Contrasting wins in the first two T20Is between South Africa and Australia means the series is 1-1 heading into the finale at Newlands in Cape Town.
South Africa will hope that the home series loss to England last time around can be avenged here, while Australia will look to continue their streak of three series wins on the trot.
It was a complete annihilation at Johannesburg for the Proteas, who lost by 107 runs. That they could bounce back and win the second T20I by 12 runs is a tribute to their mental strength. South Africa’s chances will once again be dependent on their captain Quinton de Kock (72 runs, SR 144.00).
That said, South Africa will be desperate for the likes of Rassie van der Dussen and Faf du Plessis to step up the plate. Dale Steyn could be slotted back into the playing XI as part of the rotation, while Tabraiz Shamsi and Kagiso Rabada will be looking to get into the groove.
Australia may have lost the second match, but they were so close to making it 2-0. David Warner (71 runs, SR 122.41) and Steve Smith (74 runs, SR 127.58) continue to be their best bets to lead the charge. In fact, either Smith or Warner has top-scored for Australia in six of the last seven completed T20Is.
Although Ashton Agar surprised everyone with his five-wicket haul in the first match, it will be Adam Zampa (three wickets, ER 7.07) and Pat Cummins (three, ER 7.33) who will be key to Australia’s chances. Kane Richardson’s timely return to form is another big boost for the visitors.
South Africa have lost only of their last eight matches at this venue in all formats, but have struggled in T20Is losing six of nine matches. They have lost to Australia in both the T20Is played here, so history is definitely against them. The over-dependence on Quinton de Kock’s batting could prove counterproductive, although the South African captain has been supremely consistent. Australia have been dependent on the trio of Finch, Warner and Smith for their runs, but hope that the others can rally around. Bowling has been a bit disciplined and complete. All in all, it is the visitors who should fancy their chances of running away with the series.
History & Statistics
- South Africa haven’t won consecutive home T20Is against Australia since March 2009.
Eleven of the last 14 H2Hs at all venues have been won by the chasing side, although the three exceptions have come in their latest fixtures.
South Africa have won only two of their nine T20Is at this venue.
Australia have won their last three T20I series.Australia have won their last five T20Is at this venue, all while chasing.
Lungi Ngidi has been in cracking form for South Africa since coming back from injury. He has been their best bowler in four of the last five T20Is and will once again be crucial for their chances.
Steve Smith was brilliant in the field in the second T20I making some acrobatic saves. He will, however, feel that runs are due from his bat in this series finale.