For the first time since 1992, a game of cricket will be played at Carrara Stadium on the Gold Coast in Queensland. Now home to the Gold Coast Suns AFL (Australian Football League) team, Carrara Stadium (now more commonly known as Metricon Stadium) seats 25,000 spectators since receiving its $126 million redevelopment.
It’s been a while since Australia lost an ODI series on home soil, given the circumstances & predicaments heading into their summer of cricket it wasn’t a huge surprise it must be said. Nothing seemed to click at all in the Australian line-up, the top order failed to fire and their star-studded pace attack didn’t trouble the Proteas either. The selection chopping block already has some early candidates after Travis Head, Chris Lynn and leg-spinner Adam Zampa all had a relatively mediocre series. Even skipper Aaron Finch found it tough to contribute anything significant at the top of the order in the three matches, South Africa’s precise bowling combined with some poor shot selection told the story. This one-off T20I is a chance for Australia to gain some much-needed confidence before they clash with India next week in this very format. The selectors as well as the Australian public in general will be hoping to see the likes of Chris Lynn, D’Arcy Short, Aaron Finch and Glenn Maxwell showcasing their T20-brilliance with the bat tomorrow night on the Gold Coast.
Most of those names mentioned above have all been prolific scorers in the BBL for their respective sides, the only problem is that Glenn Maxwell and Aaron Finch appear to be the only ones who can truly dominate an innings at International level. Towering-pace bowler Billy Stanlake is expected to give the Proteas a run for their money with the ball, he gets plenty of kick & bounce off the wickets which usually results in plenty of top edges. In a recent tour match against South Africa, seamer Andrew Tye’s variations didn’t do the trick as he went the journey. Figures of 0/55 off four overs suggest that Australia might opt for Jason Behrendorff instead. This is also a very important match for leggy Adam Zampa, if he fails to perform in this T20 his spot may be in jeopardy after back-to-back wicketless outings.
Coming off a series victory in the ODI’s, South Africa will be looking to close out their tour of Australia in style with an electrifying performance in the one-off T20 International at Carrara Stadium. It was the Faf & Miller show in Hobart last Sunday as the dynamic-duo put the Aussies to the slaughter with a 252-run partnership in the series decider. Both batsmen registered centuries, but it was the way they did it that caught the attention of many as Faf du Plessis and David Miller set their sights on the Derwent River. After a performance like that in the final ODI, what better way to follow it up with then a T20 International. Quinton de Kock and Heinrich Klaasen will be right in their element given the batting approach in this format is usually ‘see ball, hit ball’.
The tour match against the CA XI saw Reeza Hendricks, Aiden Markram, Heinrich Klaasen and Farhaan Behardien all score runs in Brisbane, perfect preparation for the main even on the Gold Coast Saturday night. Expect a new-look bowling combination for South Africa tomorrow night with Andile Phehlukwayo making a return to the side and spinner Tabraiz Shamsi likely to get his opportunity to represent the Proteas. All-rounder Chris Morris also remains in the frame after claiming two wickets in the tour match on Wednesday. The imposing Lungi Ngidi should cause some problems early with the new ball against the Australians who’ll be cautious but at the same time anxious to find the boundary. It’s uncertain if Kagiso Rabada will take part in the match, with so many options they can probably afford to put him on ice for the remaining game of the tour. After that performance in Hobart the other day, you’d be crazy to tip against South Africa in this match.
Top 5 fantasy picks | Australia | only T20I | Carrara, Gold Coast
- Aaron Finch
- Billy Stanlake
- Glenn Maxwell
- D’Arcy Short
- Nathan Coulter-Nile
Wildcard pick – Chris Lynn
Top 5 fantasy picks | South Africa | only T20I | Carrara, Gold Coast
- Quinton de Kock
- David Miller
- Lungi Ngidi
- Andile Phehlukwayo
- Faf du Plessis
Wildcard pick – Aiden Markram
Australia (possible) – 1. Aaron Finch © 2. D’Arcy Short 3. Chris Lynn 4. Ben McDermott 5. Glenn Maxwell 6. Marcus Stoinis 7. Alex Carey (wk) 8. Nathan Coulter-Nile 9. Adam Zampa/Ashton Agar 10. Andrew Tye/Jason Behrendorff 11. Billy Stanlake.
South Africa (possible) – 1. Reeza Hendricks 2. Quinton de Kock (wk) 3. Faf du Plessis © 4. Aiden Markram 5. David Miller 6. Heinrich Klaasen 7. Farhaan Behardien/Chris Morris/Dwaine Pretorius 8. Andile Phehlukwayo 9. Kagiso Rabada 10. Lungi Ngidi 11. Tabraiz Shamsi.
Zak Varik is an Australian columnist/writer who specializes in the sports category cricket. With over four years of experience covering all sorts of cricket tournaments around the world, Zak has gained extensive knowledge in International cricket as well as domestic.
“I’ve loved watching cricket since I was about 7 years old, my childhood hero was none other than Andrew “Roy” Symonds who probably enhanced my love of the game through the years”.
Zak is now an established writer for FCN (Fantasy Cricket News) and has also previously represented other Blogs during his time as a writer.