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South Africa Look to Maintain ODI Dominance Over Australia

March 4th, 2020 | Posted by Peter

Will the real Proteas please stand up?

South Africa has been south inconsistent of late.

They took the recent T20 series with Australia to a decider, but the two matches they lost were by decisive margins.

Australia beat them by 107 runs in the first T20. South Africa came back to win the second match, only to lose the series in the third match by 97 runs.

Erase Australia; replace it with England and much the same picture emerges.

The home summer for South Africa has found them leading Test, ODI and T20 series with the Poms, only to fail to close.

The ODIs with England might have been lost, save for the second being washed out with South Africa holding a lead, but losing the final to England, leaving an unsatisfying draw.

South Africa won the first ODI of Australia’s current tour and did so convincingly, by a 74-run margin in Paarl.

There have been some signs of life for South Africa and they have played well with Australia, despite the tourists being near full strength, with the exception of the injured Glenn Maxwell.

In the sort of disparity the different cricket formats can pose, Australia was expected to win the T20, as they are ranked by the ICC as the best 20-over squad in the world.

South Africa are rated the better of the two when it comes to 50-over cricket and if recent past form is a true indicator, they have the upper hand, having won four of the last five ODI matches.

The second ODI is in a day and South Africa might be buoyed by a series win with the last match as a dead rubber, rather than do-or-die.

The first ODI found Australia wanting for a partnership to complement that of Steve Smith and Marnus Labuschagne. They stood for 84 in the third wicket at Paarl.

The Baggy Green need Alex Carey to play a vital role in the middle order, but since he was moved from opening, where he has played most of his T20 cricket, he has failed to surpass 50 in his last four ODI innings.

For the next ODI, South Africa are expected to stand pat with the side that won the first match.

Australia, on the other hand, have some jiggering to do.

Australia combined Mitchell Marsh and D’Arcy Short to bowl and each conceded 35 runs to South Africa from five overs.

They might consider Ashton Agar, as he was the leading wicket taker in the T20 series.