John Hastings will have to step up with the ball if Australia have to level the series    Getty Images
John Hastings will have to step up with the ball if Australia have to level the series Getty Images

South Africa defeated Australia in the first of the five One-Day Internationals (ODIs) by 6 wickets to take a 1-0 lead in the series. Chasing 295 to win, Australian bowlers were outplayed by South Africa s wicketkeeper-batsman, Quinton De Kock, whose century made things easy for the hosts chasing a daunting total. With the second ODI being played at New Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg, Australia will have to battle it hard to come back into the series before letting the hosts consolidate with their lead. Here s Aditya Sahay s possible XI with which Steven Smith may come out to the field: Full Cricket Scorecard, South Africa vs Australia, 2nd ODI, Johannesburg

Top-order: It is needless to ponder upon the fact as to who will open for Australia. David Warner and Aaron Finch form a dangerous pair against any side and will continue to take strides when Australia come out to bat. Both complement each other quite well in the middle and got to starts in the series opener. While Warner made 40 off 36 balls, Finch departed before making 33 off 28 deliveries. Australia will hope their opening pair takes them to a good start and consolidates from thereon. Smith will come at No. 3 and like to go about his business in the usual way where he keeps the scoreboard ticking. He failed in the first ODI and will be expected to bounce back.

Middle-order: Australia have a strong middle-order with George Bailey coming at No. 4. Bailey has been Australia s leading run-scorer in the calendar year and his consistent performances hold the team in good stead for the crucial middle-overs. There can be a toss between Mitchell Marsh and Travis Head as to who will come at No. 5. In the first ODI, it was Marsh who was sent in ahead but Head did well at the same position in Sri Lanka. Marsh can fill in as a finisher but that will depend solely on Australia s strategy. Australia s wicketkeeper-batsman, Matthew Wade, will come at No. 7 who can smack the white ball hard into the stands.

Lower-order: John Hastings was the second highest scorer from the visitors camp in the first ODI and will bat at No. 8. He can be followed by the same line-up from the first ODI with Adam Zampa, Daniel Worrall and Scott Boland following him. Australia have dependable batters till No. 8 position and want to capitalise without giving chance to their bowlers with the willow.

Bowlers: Australian bowlers were not consistent with their lengths and wicket-to-wicket bowling and they paid the price as de Kock and Rilee Rossouw hammered them in all parts of the ground. Hastings has been Australia s most improved and best bowler in 50-overs format and will have to take more responsibility with the ball. All Australian bowlers were expensive and will have to bounce back stronger if they do not want to concede the second match as well.

Worrall was the least expensive of the lot but still had an economy rate of over 6.5. Boland was the leading wicket-taker with three scalps but he too conceded over 7 an over. Zampa is Australia s only option in spin and will be vital for them. Zampa will be supported by Head as he has been given the ball a lot in the past few matches. Marsh is Australia s fourth seamer and will be handy in the middle-overs. The pressure is certainly on Australia as they are without the services of Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood.

If Australia continues with their lackluster performance with the ball, the team management and selectors will again face the heat of resting their key bowlers on an important tour. Smith was also rested from the middle of Sri Lanka tour faced lot of criticism for that. For that not to repeat again, Australian bowlers will have to press hard against South Africa, who are also without regular skipper and swashbuckling batsman, AB de Villiers.

Australia likely XI against South Africa, 2nd ODI: Aaron Finch, David Warner, Steven Smith (c), George Bailey, Travis Head, Matthew Wade (wk), Mitchell Marsh, John Hastings, Adam Zampa, Scott Boland, Daniel Worrall

(Aditya Sahay is a journalist with CricketCountry who is completely into sports and loves writing about cricket in general. He can be followed on Twitter at adisahay7)