The Australians will be up against the Proteas playing a three-match  T20Is series away at the latter’s home  © Getty Images
The Australians will be up against the Proteas playing a three-match T20Is series away at the latter’s home © Getty Images

After what started as a decent start to the year for Australia in the One-Day Internationals (ODIs) in the world and quickly turned into an unpleasant beginning in the Twenty20 (T20) format of the game, losing 3-0 to India at home, Australia are now looking forward to the ICC World T20 2016 with high hopes. For a team not-so-successful in the T20 format of the game in terms of the success they have achieved, the T20 series against South Africa will be just the right time to find the correct balance and form ahead of the all-awaited ICC tournament. Not just that, but adjusting to conditions which Captain Steve Smith expects will be according to those in the sub-continent will be a huge task, yet one to watch out for. FULL CRICKET SCORECARD: South Africa vs Australia, 1st T20I at Durban

The Australians will be up against the Proteas playing a three-match Twenty20 Internationals (T20Is) series away at the latter’s home. The series will be crucial for both the teams, more so for Australia because of their side’s need to step up and win the only trophy that is missing in the Australian trophy cabinet.

In the squad named for Australia, the burden of responsibility heavily relies on the all-rounders. The players like Shane Watson, Mitchell Marsh and James Faulkner will hold key according to Smith. The skipper believes more all-rounders in the team playing well, will make the team more adaptable and flexible. True. It is always an asset to have options to choose from, but provided options are delivering performances.

In spite of Australia’s problem facing spin and their poor show with the bat in the sub-continent pitches against spin, Glenn Maxwell’s confidence in the top-order shows their desire to battle it out in conditions which are ‘foreign’ to the Australians. Most importantly, Maxwell would himself not like to give his wicket away coming down the track, getting beaten by the ball and then being stumped, that too, to a part-timer like Yuvraj Singh. I think he would have learnt his lessons there. On a funnier note, Yuvraj loves being called “Pie chucker”.

Meanwhile it will be interesting to see how the Australian batting faces Imran Tahir’s spin who has a knack of taking wickets for his team as and whenever required. Remember Tahir isn’t afraid to toss the ball up and flight it in the air and definitely loves celebrating a wicket (as his victory runs often indicate). But the Australian top-order is experienced and capable enough to get on top of him, and if not him then they can certainly look to score big off JP Duminy. The likes of David Warner, Steve Smith and Usman Khwaja will have to adjust accordingly however the pitch turns out to be – dry or hard. But yes, if the pitches are according to their requirements they should try to spend more time at the crease and then capitalise further, rather than giving their wicket cheaply.

The bowling department consisting of Josh Hazlewood, Nathan Coulter Nile and John Hastings will be ready to give it all they have and show intent by picking up wickets. They will be hoping to give a bidding farewell to their bowling coach Craig McDermott who has decided to leave his job at the end of the World T20 in India. Ashton Agar and Adam Zampa will be the spinning options that Australia could use on turning wickets. And remember, Agar can bat a bit too.

Nonetheless, South Africa are playing superb cricket. Kyle Abott will be up and running against the Australians, supported equally well by Kagiso Rabada. All-rounders Chris Morris and David Wiese will be ready to contribute both with ball and bat as and when required. And the batting line-up of AB De Villiers, Hashim Amla, Faf Du Plessis and JP Duminy will leave no stone unturned to continue their T-20 form. Yes, South Africa are coming after a 2-0 win and will be more confident than Australia walking into the series but it doesn’t take time to turn the tide especially in the shorter format of this lovely game.

It can be believed even if Australia don’t get the conditions they are hopeful off, they should seek to win anyhow because a win in bag ahead of the ICC World T20 2016 will give them the necessary momentum and belief they so badly need. And if that belief can be reborn somehow from a close-win or a collective team-effort win or by individual brilliance then this Australian side can be lethal and difficult to beat even in sub-continent conditions.