Australia will continue their tour of South Africa this weekend as their three match ODI series gets underway in Paarl. The Aussies won the three-match T20 series and will look to close out a successful trip to South Afrida with a win in the ODI’s.
Game 1: Saturday 29/2 10pm AEDT
Game 2: Wednesday 4/3 10pm AEDT
Game 3: Saturday 7/3 7pm AEDT
Squad: Quinton de Kock (c), Temba Babuma, Beuran Hendricks, Heinrich Klaasen, Keshav Maharaj, Janneman Malan, David Miller, Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje, Andile Phehlukwayo, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, Lutho Sipamla, JJ Smuts, Kyle Verreynne
South Africa have had a tough run of late and will be desperate to get some confidence back, particularly in limited overs cricket, before the T20 World Cup later in the year. Of the three different formats they played England in across December and January, they only captured some success in the ODI’s, where they were able to salvage a 1-1 series draw.
Besides that series, the South African’s have not played a ODI since they were bounced from the Cricket World Cup with an abysmal 3-5-1 record through the group stage. South Africa are currently the fifth ranked ODI team in the world, but their batting line-up was in tatters during the World Cup and will need to improve to be competitive with the Australians in this series.
A lot relies on skipper Quinton de Kock at the top of the order again. The hard hitting left hander was the catalyst of the Proteas one win in the T20 series against Australia, blasting 70 of 47 balls. In the other two games, however, he was skittled by Mitch Starc for as South Africa went on to score just 89 and 96.
Squad: Aaron Finch (c), Pat Cummins, Ashton Agar, Alex Carey, Josh Hazlewood, Marnus Labuschagne, Mitchell Marsh, Kane Richardson, D’Arcy Short, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Matthew Wade, David Warner, Adam Zampa, Glenn Maxwell
A couple of Test and ODI specialists come into the squad for this series in the likes of Josh Hazlewood and Marnus Labuschagne. Hazlewood will likely fight with Mitch Starc and Kane Richardson for the two remaining pace positions beside Pat Cummins. Whatever trio they decide to go with, however, should be pretty strong. Adam Zampa looks to have solidified his spot as Australia’s white ball spinner and will fill out the four pronged bowling unit and could be the only bowler to play all three games.
At number six and seven will be wicket-keeper Alex Carey and one of the all-rounders in Mitch Marsh and Ashton Agar. That leaves five spots at the top of the order, which will make the selectors job extremely tough.
David Warner, Aaron Finch, Steve Smith, Marnus Labuschagne, Matthew Wade, Glenn Maxwell and D’Arcy Short will battle it out for those five positions, and the best of them will make a strong case for selection in the T20 World Cup later in the year.
Tough to look past the Aussies here. While the series doesn’t hold much weight in terms of prestige, there is a lot on the line for the individual players as they attempt to impress before the World Cup. They should be playing flat out here and the Aussie pace bowling unit in particular looks unstoppable at the moment.
Unless Quinton de Kock can really have a series to remember, we can’t see the South African batting line-up doing much damage against this Australian attack.
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