The Proteas welcome the old enemy to South Africa with a T20I at the Wanderers.
The last time the two sides met in Twenty20 match at the Bullring Australia chased down a mammoth total to win an instant classic.
Photo Copyright – Steve Haag Sports
South Africa vs Australia | First T20I | Friday 21 February 2020 | The Wanderers, Johannesburg | 18:00
The Proteas will take heart from their performances in the T20I series against England despite the 2-1 series loss. The three-match series was just about thrill-a-ball stuff and more importantly saw the Proteas compete very well with an impressive touring outfit.
Quinton de Kock was the undoubted star of the series, leading the run-scoring for the hosts and breaking records in his bid to lead from the front.
Another big positive from that series was the form of Temba Bavuma and his partnership with de Kock at the top. Bavuma has been ruled out of the first match though which could open the door for Faf du Plessis to open with de Kock fresh from surrendering the captaincy.
The bowling attack is boosted by the return of Kagiso Rabada who should form a lethal trident with Dale Steyn and Lungi Ngidi. Tabraiz Shamsi and Bjorn Fortuin will offer de Kock slow-bowling options
Australia will play their first T20I of 2020 at the Wanderers on Friday having last played in the format against Pakistan in November 2019.
The tourists arrive with plenty of firepower despite losing master blaster Glenn Maxwell to an elbow injury just before the tour. Mitch Marsh is likely to fill Maxwell’s spot in the XI while skipper Aaron Finch and David Warner are one of the most dangerous opening pairings in T20 cricket.
Steve Smith reinforces the middle-order which looks a lot more solid than it did 18 months ago thanks in part to Matthew Wade’s rebirth as a specialist batsman.
Australia will need to assess whether or not to play two specialist spinners or just one of either Adam Zampa or Ashton Agar.
Verdict: South Africa
The Proteas should channel the spirit of 438 and take this one.
Written by James Richardson for Hollywoodbets