T20 World Cup preview: Australia take on South Africa in match no 1
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(Cricket news) The first match of the super 12s is going to be a humdinger of a battle between the Aussies and the Proteas as it will surely produce another instant classic over the years. Although these two teams have dominated world cricket for quite some time, surprisingly have never won the T20 World Cup for their nation. Australia have been the team that many have unfairly written off while South Africa have been the team who not many have written about.
For Australia, the subcontinent hasn’t been kind to them as they have lost five consecutive series before arriving to UAE for the T20 World Cup. Australia have found a little uprise in form in the warm matches as they won a close encounter against New Zealand but lost heavily to India in the second one, although a lot of positives were taken from these warm up matches as Glenn Maxwell continued from where he left off in the IPL. The major area of concern for the Aussies is the form of their opening batsmans Aaron Finch and David Warner as they need to give them a good start in the powerplay so that players like Stoinis and Maxwell can finish off the innings later. One thing going in favour of Warner is that he loves playing against South Africa in T20s as he has averaged 35.15 runs at a strike rate 148.86.
The match-up that could eventually decide the game though will come in the middle-overs when Steve Smith goes up against Tabraiz Shamsi. The only real injury concern coming into this World Cup was the bowling fitness of Marcus Stoinis as Australia can play an extra all rounder in Mitchell Marsh to provide the extra fast bowling option.
South Africa are coming off an impressive victory over Pakistan in the warm up matches as the Proteas batting looked quite settled and strong. Rassie Van der Dussen looked in immaculate form as he scored 101* off 50 balls but the positive for South African fans would be the return to form for the captain Temba Bavuma as he too scored 77 runs at a strike rate of 95.06, this gives an indication that the team management are looking for him to play the role of an anchor. If South Africa are to have a good tournament then the likes of Quinton De Kock, Rababa and Nortje need to up their game to stand a chance of qualification. Another trump card that South Africa hold with them is Tabraiz Shamsi who is key to an attack that finally found his mojo back in Sri Lanka in September.
Head to head: Australia 13 - 8 South Africa, (1-0 in T20 World Cups)
Pitch and weather report: The Abu Dhabi pitches have been assured that they will be completely different than what we saw in the IPL. The common feature on this venue is to win the toss and chase as the dew factors come into play when the day progresses. The temperature is going to hover around 30/33 degrees, with no chance of rain as of now.
- David Warner has scored 457 runs against SA at a strike rate 148.86
- Tabraiz Shamsi has picked up 28 wickets in 17 T20s this year
- Kagiso Rabada has dismissed Glenn Maxwell three times in 27 balls in all T20s
- Australia and South Africa have an identical win-loss record in T20 World Cups. Australia have won 16 and lost 13 out of 29 games; South Africa have won 18 and lost 12 out of 30 games
Probable XI for Australia:
1 Aaron Finch (capt), 2 David Warner, 3 Mitchell Marsh, 4 Glenn Maxwell 5 Steven Smith 6 Marcus Stoinis, 7 Matthew Wade, 8 Ashton Agar, 9 Mitchell Starc, 10 Adam Zampa, 11 Josh Hazlewood
Probable XI for South Africa:
1 Quinton de Kock, 2 Temba Bavuma (capt), 3 Aiden Markram, 4 Rassie van der Dussen, 5 David Miller, 6 Heinrich Klaasen, 7 Wiaan Mulder, 8 Kagiso Rabada, 9 Keshav Maharaj, 10 Anrich Nortje, 11 Tabraiz Shamsi