It wasn’t the start the Aussies were looking for to kick off their summer of cricket down under, the Proteas proving to be just too good for the out-of-sorts home side in Perth. Australia will be hoping to regain Shaun Marsh who was ruled out of the Perth ODI with a “buttock” injury, furthermore exposing the host’s rickety-top order. Needing just one more win to wrap up the ODI series, South Africa will look to press-forward in Adelaide as Australia fights to keep the series alive.
A dismal-start to the innings for Australia started the rot which was set to take place for the rest of the match as the Proteas bowling attack ferociously gunned down their batting line-up in Perth last Sunday. The top three consisting of Travis Head, Aaron Finch and D’Arcy Short were all dismissed for single-digit scores, the task proving to be too challenging for the middle order who played some terribly-irresponsible shots which led to their dismissals. Given the match situation, all-rounders Glenn Maxwell and Marcus Stoinis both got caught at mid-on trying to go aerial over Heinrich Klaasen which would’ve frustrated Aussie coach Justin Langer immensely. After the scenes in Perth, Australia will be desperately hoping that the experienced Shaun Marsh can get over his buttock injury in time to play in the second game at Adelaide Oval on Friday. Local South Australian Travis Head will be a man on a mission in Adelaide as he looks to deliver in front of his home crowd. The 24-year-old averages 112 in ODI cricket at this venue, so he’s no stranger to scoring runs on this picturesque ground. Wicketkeeper Alex Carey who just happens to be another South Australian was one of Australia’s only shinning lights with the bat to come out of that first match in Perth.
This venue should suit the likes of Head, Carey and the big-hitting Chris Lynn, if fit Shaun Marsh could also be added to the list. Aussie skipper Aaron Finch on the other hand hasn’t enjoyed Adelaide, he has a high score of just 7 from three outings in the city of churches. Adding to their woes with the bat, Australia’s somewhat-threatening pace attack couldn’t match the Proteas as Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood all went wicketless in Perth. It honestly looked like South Africa were batting on a different wicket, the bounce their bowlers got in the first innings appeared non-existent with the home side. Heading into this second match, Australia might opt for a spinner in the form of either Adam Zampa or Ashton Agar. Last time the Aussies were in Adelaide for an ODI, Hazlewood and Cummins took seven-wickets between them and Head scored 96 at the top of the order against England.
Having ticked off Perth Successfully, South Africa’s next blank square on the checklist is winning the ODI series in Adelaide. After Dale Steyn and Andile Phehlukwayo ravaged through Australia’s batting line-up, there was little to do with the bat in the run chase as the Proteas saw off the home sides pace attack and got the chocolates with 124 balls to spare in their 6-wicket victory. The fielding was brilliant, the bowlers looked extremely dangerous and their batting looked superb in that 29.2 sample-sized innings. South Africa’s fast bowlers should once again enjoy conditions when they arrive in Adelaide, the pitch rewards bowlers who can generate plenty of pace and bounce. Kagiso Rabada was their only bowler who was held wicketless in Perth which is quite-surprising, furthermore every individual took at least two wickets in the match. Dale Steyn and Lungi Ngidi looked deadly with the ball early, Australia just had no answer for them as they pinned down some very-capable top order batsmen. A brilliant fast bowling unit such as South Africa is rarely kept quiet, so the Aussies will need to be more watchful & alert come second time around.
After that successful decision to field first after winning the toss in Perth, skipper Faf du Plessis might consider doing the same again in Adelaide if the opportunity arises. It’s no surprise that the Proteas looked comfortable chasing 153 for victory in the first match, it was basically set up like a twenty20-style innings where batsmen could take a lot more risks. Bursting straight out of the gates, Quinton de Kock decided to take full-advantage of the home side’s small target set with some crisp hitting to the boundary. Reeza Hendricks played a steady hand alongside de Kock at the top of the order, while Aiden Markram showed off some of his best work with a fluent 36 at No. 3. South Africa has plenty of batting depth with Miller, Phehlukwayo and Steyn making up their lower order, but its de Kock and du Plessis who’ll do the most damage if they get set in Adelaide.
Top 5 fantasy picks | Australia | 2nd ODI | Adelaide
- Pat Cummins
- Travis Head
- Mitchell Starc
- Chris Lynn
- Glenn Maxwell
Wildcard pick – Alex Carey
Top 5 fantasy picks | South Africa | 2nd ODI | Adelaide
- Faf du Plessis
- Lungi Ngidi
- Quinton de Kock
- Kagiso Rabada
- Dale Steyn
Wildcard pick – David Miller
Australia (possible) – 1. Aaron Finch © 2. Travis Head 3. Shaun Marsh/D’Arcy Short 4. Chris Lynn 5. Alex Carey (wk) 6. Glenn Maxwell 7. Marcus Stoinis 8. Pat Cummins 9. Nathan Coulter-Nile/Adam Zampa 10. Mitchell Starc 11. Josh Hazlewood.
South Africa (possible) – 1. Quinton de Kock (wk) 2. Reeza Hendricks 3. Aiden Markram 4. Faf du Plessis © 5. Heinrich Klaasen 6. David Miller 7. Andile Phehlukwayo 8. Dale Steyn 9. Kagiso Rabada 10. Lungi Ngidi 11. Imran Tahir.