The 2020 T20 World Cup, it’s a bit of a mouthful isn’t it? With the Australian summer of cricket officially done and dusted, the international side start their preparations for the tournament this week as their tour of South Africa begins.
Over the next few months, Australia will face off against South Africa, New Zealand and England in three T20’s and three ODI’s each in preparation for the T20 World Cup in October.
We will be bringing you a full preview for each of the six series, starting with the T20 series against the Proteas, which gets underway early on Saturday morning.
Game 1: Saturday 3am AEDT
Game 2: Sunday 11.30pm AEDT
Game 3: Thursday 3am AEDT
Squad: Quinton de Kock (c), Temba Bavuma, Faf du Plessis, Rassie van der Dussen, David Miller, Pite van Biljon, Dwaine Pretorius, Andile Phehlukwayo, Jon-Jon Smuts, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, Lungi Ngidi, Bjorn Fortuin, Anrich Nortje, Dale Steyn, Heinrich Klaasen
The Proteas are coming off a lengthy stint playing all three forms of the game against England. They faced off against the Poms in a four match Test series, where they went down 3-1. They were able to salvage a 1-1 draw in the three match ODI series before losing the T20 series 2-1.
They’ll be desperate to find some winning form against Australia before they too embark on a tough road trip which sees them travel to India followed by the West Indies. Their batting line-up is held up by skipper Quinton de Cock, who is currently the 16th ranked T20 batsmen in the world.
Rassie van der Dussen, David Miller and Temba Bavuma add support throughout the top and middle order but the South African batting line-up is a shell of what it once was when the likes of Amla and de Villiers ruled the world.
If the Proteas are to win this series, it will likely be due to their bowling attack, which is world class to say the least. Dale Steyn continues to wear international colours and will look to retire with a T20 World Cup win and he leads a strong pace bowling attack which features Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi and Anrich Nortje.
Squad: Aaron Finch (c), Pat Cummins, Sean Abbot, Ashton Agar, Alex Carey, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Jhye Richardson, Kane Richardson, Steve Smith, Mitch Starc, Matthew Wade, David Warner, Adam Zampa
Australia had an extremely successful summer of cricket, winning 10/10 games across two formats. They weren’t as dominant in their recent trip to India, however, as they went down 2-1 in a three match ODI series. After winning the first game by 10 wickets, Australia went on to lose the next two games, and will be keen to bounce back in the shorter format.
The Aussie squad will be bolstered by the addition of some Big Bash League standouts from the summer as well as the standard international stars. The opening partnership of Aaron Finch and David Warner remains one of the strongest in the world while the middle order will be led by Steve Smith, Glenn Maxwell, Alex Carey and Matthew Wade.
The addition of an in form Mitch Marsh, who plundered 382 runs at an average of 34.73 will be a massive boost with both bat and ball, and the Aussie pace attack is as strong as ever with Pat Cummins, Mitch Starc, Kane Richardson, Sean Abbott and Jhye Richardson all in the mix. We can see most of the quicks getting a chance throughout this series, so a rotation policy should be in place, expect only Pat Cummins to play all three games.
The South African batting line-up looks a little too fragile here. They rely on de Kock way to much at the top of the order, and with the experience of the Australian pace attack, it’s unlikely that he will fire in all three games.
Australia start as strong favourites for the series and we have to side with them. The Aussies have played a bunch of T20 cricket over the past few months, with the core of their team all in good form from the Big Bash League. The limited overs batting line-up is finally starting to look like one that can make 180+ (T20) or 300+ (ODI) on any given night.
Back the Australians to earn a comfortable series win here.
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