After a largely one-sided T20 series, South Africa and Australia now turn their attentions to the 50 over format where the two teams play the first of three ODIs in Paarl on Saturday with each looking to go one up with two to play.
Australia came out on top in that T20 series and if they can leave South Africa with the ODIs up their sleeve too that will count as a successful couple of weeks. South Africa are in transition but they need to start winning soon.
It will have come as a bit of a shock to South Africa how easily they lost that T20 series and it will be interesting to see how they bounce back from that. This is probably a better format for them at the minute as they are a team in transition and looking at their options. You can get away with that in the 50 over sphere but everyone needs to connect in the 20 over game. The fact that this series offers little in the way of context also helps.
I think South Africa will always offer up a competitive showing with the ball, whether in transition or not, but the batting needs a bit of work. We saw that in the World Cup when they could hardly put up anything resembling a competitive total. It wasn’t a whole lot better in the series with England recently either so that is where their work needs to be in the months and years to come before the next World Cup.
After a disappointing end to their World Cup campaign Australia have hit the ground running in their limited overs cricket and they look to be building a daunting side both in the 20 over sphere and this 50 over one. They are not only playing well and getting results but they are building a nice depth to their squad, so even if they pick up injuries they are not going to be too badly hampered and that is never a bad place to be.
Much like their opponents here, Australia are rarely going to be indifferent with the ball because the options they have in their bowling attack are of a very good level. There are options within them as well. The big turnaround since that World Cup though is they have a settled and high class batting line up. In that World Cup if their top three didn’t deliver you didn’t think anyone else would. That isn’t the case now.
South Africa are going to be without their lynchpin with the ball in Kagiso Rabada as he is injured. Temba Bavuma has recovered from what kept him out of the T20 series so he is available here. Kyle Verreynne could come in for his debut.
Australia are unlikely to make too many changes from their last ODI unless they want to freshen up after the T20 series. Marnus Labagchagne will come in from the team that played in the T20s but other than that there is a continuity between formats for Australia now.
This is usually a decent ground for batting but I’m not convinced this South Africa side can score runs against this Australia attack so the 559.5 runs line that has been set for this match looks a little on the high side to me. If we was to say the ceiling for South Africa was 250 then Australia would need to put up more than 300 in the first innings and I’m not convinced that is happening either so I do like the under here.
This Australia bowling attack doesn’t concede many runs and the South Africa batting runs out far too high up for my liking so although conditions might allow for a high scoring match, I’m not sure this Australia team does. South Africa will be competitive enough with the ball especially when Tabraiz Shamsi has it in his hand. All in all I don’t see there being as many as 560 runs in this opening game.
WON – Back Under 559.5 runs for a 4/10 stake at 1.85 with Betway