Australia to tune up for World T20 by playing South Africa
Sydney, March 13 (IANS) Australia will prepare for the 2016 World Twenty20 in India with a three-match Twenty20 series in South Africa early next year. The series will be squeezed in between Australia's Test tour of New Zealand in February and the World T20 in India, which starts on March 11, reports cricket.com.au.
The encounters against South Africa will be the three of the seven T20s Australia will feature in between now and the world event in March next year. They will be playing one against England after the conclusion of this year's Ashes in Cardiff on August 31 and three at home versus India at the end of the 2015 summer.
Cricket South Africa on Friday confirmed the series.
"Playing three T20s against Australia just before the ICC World T20 is ideal for the Proteas," said Cricket South Africa (CSA) Chief Executive Haroon Lorgat.
"We are grateful to Cricket Australia for having agreed to split their visit to South Africa in 2016 so that we can deliver a full programme of fixtures."
Australia are ranked number one in the world in One-Day International (ODI) cricket and number two in Tests. But they are fourth in T20s - just one point clear of South Africa - and were disappointed to not make the semifinals at the 2014 World T20 in Bangladesh.
George Bailey stood down as captain after that tournament and was replaced by Aaron Finch, who has led to side to three victories from four matches since then.
Their best performance came in 2010 in the Caribbean, when they were undefeated before losing the final to England by seven wickets in Barbados.