About the Match
South Africa is geared up to lock horns with Australia in the home ODI series that begins with the 1st ODI at Centurion on 30th September. The two teams had faced off in the West Indies Tri-Series in June this year wherein Australia had won the title; a rejuvenated Australian side will be eager to repeat their domination here against the hosts who have been coping with injury issues lately. The competition is surely going to be a fierce one and whichever team can do well in all departments of the game, will be better placed to win on this Friday.
AB de Villiers has been ruled out of the series due to injury and instead Faf du Plessis will don the captain’s hat; the middle-order batsman could lead from the front as he has a strong record in ODIs with an average of 41. Quinton de Kock could open the innings and his recent 80+ runs against Ireland is a good sign for the team; along with experienced players like Hashim Amla, all-rounders JP Duminy, David Miller and Farhaan Behardien, South Africa batting line-up surely looks solid.
Imran Tahir will lead the spin attack and can be instrumental in dealing blows to the Aussie batters; Tabraiz Shamsi and Aaron Phangiso provide options to add depth to the spin attack and they have been in good form. Dale Steyn is back in the ODI squad and is expected to provide necessary breakthroughs; Kyle Abbott and Kagiso Rabada can assist him in trying to stifle the opponents.
Seamer Andile Phehlukwayo, known for his death bowling skills, was the leading wicket-taker for South Africa A in the quadrangular 50-over series in Australia and gets a fresh start here. Dwayne Pretorius will also bring variety to the pace attack and can try to outwit the visitors.
This Steve Smith led team has seen many revamps and they seem to have gotten their act together after winning the ODI series 4-1 against Sri Lanka recently. Opener David Warner performed well against the Lankans scoring 106 runs in the fifth ODI match; he is in good form as he scored a well-made 48 against Ireland recently. Khawaja’s unbeaten 82 off 77 against Ireland helped the team win the match easily while Smith too has been contributing well with the bat.
Players like George Bailey, Aaron Finch, Matthew Wade and Travis Head can add depth to the batting line-up and all-rounders like John Hastings, Scott Boland and Mitchell Marsh can try to stabilize the innings and provide the required breakthroughs with the ball. The Aussie pace attack will be tested by the hosts but they have good resources like Joe Mennie, Chris Tremain, Scott Boland and Hastings.
Spinner Adam Zampa has been consistently taking wickets and can be a vital asset here against the Proteas; along with Travis Head and part-timers Warner and Smith, Australia can look forward to a tremendous show with the ball.
The two sides have a great amount of rivalry and it will definitely be a show of strength with bat and ball; although Australia has been on a winning momentum, we feel that South Africa with the home advantage will be better placed to win the first match on Friday