Clash of the Titans
The Australian summer is here and it could not have started better with two cricketing giants Australia and South Africa locking horns in a T20 series which is set to commence on 05th Nov 2014. T20s in Australia have a different aura about it in the way that the grounds are huge in size and this gives an equal chance to the bowlers as the mis-hits more often than not finds the fielder. Also a score of 180+ on these grounds are difficult to achieve.
Australia would like to forget the dreadful Test series against Pak in UAE which they lost 2-0 but they would like to believe that it had more to do with the alien conditions rather than the quality of side. The loss should not wander in the minds of Australians given that no one from current T20 squad was a part of the test squad in UAE. South Africa on the contrary should be filled with confidence after winning last five one day series, which included a win in tri series which included Australia and Zimbawe, and claiming zenith of the ODI rankings. But all the past records and form won’t matter much when these two giants lock horns in a T20 international starting Wednesday.
With 50 over world cup just 3 months away both the sides have decided to rest key players in T20s. Talking about the squads for the T20 series, both the teams are depleted and without the conventional names in the squads. Here are both the squads :-
Australia Twenty20 squad: Aaron Finch (capt), Sean Abbott, Doug Bollinger, Cameron Boyce, Patrick Cummins, Ben Cutting, Ben Dunk (wk), James Faulkner (chosen subject to Pakistan Test series selection), Nic Maddinson, Nathan Reardon, Kane Richardson, Shane Watson, Cameron White.
South AfricaT20s JP Duminy (capt), Kyle Abbott, Farhaan Behardien, Quinton de Kock, Marchant de Lange, Reeza Hendricks, Imran Tahir, Ryan McLaren, David Miller, Wayne Parnell, Aaron Phangiso, Kagiso Rabada, Rilee Rossouw, David Wiese
While the Aussies are with their regular captain Aaron Finch, made captain after Bailey stepped down, Proteas are without the services of their regular captain Faf Du Plesis and JP Duminy has been given the responsibility to lead this young side.
Big plus for the Aussies is that Shane Watson is back in the side after calf injury but it will be interesting to see his batting position in the game on Wednesday. Ben Dunk came into side at the back of 229 he clobbered in a domestic match recently while White and Reardon too were picked on the same basis. Other than this other players are mostly the ones who have performed consistently in the domestic T20 competition BBL. Ben Cutting will be the player to watch out for because of his allround ability to bowl and also provide an impetus while batting through his lusty blows. Doug Bollinger and Pat Cummins are the two pacers heading the bowling department. It is interesting to note that Coulter Nile was ignored by the selectors for the T20 squad because of the busy schedule ahead and wanted to rest him before the series against India and world cup gets under way.
South Africans on the other hand are without the services of five key players – AB Devilliers, Hashim Amla, Faf Du Plesis, Morne Morkel and Dale Steyn – selecting a side of youngsters. The players to watch out for them are Quinton De Kock who has stamped his authority as a batsmen in the limited overs format and is one of the finest wicket keeper batsmen in the business. David Miller is another player to watch out for and a kind who can win the game for his team single handedly with his clean stroke play and long hits down the ground. A surprise selection though is Farhan Behardien who has not looked comfortable in this format of the game.
The pitch and ground :
Grounds in Australia are traditionally huge in size and one needs to have timing or muscle power to score half a dozen on these grounds.
Only one T20 international is played on this ground between Australia and England and it was a close affair with England winning that match by one wicket chasing a score of 158 runs. However, if we look at the team total in latest BBL season they are 159-149-129-155 which indicates that it is not a high scoring ground. Also Adelaide Oval is the only ground in Australia known for its turning surface.
The Odds :
Market is expecting Australia to thrash South Africa in this series opener and have a price 1.66 while Africans are 2.20. Given the scores of new comers in South African line up the price is justified and Australia seems good to come on top in this fixture.
Past records and Trivia :
When we look at the past records it is skewed in favour of the Aussies as they won 7 of the 11 T20s played between the two teams. Australia also won the T20 series against proteas in South Africa by a margin of 2-0 last year.
Among all these you can be assured of a cracking contest between the two teams even with the depleted sides.
Check out the Schedule for the tour –> HERE