Australia v South Africa: ICC T20 World Cup 2021 Match Preview

In the 13th match of the T20 World Cup 2021 and the 1st match of Super 12, Australia will take on South Africa on 23rd October at Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi.

Australian batting top order is yet to find its form and fire. David Warner, who is probably going through the worst form in his career, managed a golden duck and 1 run off 7 balls in the warm-up games Australia played against New Zealand & India respectively.

Steve Smith has scored runs in both matches but his strike rate is a bit of a concern. It won’t be wrong to say that judging by current form, Glenn Maxwell is the best batter in the Aussie lineup.

Australian bowling relied on Kane Richardson in the match against New Zealand. Kane picked up 3 wickets, while spinner Adam Zampa picked up 2 wickets as well. Ashton Agar picked up a wicket as well.

This would have been a positive sign for the Australians as spinners are known to play a crucial part in the matches being played in UAE. However, in the match against India, the Aussie bowlers were smashed around the park. Ashton Agar was the sole wicket taker in the warm-up match against India.

South African batting performance in the warm-up games was scattered between the individuals. Even though South Africa has won both the warm-up matches, batting consistency seems to be an issue.

Although, Rassie van der Dussen scored a fabulous 101* off 51 balls against Afghanistan. Captain Temba Bavuma scored runs in both the matches but again his strike rate is a concern – 31 off 39 against Afghanistan & 46 off 42 against Pakistan. Aiden Markram can be a key player who played a knock 48 off 35 against Afghanistan and missed out on batting against Pakistan.

South African bowlers on the other hand look ready for tough match-ups. With world-class bowlers like – Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje & Tabraiz Shamsi, South African bowling may just come out to be one of the toughest in the competition. Bjorn Fortuin, Dwaine Pretorious & Keshav Maharaj are also capable of providing crucial breakthroughs.

AUS vs RSA, Super 12 Group 1: Match Details

Date – Saturday, October 23, 2021

Time – 3.30 PM IST

Venue – Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi

Pitch Report

As seen in the previous game, a competitive track beckons in Abu Dhabi with help on offer for both the batters and bowlers. As there isn’t much swing on offer for the pacers, the batters will look to maximize the powerplay restrictions. As the match progresses, the pitch will get slower with the pacers also likely to change their pace. Wickets in hand will be key, with both teams likely to prefer batting first upon winning the toss.

Head-to-Head Record

Australia have dominated South Africa as far as the head-to-head record is concerned (T20Is).

The two teams have clashed in 21 matches, with Australia winning 13 of them.

Meanwhile, South Africa have managed to win eight games. The two sides have been neck-to-neck in recent times. Both Australia and SA have won two matches each since November 2018.

Probable Playing XIs

Australia

Aaron Finch (C), David Warner, Mitchell Marsh, Steve Smith, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Matthew Wade (wk), Ashton Agar, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Adam Zampa

Bench: Josh Hazlewood, Josh Inglis, Mitchell Swepson, Kane Richardson

South Africa

Temba Bavuma (C), Quinton de Kock, Aiden Markram, Rassie van der Dussen, Heinrich Klaasen, Dwaine Pretorius/Lungi Ngidi, David Miller, Keshav Maharaj, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje, Tabraiz Shamsi

Bench: Dwaine Pretorius/Lungi Ngidi, Bjorn Fortuin, Wiaan Mulder, Reeza Hendricks

AUS vs SA Fantasy Team Prediction:

Quinton de Kock, Steve Smith, Rassie van der Dussen, Aiden Markram (VC), Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell (C), Dwaine Pretorious, Marcus Stoinis, Adam Zampa, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje

Prediction

This game will be played at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi, which has witnessed some of IPL 2021’s highest-scoring games. Although it has long boundaries, the pitch is expected to remain consistent, however, it turns out.

The Australian batting department might prove to be the difference in this fixture, considering their vast wealth of experience. Steve Smith and Marcus Stoinis will provide some stability with Warner, Finch, Maxwell and the lower order going hell for leather.

The battle between fast bowling duos of Cummins-Starc and Nortje-Rabada will be exceptional to witness, but Australia are expected to emerge victorious in this clash.

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