David Warner helped Australia get a fiery start in the first One-Day International (ODI) © Getty Images
David Warner helped Australia get a fiery start in the first One-Day International (ODI) © Getty Images

By Sandipan Banerjee

Nov 15, 2014

Australia started their all important 2014-15 home season well as they won the T20 International (T20I) series 2-1 against the South Africans and took 1-0 lead in the five match One Day International (ODI) series on Friday. But during the course of their 32 run victory in the first ODI at Perth, the hosts lost the services of their regular captain Clarke, due to a hamstring injury.

Now on Sunday, at the same venue the Australians will take on the South Africans under the leadership of George Bailey, who has already captained the ODI team 20 times before and looking at Clarke’s fitness problems, he might end up captaining Australia’s World Cup team as well.

In the first game, Australia’s power-packed batting line-up showed what they are capable of. Against a strong South African bowling on a bouncy track, the hosts made a huge score batting first. Though all of their power players did not click, but still they reached the 300 mark, which once again showed the depth of the Aussies batting. In the second game they would like to continue the momentum against the Proteas which they got since the second T20I. Steve Smith will take Clarke place. There are no more changes expected in the team.

South Africa on the other hand will be looking for a comeback in the series. In the current tour of Down under their performance was patchy so far. AB de Villiers, the recently declared ODI player of year is expecting more consistency from his boys. On Friday apart from Vernon Philander, most of his other bowlers were expensive on a helpful track. The fielders also dropped crucial catches. Their openers and lower middle order failed to contribute with bat. So the visitors need to fix many things before the second game of the series.

Last time when these two teams met in Zimbabwe tri series, South African top order batsmen like Hashim Amla, Faf du Plessis, de Villiers scored heavily and if they want to topple Australia on their own backyard they need to contribute with bat against Mitchell Johnson, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Kane Richardson etc. Amla will be playing his 100th ODI on Sunday, so he would like to have happy memories of his milestone game.

Ryan McLaren’s poor show with ball and ball may force Wayne Parnell in the team. Parnell bowled well in the T20 series and he can be handy on the WACA wicket. Rilee Rossouw was in top form in the T20s and might get a look in. On that case Farhaan Behardien has to sacrifice his place. The game is expected to be another close contest between two teams who fought many memorable battles in past.

Squads:

South Africa: AB de Villiers (c), Hashim Amla, Kyle Abbott, Quinton de Kock (wk), Faf du Plessis, Farhaan Behardien, Imran Tahir, Ryan McLaren, David Miller, Morne Morkel, Wayne Parnell, Aaron Phangiso, Vernon Philander, Rilee Rossouw, Dale Steyn.

Australia: George Bailey (c), Nathan Coulter-Nile, Aaron Finch, Josh Hazlewood, Mitchell Johnson, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Kane Richardson, Steve Smith, Matthew Wade (wk), David Warner, Shane Watson.

Time: 11:20 local | 03:20 GMT | 08:50 IST

(Sandipan Banerjee is a reporter at CricketCountry. Cricket has been the biggest passion for him since his childhood. So, when it came to choosing his career, he chose to turn his passion into his profession. Apart from cricket he likes mountain trekking, river rafting and photography. His twitter handle is @im_sandipan)