Australia are the No 1 team in this format at present while South Africa are at the third spot © Getty Images
Australia are the No 1 team in this format at present while South Africa are at the third spot © Getty Images

By Rajarshi Majumdar

Aug 26, 2014

Australia clinched a massive victory against Zimbabwe in the opening game of the triangular series against Zimbabwe at the Harare Sports Club on Monday. Australia posted their highest ever total against Zimbabwe in One-Day International’s (ODIs). They set a target of 351 runs which was a huge mountain to climb for the hosts. They failed abjectly. Now, the visitors will take on South Africa on Wednesday.

On the other hand, South Africa have been in flying form ever since their tour to Sri Lanka, last month. They defeated the Lankans in their backyard, both in the Test and One-Day series. Proteas also defeated Zimbabwe in the recently concluded series as well. South Africa will look to carry their momentum into this tri-series.

Australian team have already suffered an injury blow as they are missing their skipper Michael Clarke as he bowed out because of a hamstring injury. David Warner too isn’t available. George Bailey has been appointed as the captain and he is leading a rusty Australian side which had a considerable amount of gap from the game of cricket. Being the No 1 side in the ODI rankings, they lived up to their expectations on Monday against the hosts.

Aaron Finch, Mitchell Marsh and Glenn Maxwell really stepped up with brilliant individual performances in the first ODI. Both Marsh and Maxwell missed out on their respective centuries. The bowlers came in handy as they ran through the Zimbabwean batting order with ease. Mitchell Johnson, Mitchell Starc, James Faulkner and Kane Richardson, all of them are capable of generating serious pace and seam movement off the deck.

South African squad can never be underestimated. Quinton de Kock has been one of their finest discovery at the top of the order in limited overs cricket. Hashim Amla will look to carry on with the form he has been. South Africa skipper AB de Villiers can turn any game single-handedly in their favour. JP Duminy is undoubtedly one of the best all-rounders in the world. Proteas have a strong middle order which is difficult to run through. Much can be talked about their bowling attack which can unnerve any side in the world. With the likes of Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel, Kyle Abbott and Imran Tahir, no wonder they are one of the premier bowling attack in the world. Vernon Philander missed out on this series because of an injury.

Both the teams have enough reinforcements for a classic clash. The Harare pitch is expected to be a flat one like the one in the first ODI between Zimbabwe and Australia. On one hand, Australia will look to fire with their winning combination and on the other, South Africa will look to start the series on a winning note. An exciting game of cricket is in store for the fans.

Time: 07.30 GMT | 13.00 IST


Australia: Michael Clarke (c),Aaron Finch, George Bailey, Glenn Maxwell, Steve Smith, James Faulkner, Brad Haddin (wk), Phil Hughes, Mitchell Johnson, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Ben Cutting, Kane Richardson, Mitchell Starc.

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

(Rajarshi Majumdar is a reporter at CricketCountry. He played cricket for all age levels under the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) for over 12 years. Apart from cricket he is an avid follower of football, supports Manchester United and a foodie at heart.)