Australia vs South Africa, 1st ODI, Preview: Aussies hope to revive ODI fortune under new skipper

Australia vs South Africa, 1st ODI, Preview: Aussies hope to revive ODI fortune under new skipper

Yet another stern Proteas test awaits the home side.

Faf du Plessis of South Africa and Aaron Finch of Australia
Faf du Plessis of South Africa and Aaron Finch of Australia hold the One Day International Series Trophy. (Photo by James Worsfold/Getty Images)

The memories of the infamous ball-tampering scandal are still fresh for Australia during their South Africa tour earlier this year. The incident has derailed the Australian cricket completely as they are yet to win an ODI or Test since then. Aaron Finch has been appointed the ODI skipper who is being touted as the long-term option at the helm with the World Cup coming soon. Playing at home is the best thing for them and the crowd’s backing might be the much-needed boost for the Aussies.

The visitors got off to the worst possible start to their short tour with a loss in the warm-up game. Though it will not change any dynamics ahead of the series opener. They are coming off a comfortable series win over Zimbabwe back home and have a golden opportunity to trump the hosts in their own backyard. Moreover, the Proteas are yet to figure out their best players ahead of the showpiece event next year and the players would be keen on sealing their spots in the line-up.

The match will be played in brand new Perth Stadium which will be hosting only its second ODI. The previous game which took place at the venue was won by England and the home side went on to lose it by just 12 runs. No wonder, there are doubts over the way the pitch will behave as nobody is aware of what the safe score will be on this strip.

Team Combinations

Australia

There will be one major change from Australia’s last ODI as Tim Paine, the previous captain, will be missing out having been axed which was on the cards. Alex Carey, one of the two vice-captains, will don the gloves while there is still doubt over Mitchell Starc’s fitness. With the more important India Test series coming up, Australia will most probably prefer not to risk him unless he is 100 percent fit.

D’Arcy Short will most likely open along with Aaron Finch given his recent domestic form in One-Day cricket. Chris Lynn will follow him with Shaun Marsh, Glenn Maxwell and Carey in the middle-order. Marcus Stoinis will compete for the all-rounder’s spot with Ashton Agar. Though the former is likely to get a nod and Travis Head might be the unluckiest to be benched for the series opener.

Probable XI: D’Arcy Short, Aaron Finch (c), Chris Lynn, Shaun Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Alex Carey (wk), Nathan Coulter-Nile, Pat Cummins, Adam Zampa, Josh Hazlewood.

South Africa

South Africa have been jolted with injuries before the series. Hashim Amla and JP Duminy are missing this tour and they will need the other players to step up. They are most likely to field the same team which lost to Australia Prime Minister’s XI but it will be unfair on Heinrich Klaasen and Andile Phehlukwayo who performed well for them in Zimbabwe series.

While the top-order looks settled for the tourists, they are having a happy headache in the all-rounder’s spot. Klaasen might be benched in this game while Farhaan Behardien’s experience might edge Dwaine Pretorius. In the pace bowling department, the trio of Dale Steyn, Lungi Ngidi and Imran Tahir will post the threat to the Aussies while Imran Tahir will be the only spin-bowling option. Chris Morris will have to wait for his chance.

Probable XI: Aiden Markram, Quinton de Kock (wk), Reeza Hendricks, Faf du Plessis (c), David Miller, Farhaan Behardien, Andile Phehlukwayo, Dale Steyn, Lungi Ngidi, Kagiso Rabada, Imran Tahir.

Focus will be on

Aaron Finch (Australia)

With an added responsibility, all the eyes will be on Finch. He has been tipped to revive the limited-overs fortunes of the team and the cricketer, more often than not, thrives under these circumstances. He played well in the challenging conditions in the UAE in Tests and would be looking to take the confidence from there. A good show from the captain might turn things around for Australia in the ODIs.

Aiden Markram (South Africa)

Aiden Markram is the one for the future. The class player has struggled for consistency over the last few months. He was the skipper of the team during the home series against India which clearly suggests that the selectors have long-term plans for him. The time has come for him to deliver and no better place than Australia to showcase your talent for Markram.

Head to Head

Matches: 96 | Australia won: 47 | South Africa won: 45 | Tie/NR – 4

Stat Attack

2 – Australia have won only two out of their last 20 ODIs.

798 – Faf du Plessis has scored 798 runs against Australia in 17 innings with three centuries and as many fifty-plus scores.

Broadcast Details

TV – Sony Six and Sony Six HD

Live Streaming – Sony LIV

Match Timings – 8:50 IST; 11:20 Local

Get the latest Cricket News and updates from Australia vs South Africa series, Match PredictionsFantasy Cricket Tips and lots more on CricTracker.com.