Pad up with T20I cricket tips as Australia look to sink the boot in to South Africa with ODI success to go with their T20I series victory.
22:00 (AEDT), Sat 29th Feb @ Boland Park, Paarl
History: Played 100: Australia 48 V South Africa 48 (3 Ties, 1 No Result)
Last meeting: July 6, 2019: South Africa d Australia by 10 runs at Old Trafford
Final Thoughts: After a convincing T20I series win, Australia’s focus turns towards a three-match ODI rubber against South Africa.
The tourists romped to wins by 107 runs and 97 runs in the first and third games, skittling South Africa for under 100 in both games. The hosts produced a gritty 12-run victory in game two but were overwhelmingly disappointing.
David Warner sounded a warning with two of only four fifties scored in the series. Opening counterpart Quinton de Kock – who posted a series-high 70 in the second game – was the only South African batsman to score more than 37 in an innings.
Australia have played just one ODI series since last year’s unsuccessful World Cup title defence – a 2-1 series loss in India last month. Warner and Aaron Finch smashed unbeaten centuries in a 10-wicket series-opening success, but India won the remaining two games comfortably. Scores of 98 and 131 from Steve Smith in losing efforts will have South Africa nervous.
Likewise, South Africa have had just the one ODI foray since the World Cup, drawing 1-all with England at home. De Kock scored 107 and 65 in the two completed matches – but the skipper needs support.
South Africa are sweating on star batsman Temba Bavuma’s fitness after he missed the last two T20Is. Test stud Marnus Labsuchagne is likely to come back into Australia’s batting line-up.
Australia out to reverse ODI trend
South Africa have dominated ODI competition between the archrivals in recent years. Australia have won just one of their last nine one-dayers against the Proteas.
South Africa swept the last home series 5-0 in 2016 and claimed a 2-1 triumph in Australia in late-2018. They also snatched a shock 10-run win in Manchester in July – the highlight of a dismal World Cup campaign. Faf du Plessis (100 off 94) and Rassie van der Dussen (95 off 97) negated the heroics of David Warner (122 off 117) and Alex Carey (85 off 69).
Australia have well and truly got their swagger back, with Warner and Smith leading the charge in a potentially difficult return to the Republic. South Africa are at one of their lowest-ever ebbs form-wise.
Australia head into the series opener as $1.45 favourites. While Warner and Smith will get plenty of backing in the Top Batsman markets, Aaron Finch looks excellent value. The veteran skipper boasts five centuries and six fifties (including three scores of 80-plus) at ODI level over the past 12 months.