South Africa look to resurrect
It was a close match in Perth on Friday than the Scorecard suggested as Australia wind up the game abruptly. The 2nd ODI which is again to be played at Perth is set to be an interesting match again with the firepower both the teams.
For Australia all the batsman chipped in with starts but it was George Bailey who got the innings back on track with his 70 runs. Now that he is set to captain the side in the 2nd ODI because of absence of Michael Clarke owing to an injury he has a major role to play. The depth of Australian batting was tremendous, which was evident as Maxwell came in at 8, and even after being 5 down they managed to put up a total of 300 and only one batsman scored a half century. However, the worrisome aspect of their batting was that none of the batsman, who got starts, go on to get a big score and at one stage they were 5 down within 30 overs.
Conversely, South Africa batting is shallow and after being 5 down the team crumbled to defeat in no time. McLaren is batting a position too high. Taking a look at his batting records he has scored 471 runs in the 39 innings that he played and strike rate, at this batting position, is 70 which is unacceptable. South Africa needs a batting all rounder at that position rather a bowling. Also questionable is the place for Farhan Behardein in the team who has just a sole half century in the 12 matches he has played. He has not looked comfortable in the international arena and it is time that South Africa gets a look at other players now that World Cup is approaching and there is not much room for manoeuvre in the team composition. Another concern for the team is the dropped catches which was unlike South Africa and they surely will rectify this as they have an image of a good fielding team and was probably just an off day for them.
With Michael Clarke’s injury now there is room for Steve Smith in the team who performed well in the team’s UAE tour. Such is the solidity of the Australian line up that Steve Smith was not able to firm up his place despite his performance in UAE. Other than that there are no changes expected in the team for Australia.
Australia (possible) 1 Aaron Finch, 2 David Warner, 3 Shane Watson, 4 Steven Smith, 5 George Bailey (capt), 6 Mitchell Marsh, 7 Glenn Maxwell, 8 Matthew Wade (wk), 9 Mitchell Johnson, 10 Nathan Coulter-Nile, 11 Josh Hazlewood.
For South Africa, Farhan Behardien is expected to make way for Roussouw while other players will probably retain their place.
South Africa (possible) 1 Hashim Amla, 2 Quinton de Kock (wk), 3 Faf du Plessis, 4 AB de Villiers (capt), 5 Rilee Rossouw, 6 David Miller, 7 Ryan McLaren, 8 Vernon Philander, 9 Dale Steyn, 10 Morne Morkel, 11 Imran Tahir.
Indispensible Players :
Steve Smith who is to return to the side after Michael Clarke’s injury is set to be an indispensible player for the Australian given the form he is in and his ability to play an anchor role as well as provide an impetus whenever required. He plays well against both spin and pace. His outlook as a batsman is that of an aggressive one and add to that the handy leg spinners he bowls it is a great package.
Hashim Amla, who has the onus of providing good starts at the top is indispensible to the plans of South Africa to go in with shallow batting depth. His solidity and ability to play huge innings is required by South Africa. This is bolstered by the fact that of the 16 centuries he has scored, South Africa have won in 15 of them and his average in the matches won by South Africa is 69.01. This will also be the 100th ODI for him.
The pitch at Perth in the first ODI was a bouncy one as expected and it is tipped to be the same in the 2nd ODI. It was only the 2nd defeat for South Africa at Perth of the 11 matches they played here and will surely keep that to two defeats when they take the field on Sunday.
The Odds :
Australia are 1.66 to win this ODI and rightly so given the balance of their side. But South Africa is not weak team as they showed in the first ODI and are looking good to win the 2nd ODI. So we are recommending to back South Africa at these prices.