South Africa host Australia in three T20's and three ODI's as the wounded Proteas look to put their poor series against England out of their minds by beating an Australian side that look back to their best.
South Africa vs Australia – 1st T20 – Friday, February 21 – 17:00 GMT
South Africa were awful in their recent series against England as the touring side left unbeaten in the three separate series. A 3-1 Test series loss to England was followed by a rain affected 1-1 draw in the ODI’s before England came from 1-0 down in the T20’s to win 2-1 in an incredibly exciting and high-scoring battle. While South Africa have little time to lick their wounds, one man that will be raring to go is captain Quinton de Kock. De Kock returned scores of 31, 65 and 35 as he starred with the bat in his elevated position for the Proteas. Some thought the captaincy might have an adverse effect on his batting, with this the case for many great players across sport, but de Kock has taken the increased responsibility in his stride, and he seems to be getting better as the games go by. Australia will provide a real test for de Kock and we cannot wait to see that battle, with the South African captain likely to relish taking on the opposition. With this in mind, we are backing him to finish as the top batsman for the home side in this one as the Proteas look to get back to winning ways.
For Australia, we cannot look past David Warner with the bat. Warner has been in unbelievably good form of late and looks hungry in the middle once again. With a tough Ashes series where Stuart Broad proved to a nightmare to face for the opener now well in the past, Warner has bounced back incredibly well and he is averaging a ridiculous 287.00 in T20’s. Six innings have resulted in one century and two fifties along with an awesome five not outs, and while his average should of course be taken with a pinch of salt, his ratio of not being out is very good. Warner will likely look to go at South Africa’s bowlers from the off in the same way Jason Roy did for England in the latest series, and South Africa know that if Warner is allowed to get his eye in and faces more that five overs on his own, there will likely be massive fireworks. You can bet some serious plans have been drawn up over how to get rid of him quickly, but Warner has displayed the fact that even the best laid plan are not always enough to get rid of him.