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[Preview] Australia Tour of South Africa 2020

As Australia hit the road again, David Warner and Steve Smith are part of the setup that head into hostile territory for a combined six-match T20 International and ODI series starting in Johannesburg on Friday.   

It’s a well-known fact that South African fans are passionate and vocal and have already gotten under the skin of the English - including a well-documented run-in with Ben Stokes recently. It is not going to be easy for these two either since both were central to the ball tampering ‘Sandpapergate’ scandal in the Cape Town Test in March 2018 that led to a 1-year Cricket Australia ban.

Coach Justin Langer though has hailed their "brilliant reintegration" into the national team, and suggests that last year's tour to England had been a "great dress rehearsal" ahead of their South African return for the first time since the controversy. He says that he aims to use the tour to identify the best side for this year's T20 World Cup which the Australians will be desperate to win on home soil. 

FACT: The T20 World Cup is the only major cricketing trophy to have eluded Australia thus far.

South Africa have included Faf du Plessis who earlier on Monday stepped down from the captaincy, Kagiso Rabada, and Anrich Nortje to the 16-man squad - the trios last international cricket was during the Test series against England in South Africa which was won 3-1 by the visitors. They were rested for the subsequent limited-overs series and now return in the place of Reeza Hendricks, Beuran Hendricks, and Sisanda Magala.

No international return for AB de Villiers though even after he  openly spoke about his strong desire to return to the national side for the T20 World Cup. The selectors, deviating from a gripping script, opted against a recall with head coach, Mark Boucher, ahem, making it clear that he needs to prove himself first. 

Head to Head

Twenty20 Internationals (Since 2006)
Total - 18

Australia - 11
South Africa - 7
First Match: Australia won by 95 runs at Brisbane Cricket Ground, Woolloongabba, Brisbane, January 09, 2006
Last Match: South Africa won by 21 runs at Carrara Stadium, Gold Coast on Nov. 17, 2018

One Day Internationals (Since 1992)
Total - 100
Australia - 49
South Africa - 47
Tied - 3
NR - 1
First Match: ICC World Cup 1992; South Africa win by 9 wickets at Sydney Cricket Ground, February 26, 1992 (d/n)
Last Match: 45th match in ICC World Cup 2019; South Africa won by 10 runs at Old Trafford, Manchester on Jul 6, 2019

FIXTURES

T20Is

 

ODIs

Schedule Courtesy - Cricket Australia

TEAMS

  • Fielded a largely experimental side for the three matches in the just concluded T20 series against England which they lost in a closely fought 1-2 
  • have opted to inject experience against the Aussies - Dale Steyn being the other notable inclusion
  • batsmen stood out in the T20I series against England, posting totals above 200 twice in their three innings
  • uncapped batsman Pite van Biljon retained in the squad after not making an appearance during the recently-concluded series
  • left-arm spinner Bjorn Fortuin handed another opportunity to impress after making his international debut in the past week

T20 SQUAD
Quinton de Kock (c), Temba Bavuma, Faf du Plessis, Rassie van der Dussen, David Miller, Pite van Biljon, Dwaine Pretorius, Andile Phehlukwayo, Jon-Jon Smuts, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, Lungi Ngidi, Bjorn Fortuin, Anrich Nortje, Dale Steyn and Heinrich Klaasen


  • suffered an early injury blow with allrounder Glenn Maxwell ruled out with a left elbow injury
  • D'Arcy Short called in for both T20I and ODI squads 
  • reigning BBL Player of the Tournament Marcus Stoinis overlooked
  • a more or less settled side for this year's T20 World Cup, but the role of batting finisher is what the tour will firm up
T20 SQUAD
Aaron Finch (c), Sean Abbott, Ashton Agar, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins, Mitch Marsh, Jhye Richardson, Kane Richardson, D'Arcy Short, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Matthew Wade, David Warner and Adam Zampa


ODI SQUAD
Aaron Finch (c), Ashton Agar, Alex Carey (vc), Pat Cummins (vc), Josh Hazlewood, Marnus Labuschagne, Mitch Marsh, Kane Richardson, D'Arcy Short, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Matthew Wade, David Warner and Adam Zampa

The Aussies, probably the strongest squad in years across all formats, last featured in a T20I series in November 2019 against Pakistan. They secured that quite convincingly 2-0 but lost their most recent ODI series against India 2-1. 

 
Sources - Cricket Australia, CSA & Fox Sports | Featured Image Credit - Willow TV