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Tri-Series 2016, Match 7 Preview: South Africa aim to keep momentum going

West Indies v South Africa
South African cricketer Faf du Plessis (C) reacts as he leaves the field. (Photo by JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

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Match 7 of the Tri-Series 2016 will witness South Africa take on Australia as the entertaining series enters its business end. With all three teams with identical figures on the points table, South Africa has their noses in front courtesy of their superior net run-rate. With the Australians in close second by a whisker, an entertaining encounter is on the cards as these two immensely capable sides square off at Bridgetown, Barbados.

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Pitch Conditions

One of the most iconic grounds in the world, the Kensington Oval in Barbados has staged some of the best and most intriguing matches in the past. Although the demolished and rebuilding of the stadium has little or no impact on the wicket, the wicket has certainly slowed down over the years. With light towers erected, dew will play a factor on the day. The average batting score on this wicket is 280.

Team Analysis

South Africa

A bonus point against Australia in the previous ODI saw the Proteas go into number one position on the Tri-Series 2016 table. Records tumbled at St. Kitts as Hashim Amla reached yet another ton while Imran Tahir reached 100 wickets in ODIs as well as his first ever seven-wicket haul. In addition, the change of venue to Barbados will certainly go on to help the Proteas as they boast a 100% record at Barbados.

As far as team selection goes, AB de Villiers will be looking to stick to the winning combination with the addition of JP Duminy. The side is also expected to balance out with players such as Wayne Parnell and Chris Morris. The only selection conundrum the Proteas will have at the moment will be the selection of spinner Shamsi or Phangiso.

Australia

Back to back defeats against Australia and South Africa has seen Australia slump out of the top spot. In spite of being the number one side in the world, the Aussies will have to work their way back into reckoning in the ongoing Tri-Series. With David Warner injured and withdrawn, the onus has now fallen on Aaron Finch and Usman Khawaja.

However, at the moment, it seems as though Warner’s replacement is being mulled over by the Aussie management. Travis Head made his ODI debut against the Proteas in the 139-run defeat. The alternation between Mitchell Starc and Nathan Coulter-Nile affects the balance of the side and the Australians will have to settle on a permanent fix to this problem.

Probable XI-

South Africa:

AB de Villiers (C), Quinton de Kock (wk), Hashim Amla, Faf du Plessis, JP Duminy, Farhaan Behardien, Chris Morris, Wayne Parnell, Kagiso Rabada, Imran Tahir, Tabraiz Shamsi/Aaron Phangiso

Australia:

Steven Smith (C), Matthew Wade (wk), Usman Khawaja, Aaron Finch, George Bailey, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Mitchell Starc, Adam Zampa, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazelwood

StAttack

1. Imran Tahir’s 7/45 in the previous ODI against the West Indies saw him become the fastest to 100 ODI wickets.

2. Hashim Amla and David Warner are the only players to smash centuries in the ongoing Tri-Series 2016.

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3. South Africa has a 100% record at Barbados with three wins out of three. Australia however, has four wins out of six matches played.

4. Bridgetown, Barbados will host its first ODI since May 2011, thus making it the first ODI to be played in little over five years.

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