clear skies forecast for each day. There are some clouds that will be hovering around but we should see some odd showers at worst. The pitch is expected to have some grass on the pitch but nothing as extravagant as that seen for the series against India.
South Africa has beaten Australia in three out of their last five matches but lost the other two including the most recent one. The Proteas may have home advantage but trying to tailor the conditions a little too much has already backfired on them this summer.
We think South Africa will start with a win in this series thanks to their superior batting lineup. We also think the Australian batsmen will struggle away from home.