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Australia vs South Africa 1st ODI Preview + Dream11

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Last Updated on 6 years by Charbel Coorey

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How about some on-field action? That would be nice.

With more than seven months passed since the infamous Cape Town ‘Sandpaper Gate’ (yes, it’s still a hot topic), Australia’s cricketing culture has been placed under a microscope so large the whole world can see. Reinstating trust among parts (if not most) of the public will be key, but remains a difficult ask regardless of the result, as this ODI series only available on Pay TV in Australia. Fan engagement is critical to the future of the sport in this country, but that has taken a backseat in the huge TV rights deal landed by Cricket Australia earlier this year.
But, that is a discussion for another day. Can this series be the one where both sides start to put the pieces ahead of their respective 2019 World Cup campaigns?

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Australia’s last 18 completed ODIs have yielded just two wins. Worse, you will have to go back to January 2017 for the last victory in an ODI that was not a dead-rubber. 2018 has been a tough year for many reasons in Australian Cricket, which includes nine defeats in ten matches against the old enemy England. With Aaron Finch taking over as captain, and with a strong pace attack on hand, can the Aussies begin to fine tune their preparations for a World Cup defence?
It is not exactly smooth sailing for South Africa, either. Sure, they have won their last two series, against Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe, but their batting leaves quite a bit to be desired. Their defeat to a very young Australian Prime Ministers XI on Thursday has further emphasised the need for batting solidarity, after a somewhat unconvincing 3-0 clean sweep against Zimbabwe recently. When you also consider South Africa lost 5-1 at home to India earlier this year, they too are in need for fine tuning ahead of the World Cup.

Key to an Australia win

Mitchell Starc is likely to play after recovering from a hamstring niggle in the UAE recently, who will be part of a very solid-looking Australian attack.
In Starc, Patrick Cummins and Josh Hazlewood, Australia have excellent ingredients to cause further problems for a shaky South African batting line up. With the Proteas likely to field a tail slightly longer than preferred, a fantastic opportunity for early wickets awaits, especially given the Prime Minister’s XI side were able to get in the wickets. Will the Aussies bowlers hit the ground running straight away, or will they be impacted by rust?
Also, the batsmen will be keen to put the recent UAE nightmare behind them, with typical Australian conditions awaiting. Aaron Finch and Travis Head will be vital at the top, so too the maligned Shaun Marsh, who played well in England this year. A strong top order effort will pave the way for Chris Lynn, Glenn Maxwell and Marcus Stoinis to play with greater freedom.

Key to a South Africa win

However, a strong top order performance from Australia is easier said than done, with South Africa also boasting a strong pace attack.
The battle between Starc-Cummins-Hazlewood and Rabada-Steyn-Ngidi could decide the game, with an opportunity also for South Africa to get into a batting line up that is looking to find its feet. The Proteas have had a better time with the ball than bat of late, and a strong bowling effort right throughout the Australian innings (including the ever-present Imran Tahir) arguably gives South Africa their best shot of a 1-0 series lead.
But, if the batting performance is poor, the bowlers can only do so much. This was on show against the PMXI, with South Africa unable to defend a poultry 173, raising further concerns about their inconsistent line up. Can Aiden Markram and Quinton de Kock provide a strong start? How well will an inconsistent Reeza Hendricks fare, along with skipper Faf du Plessis, with Hashim Amla and JP Duminy missing? As mentioned, the Proteas are likely to field a longer-than-ideal tail, so the efforts of the top order is crucial to success.

Possible XIs

Mitchell Starc is likely to play for Australia. If he is considered not fit enough, Nathan Coulter-Nile will get a run. Also, Aaron Finch copped a knock on his finger, but should be right to go.
Australia possible XI: 1. Aaron Finch (c), 2. Travis Head, 3. D’Arcy Short, 4. Chris Lynn, 5. Glenn Maxwell, 6. Marcus Stoinis, 7. Alex Carey (wk), 8. Mitchell Starc, 9. Pat Cummins, 10. Adam Zampa, 11. Josh Hazlewood
Andile Phehlukwayo could come in for Dwaine Pretorius. There is the possibility of South Africa playing two spinners, but that is not likely in Perth.
South Africa possible XI: 1. Quinton de Kock (wk), 2. Aiden Markram, 3. Reeza Hendricks, 4. Faf du Plessis (c), 5. David Miller, 6. Farhaan Behardien, 7. Andile Phehlukwayo, 8. Dale Steyn, 9. Kagiso Rabada, 10. Lungi Ngidi, 11. Imran Tahir

Dream11

Who will step up from a Dream11 perspective? Below is my team with a few pointers.

Australia vs South Africa 1st ODI Preview + Dream11 Cricket Preview Cricket Blog CricBlog
  • Will Quinton de Kock fire against Mitchell Starc? I’m not sure.
  • Just in: Shaun Marsh is out with injury. D’Arcy Short will play.
  • Aaron Finch is my skipper, with Faf du Plessis my Vice Captain.
  • Glenn Maxwell and Marcus Stoinis are dangerous in the middle order for Australia.
  • Four fast bowling guns make up my pace attack, with Steyn, Starc and Cummins all capable of holding the willow, too.

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Stats and Facts

  • Australia have won six of 25 ODIs since January 2017.
  • Imran Tahir is one wicket away from 150 ODI wickets.
  • Aaron Finch has three ODI centuries in 2018. His best in a single year is four (2014).
  • The last meeting between these two sides was a 5-0 series win for South Africa (2016).

Prediction

A great rivalry has developed between these two sides, making for a potentially exciting clash.
It is disappointing to see that after decades of Free-to-Air cricket coverage in Australia, this one is only available on Pay-TV, which doesn’t help improve the mood of fans too much.
Nonetheless, I will back Australia to get an important win to kick-start what hopefully will be a successful summer with India to follow.
Thanks for reading!
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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 also been featured on other publications including OP India, Times of India, and The Roar, among others. For any story tips or questions, you can contact Charbel at charbelcoorey@cricblog.net.

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