Preview: Injury-stricken Australia takes on South Africa in first ODI

Australian captain Michael Clarke hoped both Shaun marsh and Shane Watson would be available for the first One-Day International provided they are fit Getty Images

By CricketCountry Staff

Centurion: Oct 19, 2011

Ahead of the first One-Day International (ODI) against South Africa, Australian team is sweating over the fitness of some of its key players in limited-overs cricket.

All-rounder Shane Watson missed Sunday’s final Twenty20 due to a hip strain, while Marsh picked up a shoulder injury while fielding in the T20 match.

Both Watson and Marsh are doubtful starters for the first match at Centurion but the Aussie skipper Michael Clarke is still hopeful of their availability ahead of the first ODI clash.

Clarke was quoted in Adelaide Now as saying, “They’re definitely still a chance and we’re going to give them every chance as well, we won’t pick our team until tomorrow morning (South African time) which allows the guys to get plenty of treatment today,” said Clarke yesterday.

“If they want to have a run around, whatever the physio thinks is best for their preparation, we’ll allow them to do that today and we’ll see how they pull up tomorrow.

“Another 24 hours will hopefully give them a bit more time to make the right decision, hopefully they’re both fit but if they’re not I think it’s very important we make a smart decision knowing there are three one-dayers and then two Test matches.

“Both of those guys are very important in both forms of the game for us.”

Clarke said Australia were comfortable in their preparation for the new rules.

“It might change a few little things, obviously opening the batting now with two new balls if there’s a little bit in the wicket or under lights you might have to be a little bit more patient up the top of the innings,” he said.

“But knowing you’ve got two new balls they’ll stay quite hard throughout the whole match which I thinks through the middle and at the back end you’ll still be able to score quite freely.”

Squads:

Australia (probables): Michael Clarke (c), Doug Bollinger, Pat Cummins, Xavier Doherty, Brad Haddin (wk), Mike Hussey, Mitchell Johnson, Shaun Marsh, Mitchell Marsh, James Pattinson, Ricky Ponting, Steven Smith, David Warner, Shane Watson, Cameron White.

South Africa (probables): Hashim Amla (c), Johan Botha, Mark Boucher(wk), JP Duminy, Faf du Plessis, Imran Tahir, Jacques Kallis, David Miller, Morne Morkel, Wayne Parnell, Robin Peterson, Graeme Smith, Dale Steyn, Lonwabo Tsotsobe.

Time: 14 30 local (18 00 IST)