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5 big predictions for South Africa v Australia

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Last Updated on 6 years by Charbel Coorey

Yes, this is the cricket world we live in.

Two big series – South Africa v India and The Ashes – have come and gone, and now we are onto our next high profile Test series – South Africa v Australia.

In a battle between arguably the best bowling attacks in the world, this series may very well depend on which batting line up holds up the best. For days, I have been thinking about what on earth could happen in this series, where I believe the result is so unpredictable.

This can make for a great series, and in this article, I will talk you through my five big predictions for the series.

Steve Smith will average less than 40 for the series

What? Seems ridiculous, right?
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For me, Smith has benefited from the rise of flat pitches and lack of quality touring teams in Australia, and could find South African conditions and bowlers more challenging. Yes, South Africa are less likely to produce the spicy wickets we saw against India, but they possess 140km/h+ bowlers that England simply didn’t have in the recent Ashes.
South Africa have the quality to find him out in this series, and I think they will.

Leading run scorer – AB de Villiers

Looking at AB’s raw numbers in the recent Test series v India, you’d be like “what’s the fuss?”
Sure, 211 runs at 35.16 might not suggest much, but AB saved South Africa on a number of occasions. On the first morning of the series, South Africa were 12/3, and AB played a wonderful counterattacking knock of 65 off just 84 balls. In the second innings of the same Test, he made 35 out of a score of 130, and looked the only batsman capable of scoring. Then add his magnificent 80 in the second innings of the Centurion Test, where South Africa were only ahead by 30, and found themselves 3/2. They ended up winning the Test, which sealed the series against the world no.1 team.
Yes, AB is probably past his absolute best, but what a player he still is. In a bold prediction, I think he will be leading run scorer for this series as he will be very keen to get the better of Australia. His performances in pressure situations against India recently, on tough batting pitches, suggests he can do it. He was second only to the magnificent Virat Kohli (286 runs)
Watch out for AB de Villiers (left)

Leading wicket taker – Vernon Philander

Man of the series v India, Vernon Philander again showed his brilliance in home conditions.
With 15 wickets at 15.86 in the recent series, Vernon Philander asked questions of the Indian batsmen every single time, and with 118 wickets at 18.48 at home in his career, all I’ll say is good luck, Aussies.
On what could be slower, seaming tracks in this series, Vernon Philander will be a handful for the Australian batsmen, targeting both inside and outside edges, and will finish top wicket taker.
The “Big Vern” was superb v India

Australia’s best performer – Patrick Cummins 

Patrick Cummins returns to the country where it all started for him in Test cricket as an 18 year old.
Many a frustration has crippled Patty Cummins since his debut in Johannesburg in 2011, but he is finally stringing games together, and he is delivering. Finishing as the leading wicket taker in the Ashes with 24 wickets, Cummins was superb, bowling at a high pace regularly, moving the ball either way. 
Against a South Africa line up that still has some questions associated with it, I think Cummins will have a big say in this series.
Patrick Cummins was brilliant in the Ashes 

South Africa will win the series 2-1

This prediction was especially difficult for me to make…
Both teams have superb bowling attacks, but South Africa at home might have a little too much for the Aussies. The reason I say this is because South Africa will look to produce pitches that don’t suit Australia’s strengths. Australia enjoy flat, true pitches, and struggle on pitches that offer more for bowlers. 
In this series, in order to counter Australia’s pace attack, as well as their batting, South Africa could produce England like pitches – slower tracks with seam movement, and who better to exploit this than Vernon Philander. This could help their batsmen adjust to Australia’s bowlers a little better, which will certainly be key.
It promises to be a magnificent series.
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Charbel Coorey
Charbel Cooreyhttps://cricblog.net
Charbel is the owner & founder of cricblog.net, based in Sydney, Australia. He started the website to fulfill his love for the game of cricket. Charbel has been featured on other publications including OP India, Times of India, and The Roar, among others. He is also a keen fantasy sports player. Charbel has also had the privilege of interviewing cricketers on the CricBlog TV YouTube channel, including James Neesham, Rassie van der Dussen, Andrew Tye, Shreyas Gopal, Jaydev Unadkat and Saurabh Netravalkar: https://www.youtube.com/@cricblogtv For any story tips or questions, you can contact Charbel at charbelcoorey@cricblog.net.

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