Prepare yourselves for an exhilarating cricketing spectacle as South Africa and Australia, two fierce rivals, prepare to clash in the ICC ODI World Cup 2023. The Ekana Stadium in Lucknow is set to host this thrilling encounter on the 12th of October, promising an electrifying atmosphere.
The rivalry between these two cricketing powerhouses has been a source of endless entertainment over the years, none more iconic than their 1999 World Cup semi-final showdown. Their recent head-to-head series, where South Africa emerged victorious in the decider, only added fuel to this fiery rivalry.
South Africa stands as the only nation to have consistently dominated Australia in the ODI format, boasting a head-to-head record of 54-50. In the World Cup arena, they’ve met six times, with Australia holding the edge by winning three, South Africa clinching two victories, and one match concluding in a nail-biting tie.
Australia’s journey in the World Cup got off to a rocky start, far from their desired launch. Facing a challenging pitch at Chepauk, they found themselves bundled out for a modest 199. Initially, Warner and Smith provided a promising opening partnership, but the remainder of their batting lineup struggled to contend with India’s formidable spinners.
When it came to their bowling performance, Australia got off to a strong start by dismissing three of India’s top four batters on a duck. However, KL Rahul and Virat Kohli scripted one of the best partnerships in World Cup history, guiding India to an emphatic victory within 42 overs.
Captain Cummins found himself grappling with strategic challenges and had no response to the brilliance of Rahul and Kohli. Even Australia’s spinners, Maxwell and Zampa, failed to make a significant impact on the spin-friendly pitch. As they gear up for their next match, Australia undoubtedly aims to rectify their past mistakes and return to winning ways
South Africa’s World Cup campaign couldn’t have started on a more spectacular note. Batting first, they showcased their prowess by setting a monumental total of 428 runs, a record-high in World Cup history. Three of their batters notched up centuries.
While their bowling unit faced some initial challenges, they managed to maintain pressure by consistently taking wickets throughout the innings. This relentless effort ensured that Sri Lanka never gained the upper hand in the match, ultimately bundling them out for 326 runs. It may be considered an average bowling performance given the pitch conditions.
South Africa’s upcoming clash against the Aussies could be a low-scoring encounter on the challenging pitch at Ekana. But their batters have a very aggressive approach against spinners which we also described as one of their strengths in our earlier article (South Africa Squad Analysis). They would like to follow a similar approach as they aim to continue their winning momentum in the tournament.
Probable Playing XI
Australia: David Warner, Mitchell Marsh, Steve Smith, Marnus Labuschagne, Alex Carey (wk), Glenn Maxwell, Cameron Green, Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins (c), Adam Zampa, Josh Hazlewood
South Africa: Quinton de Kock (wk), Temba Bavuma (c), Rassie van der Dussen, Aiden Markram, Heinrich Klaasen, David Miller, Marco Jansen, Gerald Coetzee, Keshav Maharaj, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi
The pitch at Ekana Stadium is traditionally known for being spinner-friendly. It tends to offer assistance to slow bowlers as the match progresses. Weather conditions in Lucknow can vary, with temperatures often on the warmer side. This may cause the pitch to dry out, further enhancing the role of spinners.
In the initial overs, the pitch generally plays well for batting, offering good pace and bounce. Batsmen can find opportunities to score freely if they negotiate the new ball effectively.
Batsmen need to be wary of variable bounce on this pitch, which can make shot selection and timing crucial. Some deliveries may grip and turn sharply, while others could skid through, adding a level of unpredictability.
Teams winning the toss may be inclined to bat first and capitalize on the early batting conditions and aim for a competitive total. However, they should be cautious about the pitch slowing down later in the game
●Total Matches Played – 4
●Matches Won Batting First – 2
●Matches Won Batting Second – 2
●Average First Innings Score – 188
●Average Runs Per Over – 4.99
Players To Watch Out For
One of the most experienced and accomplished cricketers in the Australian lineup, Steven Smith is undoubtedly a key player for the upcoming clash. Known for his unorthodox yet highly effective batting style, Smith has been a linchpin in Australia’s batting order for years
Smudge’s role becomes absolutely crucial on the spin-friendly pitch of Ekana, given his impressive record against spinners. His astounding average of 95.2 against spinners post the 2019 World Cup, with 400+ runs, is the highest among all batters. This shows his remarkable ability to dominate spin.
Smith also has a decent record against South Africa. Having accumulated 684 runs in 19 innings at a strike rate of 89, he has consistently delivered against the Proteas. Once again, he will be instrumental in anchoring the Australian innings and ensuring they navigate the spin-friendly conditions effectively.
The Aussie All-rounder will play a dual role in this upcoming clash. With a reputation for bringing fireworks to the batting crease and a knack for spinning magic with the ball, Maxwell represents versatility in the truest sense. His ability to excel both as a dynamic batter and a canny spinner makes him Australia’s secret weapon
Maxwell’s aggressive and innovative batting style can be a game-changer for Australia. His knack for clearing the boundary and maintaining an ultra-explosive strike rate of 135 against spinners post the 2019 World Cup highlights his ability to take on spin bowling with confidence.
His spin bowling will add depth to Australia’s bowling attack. On a pitch like Ekana, which favours spinners, his off-spin can be a potent weapon to trouble the South African batters. He has the skill to extract turn and create breakthroughs in those crucial middle-overs when needed.
The most important player for the Proteas side in this upcoming clash will be the ‘Spin Slayer’ Henrich Klassen. His ability to seize the initiative and deliver match-winning performances makes him a player South Africa will heavily rely on. His aggressive style can put opposition bowlers on the back foot and set the tone for the team.
Klassen can consistently find gaps and dispatch spinners to all parts of the ground. His aggressive intent combined with a strike rate of 134 against spinners suggests that he is a spinner’s nightmare. This explosive approach is also backed by heavy reliability, indicated in his average of 46 against spinners.
Henrich’s outstanding numbers against Australia further solidify his stature as a match-winner. Scoring 502 runs against the Aussies at an average of 63 and a strike rate of 124 demonstrates his ability to rise to the occasion against top-quality opposition. His fearless attitude and ability to deliver when it matters most can be the key to South Africa’s success in this crucial encounter.
Markram made history by smashing the fastest century ever in World Cup history during his first match against Sri Lanka. He scored a breathtaking knock of 106 runs off just 54 balls.
With that remarkable century, he has set the tone for his World Cup campaign and will be eager to carry this momentum throughout the tournament.
Markram’s recent performance in the Australia vs. South Africa series, where he amassed 225 runs at a strike rate of 116, demonstrates his ability to excel against top-quality opposition. He will be looking forward to replicating similar performances against them in the upcoming clash.
Beyond his batting prowess, Markram’s part-time off-spin bowling adds an extra dimension to his game. His ability to provide crucial breakthroughs during the middle overs can be a game-changer, especially on pitches like Ekana that favour spinners.
AUS vs SA Dream11 Team for Match 10 of 2023 WC
Note: This is not our final Dream11 Team as we are not aware of the Toss Result/Final Playing XI of both teams at this moment.
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