Australia and South Africa will play their second match of the Super 8′s when they take on each other on 30th September at the R.Premadasa Stadium in Colombo. These two sides have a knack of meeting at very crucial junctures of major tournaments like World Cups and the upcoming game will be nothing different. This game promises to be a heavy-duty one with Australia seeking to retain their momentum and a semis berth while South Africa are fighting hard to avoid the curse of the ‘C’ Word.
Australian captain George Bailey will be eager to go for the kill. South Africa, barring their last game against Pakistan, have been phenomenal. The outcome of their previous game has given them a reason to worry as they threw away a game from a favourable position. At the moment, South Africa are a little groggy and Bailey would want to attack and get the better of them at a time when they seem to have lost their composure. A win for Australia will give them two wins out of 2 in the Super 8s and a comfortable entry into the knock-out stages.
As far as South Africa is concerned, this will be a make or break fixture. AB De Villiers and his men were done in by some lack of concentration towards the end. They eased their step off the gas and Pakistan let themselves loose on the South Africans to take a surprise victory. Despite contrasting forms between the two sides, South Africa will need a victory and a big one at that, to be able to stay alive in the tournament.
Head to head: These two sides have played 6 T20 Internationals against each other and have won three games each.
Players to watch
Jacques Kallis: Big man for a big occasion! South Africa will need Jacques Kallis to step up, take centre stage and help his side beat a strong Australian team. His contribution with both-bat and ball will be of prime importance if South Africa are to get anything out of this fixture.
AB De Villers: Desperate times call for a captain, a captain who can lead from the front. Captain AB De Villiers’ every move will be important as he desperately seeks a win in the Super 8s. This game will test ABD’s ability as a captain and if required, even as a finisher.
Dale Steyn: The onus of performance with the ball will yet again rest on the shoulders of South Africa’s best bowler, Dale Steyn. Steyn’s first few overs will be very crucial with Shane Watson currently displaying the form of his life. If Steyn can get him early on, it will be advantage South Africa.
Shane Watson: This man is yet to make the slightest of the mistakes in this World Cup (ignoring Gayle’s dropped catch). Second highest run scorer and the highest wicket taker in the tournament, he looks hungrier every time he goes on to the field. He will look to continue his form and play another key role in the result of this fixture.
Pat Cummins: Pat Cummins announced his arrival into the world of cricket against South Africa where he showed great promise and scorching pace. When he comes up against South Africa, he will be pumped up. A good performance against a subcontinent side in his previous game would’ve done his confidence a world of good. Expect him to unsettle the Proteas.
Dan Christian: He may not be the best option in the death overs but Daniel Christian could be tricky after the powerplays. After the first six overs when the batsmen will mainly look to consolidate, Christian with his decent line and length could make the South African batsmen toil for runs. He often comes across as a straightforward medium pacer but he does have the ability to surprise a batsmen with a few extra yards of pace and unexpected bounce. Captain Bailey will look to utilize Dan in the middle overs and expect him to keep it tight and give his side a possible breakthrough.
I’m divided on this one but on current form I will have to go with the Aussies. South Africa’s previous fixtures showed how they aren’t really suited for pressure situations and a game against Australia will be nothing less than one. Australia’s all round performances so far puts them a cut above South Africa and they should win this one.