Usually when Australia play South Africa, it will be an entertaining affair. Regardless of the context of this 2019 ICC World Cup (WC), this last league match between the two great rivals is expected to be entertaining.
Australia are eyeing that win which will give them top-of-the-table spot. More than that, they will remain in Manchester to play the semi-final. South Africa will hope to end a disappointing campaign on a high.
The loss to India remains Australia’s only blemish this tournament. With a batting unit pivoted around David Warner and Aaron Finch, they have been scoring runs freely. Concerns remain over their middle-over slowing down, but for now Australia are top of their game.
Australian pacers led by Mitchell Starc (24 wickets, ER 5.01) have been relentless with their pressure. Pat Cummins and Jason Behrendorff have also chipped in. The addition of Nathan Lyon to the line-up has given them extra stability.
South Africa Preview
A professional display against Sri Lanka has given hopes that South Africa have finally arrived. Although too late, the Proteas will hope to dominate their old rivals Australia. The rebuilding of the side will begin after the tournament, but for now they will look for a perfect finale.
Rassie van der Dussen has been their only consistent performer. Quinton de Kock and Hashim Amla will look to put some runs on the board that could prove beneficial.
Fantasy Players to Watch
Mitchell Starc has been sensational with 24 wickets to his name. Another three will make him overtake Glenn McGrath’s record of 26 in 2007.
David Warner has three 50s and two 100s to his name this tournament for a total of 516 runs. His SR is also showing signs of improvement.
Faf du Plessis loves a challenge and playing against Australia could bring the best out of the South African captain.
Glenn Maxwell’s injury remains their only concern.
Australia: 1 David Warner 2 Aaron Finch (C) 3 Usman Khawaja 4 Steve Smith 5 Peter Handscomb 6 Marcus Stoinis 7 Alex Carey (WK) 8 Pat Cummins 9 Mitchell Starc 10 Nathan Lyon 11 Jason Behrendorff
South Africa are likely to retain their playing XI.
South Africa: 1 Quinton de Kock (WK) 2 Hashim Amla 3 Aiden Markram 4 Faf du Plessis (C) 5 Rassie van der Dussen 6 JP Duminy 7 Andile Phehlukwayo 8 Dwaine Pretorius 9 Chris Morris 10 Kagiso Rabada 11 Imran Tahir
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