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|Faf du Plessis||24||22||3||0||109.09|
|PJ van Biljon||16||15||2||0||106.67|
|Rassie van der Dussen||6||10||1||0||60.00|
|Quinton de Kock||2||3||0||0||66.67|
It's been a while since Australia last played on South African soil and a lot has changed since then, especially for the Proteas. However, there was plenty to discuss about after the two teams met last time and there's nothing different this time either. While Australia seem pretty settled with their squad for the ICC World T20, which is to be played later this year, South Africa are still searching for their perfect eleven. This upcoming series could help Proteas figure out their primary eleven or at least five their management a fair idea of who the key players for the World T20 are going to be. The series begins on 21st February with the first match to be played at the Wanders, Johannesburg.
The most prominent thing about this South African unit is their newly appointed leader. It's not been a long time since Quinton de Kock has taken over Faf du Plessis, but the team has done pretty well since the wicket-keeper batsman has taken over the job from du Plessis. South Africa lost the T20I series to South Africa, but considering how bland they have been in recent times, it was surprising to see the kind of effort and fight they showed in all the three matches of the series.
There is a lot going around the South African unit on both on and off the field. After the appointment of greats of the game in Graeme Smith, Mark Boucher, and Jacques Kallis in their administrative panel, the Proteas hoped for a better show, but they failed terribly in all departments of the game.
Despite their recent loss to England, South Africa would not be too worried. They were playing with a couple of regular players absent from the side and considering how well they fought in that series, they will not be short on confidence. Also, the return of Kagiso Rabada to the fold will only add to their confidence. Alongside him, it will be Proteas' former skipper Faf du Plessis who will return to the side. Even his form in the test cricket has been worrisome, he has done exceedingly well, of late, in the shortest version of the game.
On paper, the Proteas look as strong as they have anytime in the recent times. With Temba Bavuma and Quinton de Kock in fine form, the Proteas have a solid opening pair with the two players likely to complement each other beautifully. With Rassie van der Dussen in fine form and Faf du Plessis back in side, their middle-order looks solid as well. They have a pretty good late order as well with all-rounders adding to their balance. All in all, the Proteas are a well-balanced unit and the advantage of playing at home is only going to help them. Regardless of the kind of results they have posted of late, beating them is not going to be an easy task for the Australians.
For them, Temba Bavuma is likely to sit out of the first match following the injury he sustained against England. Jon Jon Smuts is expected to be back at the top of the order and Faf du Plessis to be slotted right in place of Smuts. Other than that, the only likely change is of Kagiso Rabada coming back into the side.
Quinton de Kock, RVD Dussen, Faf du Plessis, JJT Smuts, David Miller, PJ van Biljon, Andile Phehlukwayo, Kagiso Rabada, DW Steyn, Lungi Ngidi, Tabraiz Shamsi.
While Australia's focus will be to zero in on their combination for the World T20, the fans will be focusing on Steve Smith and David Warner. It is after a long time that the two players are visiting South Africa, first time after the sandpaper-gate, to be precise. David Warner and Steve Smith have both been in terrific form and stopping them is going to be a challenge for the hosts.
Australian unit looked pretty settled in the last series they played, but with Glenn Maxwell out due to elbow surgery, their middle-order looks a little fragile. While D'Arcy Short is included in the squad as his replacement and his ability to bowl and knack of picking up wickets is likely to tempt selectors to include him in the playing eleven, his experience of lack thereof of playing in the middle-order could keep him out of the side. Matthew Wade, instead, is likely to be slotted in place of Glenn Maxwell.
Talking about form, Australian fans couldn't have hoped for anything better. Australia are coming into this match with an unbeaten run in T20Is since early 2018. David Warner and Alex Carey have done brilliantly for them and the same will be expected of them yet again. On paper, Australia appear to be having a fragile batting order in the middle. The absence of Glenn Maxwell certainly leaves a void that will be difficult to fill. Having said that, they have a batting lineup that goes deep with Starc coming in at number nine and that could be of significant advantage in crunch situations.
Aaron Finch, David Warner, Steven Smith, Matthew Wade, Mitchell Marsh, Alex Carey, Ashton Agar, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, KW Richardson, Adam Zampa.
Check out the Dream11 fantasy team lineup for the first match of the T20I series between South Africa and Australia
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South Africa come into this series on the back of a terrible recent record against the Australians. In the last ten completed T20Is against the Australians, the Proteas have won only three and that might well be playing on their mind. However, Quinton de Kock led his team pretty well in the previous three matches and with the likes of Faf du Plessis and Kagiso Rabada back in the side, there will be a lot less pressure on de Kock. Australia, unlike the Proteas, are coming into this match on the back of an unbeaten run and while they would love to keep their streak going, it would not be an easy job to pull off. Australia have a fragile middle-order and that could be a cause of concern, especially in front of a penetrative bowling attack of South Africa. Considering that Australia do not have Glenn Maxwell at their disposal and haven't spent much match time in South Africa yet, we think that it would be advantage South Africa in the opening game. Betting on a South Africa's win will be the way to go in the first match of the series.
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