April 9, 2009
Start time 2.30pm (12.30GMT)
Two one-sided contests in the first two matches, one to Australia and one to South Africa, means it’s impossible to predict what will happen from game to game. With each alternating result the No. 1 ODI ranking has switched hands and it’s starting to look like a booby prize that neither side wants to hold on to. But the individual matches mean little in terms of the ranking - whichever team wins the series finishes on top.
The most notable feature of the results has been the way the series in South Africa has mirrored the contest in Australia. On both tours the visitors won the first two Tests before losing the third; on both tours the hosts triumphed in the two Twenty20 internationals; and on both tours the visiting team won the opening ODI and then lost the second. If the trend continues, Australia are destined to round out their trip with three more ODI wins just as Johan Botha’s men did in Australia in January.
Form guide (last five ODIs, most recent first)
South Africa WLWWW
Watch out for
The biggest surprise out of the Centurion match was how dangerous Wayne Parnell can be with the new ball. His early swing and accuracy was the key reason Australia’s top order collapsed and he was named the Man of the Match in his second one-day international. As a left-armer he adds variety to an already dangerous South African attack and he has the potential to be a useful allrounder, although his batting is yet to be seen at international level.
Another fresh face in this series is Callum Ferguson, who is only six matches into his ODI career but already is building a reputation as Australia’s middle-order stabiliser. He was the only one of the specialist batsmen to shine in Centurion, where his 50 saved Australia from an even more embarrassing result, and he performed a similar steadying role against New Zealand at the Gabba. The mature, level-headed approach is a positive sign as Australia go through some enforced restructuring of their batting line-up.
Given his powerful record in Cape Town, Makhaya Ntini will come into the calculations for South Africa but it’s hard to see where he can fit into a side whose attack was so dominant in the previous game. The South Africans also sprung a surprise in Centurion by dropping Hashim Amla despite his recent strong one-day form. But again, it’s difficult to justify changes to a team that has just won a match with nearly half its overs remaining.
South Africa squad Graeme Smith (capt), Herschelle Gibbs, Hashim Amla, AB de Villiers, Jacques Kallis, JP Duminy, Vaughn van Jaarsveld, Mark Boucher (wk), Roelof van der Merwe, Albie Morkel, Morne Morkel, Johan Botha, Dale Steyn, Wayne Parnell, Makhaya Ntini.
Australia were considering changes to the side that went down by seven wickets in Centurion, although they were waiting until seeing the Newlands pitch on the morning of the game before making a decision. The bowlers didn’t disgrace themselves in the second match - they barely had a chance to - so Brett Geeves could struggle to force his way in. But after such a dismal batting display Marcus North and Cameron White will be mentioned as potential middle-order replacements.
Australia squad Michael Clarke, Brad Haddin (wk), Ricky Ponting (capt), Michael Hussey, David Hussey, Callum Ferguson, Marcus North, James Hopes, Cameron White, Mitchell Johnson, Nathan Hauritz, Brett Geeves, Nathan Bracken, Ben Laughlin.
Stats and Trivia
- On Australia’s last tour of South Africa in 2005-06 they were routed for 93 in the ODI at Newlands, where Makhaya Ntini took 6 for 22
- Ricky Ponting didn’t play that match and only three of Australia’s current touring party took part: Michael Clarke, Michael Hussey and Nathan Bracken
- Ntini, who may or may not play, has featured in 10 ODIs at Newlands and has a remarkable record of 27 wickets at 10.14 at the venue
“It’s been a hard three or four months against Australia and it’s been really competitive. Hopefully, starting tomorrow, we can turn things around and change the hoodoo.”
Graeme Smith wants the mirror image of results from the Australian series to end
“There are not many of us who have that memory. I won’t mention that game around the squad before tomorrow.”
Ricky Ponting on the last time Australia played an ODI in Cape Town, when they lost by 196 runs
Source:Cricket NewsMore on:Australia, Graeme Smith, Ricky Ponting, South Africa
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Post InfoThis entry was posted on Friday, April 10th, 2009 and is filed under General, Cricket.
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