South Africa v Australia 1st ODI Tips, Predictions and Preview

Gary Emmerson:
Steve Smith Cricket ODI

A 2-1 scoreline from the T20Is doesn’t tell the entire story as Australia dominated South Africa completely, and the teams now move to the three-match ODI series which starts at Bolan Park in Paarl on Saturday.

Australia have a poor recent record in this format and against South Africa in South Africa. That means there is hope for the hosts if they can play their cards well.


Match Preview

Over-dependence on Quinton de Kock proved to be fatal for South Africa, as the search for consistency continues. With the ODI side still without Faf du Plessis, it will be de Kock at the forefront again. All eyes will be on Rassie van der Dussen, who has made a name with a string of substantial scores in ODIs – seven 50+ scores in 16 ODI innings.

With Kagiso Rabada returning, South Africa’s bowling unit looks stronger as the likes of Anrich Nortje and Lungi Ngidi keen to prove their worth. Unless promise turns to performances, though, South Africa will not be well-served.

Australia’s top-three David Warner, Aaron Finch and Steve Smith made light work of the Proteas in the T20Is. They will again be at the centre of Australia’s batting, even as Marnus Labuschagne joins the squad. The addition of Mitchell Marsh gives a new dimension to the Aussies, thanks to his all-round abilities.

It is with the ball that the Australians bear a deadly look – any outfit that boasts Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood and Adam Zampa will be tough to work against.

Match Up

South Africa have shown the good, the bad and the ugly part of their game in the T20Is. Batting looks undercooked with the side heavily reliant on de Kock’s runs. Bowling is slightly better, although the lack of a proper spinner could be a problem for their ambitions. Australia, on the other hand, have a well-balanced squad that looks well covered in all aspects. The visitors start as favourites and should fancy their chances of a win.

History & Statistics

  • South Africa have won 7 of their last 8 completed home ODIs.
  • South Africa have won 5 of their last 6 ODIs played at this venue.
  • The chasing side has won four of South Africa’s six ODIs at this venue.
  • Australia have lost 11 of their last 16 overseas ODIs (not including the neutral venues).
  • Australia have lost their last five H2H ODIs in South Africa and have lost eight of their last nine H2H matches.

Key Players

Kagiso Rabada is coming back after a bout of injury-induced break, but looked in great form in the third T20I. Can he build up on that and lead from the front?

Mitchell Starc should enjoy bowling with the new ball, especially if he gets a chance to do it under the lights. His skills at both ends of the innings makes him a vital part of Australia’s charge.