If the first couple of matches were any indication, South Africa have entered into the series as the better prepared and more hungrier of the two sides. With the visitors not bringing quite a few of their regular bowlers, they out-batted them without any mercy. The top-order comprising of Quinton de Kock, Rilee Rossouw and Faf du Plessis is firing on all cylinders which does not signal promising times for the top ranked ODI outfit.
But, the question marks regarding the omission of Hashim Amla refuses to fade away like his silky drives. Rossouw who has taken the 33-year old’s spot acknowledged the clamor for places by admitting, “It's a tough gig because if you are not performing, there's a guy that can do the same job as you if not better. When you put on that shirt, you want to perform and do your best because you know there's someone else who can take your spot.”
Meanwhile, Australia will have to lift themselves up and look to prise out early wickets if they are to keep up the pace. With their usually explosive batting lineup not coming to the fore yet, the prospect of staying in the series should offer enough motivation. Skipper Steve Smith may look to lead from the front by controlling the flow of the innings in order to prevent placing the lower-order under the unenviable position of having to do all the work.
Venue – Kingsmead, Durban
Date – 5th October (Wednesday)
Time – 1330 local/1700 IST (1130 GMT)
Broadcast – Ten 2 (Indian subcontinent)
Online Stream – www.tensports.com
South Africa – WWWLW
Australia – LLWWW
After captain du Plessis had deflected the Amla puzzle as the selectors’ play, it will be interesting to see whether Rossouw's form should be deemed sufficient to leave out the veteran. Despite the close monitoring of Dale Steyn’s workload, the team management might want to wait before sealing the series before resting the pacer.
Even though Aaron Finch has not been to provide his typical electric starts, he should retain his place amidst Usman Khawaja’s presence as the reserve opener. However, the bowling attack is likely to see a couple of changes with Scott Boland and Daniel Worrall replacing the expensive Chris Tremain and Joe Mennie.
Quinton de Kock (wk), Rilee Rossouw/Hashim Amla, Faf du Plessis (c), JP Duminy, David Miller, Farhaan Behardien, Wayne Parnell, Andile Phehlukwayo, Dale Steyn, Kagiso Rabada and Imran Tahir
David Warner, Aaron Finch, Steve Smith (c), George Bailey, Travis Head, Mitchell Marsh, Mathew Wade (wk), John Hastings, Adam Zampa, Scott Boland and Daniel Worrall
Unlike the first two venues, Durban offers a bit of assistance to both seam and spin which might offer some relief for the visitors. Though there has been considerable rain in the last few days, a warm day is expected. With the outfield under immense scrutiny due to the abandonment of the August Test against New Zealand as a result of inadequate drainage facilities, the ground staff will be on their toes.
- South Africa’s previous bilateral ODI series victory against Australia had come at home during April 2009.
- From seven ODIs at this venue between them, South Africa have won only two while Australia triumphed in the remaining five.
- Among all teams, South Africa’s current win-loss ratio of 0.893 is the best in ODIs against Australia.
- David Miller needs 131 runs to become the 18th South African batsman to complete 2000 ODI runs.