T20 series preview: Australia v South Africa
The T20 series between Australia and South Africa has the players insisting it's a serious endeavor, but with so many big names missing, from both teams, it could be an exercise in trying to impress selectors.
South Africa come into the series after beating New Zealand in their recent ODI series, though they are missing most of their top players. JP Duminy is captaining the side for the first time, as Faf du Plessis is being rested.
Also missing are AB de Villiers, Hashim Amla, Dale Steyn, and Vernon Philander, meaning both Reeza Hendricks and Kagiso Rabada could make their international debuts, while Quinton de Kock is suddenly a senior man.
Teen paceman Rabada might miss out initially though, with speedster Marchant de Lange available for the first time in a long while. But it also depends on Wayne Parnell's fitness, after he was stuck by a ball during training.
The spin department is full of experience though, with Imran Tahir declared fit after a shoulder injury and Robin Peterson called up to replace Aaron Phangiso, who has a finger injury. Whether both will play remains to be seen.
As for the Aussies, their Test side just got walloped in the Tests against Pakistan, but those players are not involved here. On the plus side, the team is fresh, but on the down side they're missing big guns Glenn Maxwell and David Warner.
Aaron Finch is skippering the side, which features uncapped wicketkeeper Ben Dunk, as well as all-rounder Nathan Reardon in line for a 'dayboo'. Shane Watson is back though, which is a huge boost, while Cameron White will provide ample experience.
Most excitingly though, given the absence of Mitchells Johnson and Starc, is the possible return of fast bowler Pat Cummins. He has been out of international action for two years, and will be keen to show off his pace and healed lower back.
For the hosts, all eyes will be on Shane Watson. He's been out for months with various injuries, and will be determined to prove his worth as an all-round leader, but particularly with the bat, in light of the Aussies' poor form.
The Proteas need opener and keeper Quinton de Kock to perform well, setting up a platform for the likes of David Miller and David Wiese to hit out later on.
Last Five Head-To-Head Results
2014 Third T20: Australia won by six wickets in Centurion
2014 Second T20: Australia won by five wickets in Durban
2014 First ODI: Match abandoned in Port Elizabeth
2012 World T20: Australia won by eight wickets in Colombo
2011 Second T20: South Africa won by three wickets in Johannesburg
Australia: Aaron Finch (capt), Sean Abbott, Doug Bollinger, Cameron Boyce, Patrick Cummins, Ben Cutting, Ben Dunk (wk), James Faulkner, Nic Maddinson, Nathan Reardon, Kane Richardson, Shane Watson, Cameron White.
South Africa: JP Duminy (capt), Kyle Abbott, Farhaan Behardien, Quinton de Kock, Marchant de Lange, Reeza Hendricks, Imran Tahir, Ryan McLaren, David Miller, Wayne Parnell, Robin Peterson, Kagiso Rabada, Rilee Rossouw, David Wiese
First T20: 5 November in Adelaide
Second T20: 7 November in Melbourne
Third T20: 9 November in Sydney
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