Palmerbet Sports Team preview the third Test between South Africa and Australia from Cape Town. The tourists’ triumph in the series opener was cancelled out by an equally convincing win by the hosts in the second clash – but both matches were overshadowed by controversy. The archrivals will be aiming to get back to the business of winning cricket games with just two Tests to play.
History: Played 93: Australia 51 V South Africa 22 (20 Draws).
Last meeting: March 9-12, 2018: South Africa d Australia by 6 wickets.
Final Thoughts: It has been the most heated and controversial Test series in years, with the results overshadowed by sledging, fiery incidents, fines and overturned bans.
But heavyweights South Africa and Australia head into the third Test at Newlands with the series tied 1-all after snaring a satisfying win apiece so far.
Australia got the early jump with a Mitchell Starc-inspired 118-run in Durban. In Port Elizabeth it was South Africa’s pace attack that dictated terms as Kagiso Rabada claimed 11 wickets in the explosive second Test.
Rabada was initially suspended for his over-aggressive play, but successfully appealed the ICC decision in time to take his place in this clash – a massive boost to the hosts’ chances of taking a series lead.
The Starc v Rabada battle will obviously be crucial again, with Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins looking to step up their contribution for the tourists, and Vernon Philander aiming to do similar for South Africa.
But key for the Aussies will be having one or two of their big-name batsmen making a big score. Mitch Marsh boast the high-score for the team so far in the series, with 96 coming in at No.6 in the first Test. Steve Smith and David Warner have both got starts but failed to go on with it, both averaging under 40.
It will undoubtedly be compelling viewing once again, but with Smith and Warner due, and the team bristling from the conflict of the previous two Tests, Australia are right in the hunt to reclaim the series lead as slight underdogs.