Red-hot Australia set to slug it out against South Africa at Centurion
Australia started their campaign in South Africa by brushing aside Ireland in a one-off one-day game played at Benoni. The visitors now turn their heads to a more daunting proposition as they are set to play South Africa in the opening game of the series. Australia is coming into this series after putting up a clinical display in the one-day format against Sri Lanka. Steve Smith is back as captain of the side for the series as he has recovered well after some much needed rest in wake of a long cricketing summer ahead for his side.
Australia is sitting comfortably at no.1 in the one-day rankings with a big lead over the other teams like New Zealand and India. Things are looking good for them on the batting front as Aaron Finch, David Warner and George Bailey chipped in with regular contributions in the one-day series in Sri Lanka. The likes of Mitchell Marsh and James Faulkner provide additional strength in the batting lineup as they have turned out to be good finishers for Australia in this format.
Australia might introduce new players in the game as Chris Tremain or Daniel Worrall might get a chance to play at Centurion. John Hastings and Scott Boland have also shown good performances with the ball while Zampa continues to improve day-by-day as a frontline leg-spinner. South Africa, on the other hand, have to deal with a major setback as their captain AB de Villiers is ruled out of the series due to a persistent elbow injury. De Villiers was captain of the side but his omission means that Faf du Plessis will now lead South Africa in the series against Australia. South Africa has been a mixed bag in terms of one-day performances and they recently failed to make it to the finals of the tri-nations featuring Australia and West Indies in the Caribbean.
South Africa will now also have to make up the final eleven according to the new rulings of the transformation policy laid by CSA. David Miller will also be a key player as he is coming into the side on the back of good performances in Australia for the South Africa A side. Dale Steyn also makes his return into the format after quite a while along with Kyle Abbott and Kagiso Rabada in the lineup, which has the makings of a strong bowling attack along with premier spinner Imran Tahir.
Players to watch our for
Quinton de Kock has been in prime form for South Africa in this format and he does provide great starts to the innings alongside Hashim Amla at the other end. South Africa will be looking towards him to put up big runs upfront in order to put pressure on Australia in the series.
For Australia, David Warner is the man to watch as he likes playing in South Africa with surfaces in the country complimenting his style of batting. Warner will also be looking to score big hundreds for his side to provide a stern test to hosts South Africa.
The surfaces produced at Centurion generally have pace and bounce. Batsmen love the pace of the pitch as it does come on to the bat quite nicely while bowlers can bend their back on surfaces that provide assistance all through the game. The weather is also set to be a good one for the game.
Possible XI: 1.David Warner 2.Aaron Finch 3.Steve Smith (captain) 4.George Bailey 5.Travis Head 6. Mitchell Marsh 7.Matthew Wade (wk) 8.Adam Zampa 9.James Faulkner 10.Scott Boland 11.Chris Tremain/Daniel Worrall
Possible XI: 1.Quinton de Kock 2.Hashim Amla 3.Faf du Plessis (captain) 4.Rilee Rossouw 5.Jean Paul Duminy 6. Farhan Behardien 7.Wayne Parnell 8.Kagiso Rabada 9.Dale Steyn 10.Imran Tahir 11.Andile Phehlukwayo