The battle between Australia and South Africa has been fierce, especially in the red ball format. Both teams have emerged victorious at the opposition’s backyard numerous times.
A total of 11 test series have been played between the nations in this century, and the touring side has triumphed 7 times, a very rare feat in test cricket.
Nothing short of a ruthless contest can be expected from the upcoming series, as the qualification for the World Test Championship final is on the line for both teams.
Venue: Gabba Cricket Ground, Brisbane.
Time: 10:20 Local /05:50 IST/ 00:20 GMT
Australia enters the series as the favourites to play the WTC final, as they sit comfortably at the top of the table with 75 percentage points.
The kangaroos need to win at least 3 matches out of their 7 remaining encounters for the qualification.
The fact that four of the seven games are against the mighty Indians makes this series very significant for them.
Australia annihilated the West Indies at home a week ago and would like to continue the dominance.
Australia’s batting unit appears to be the best in the world, with two geniuses batting at no.3 and 4. The same can be said about their bowling unit led by the skipper Pat Cummins. However, the side would definitely feel the absence of Josh Hazlewood who has been ruled out of the first test due to a side strain.
South Africa sit at no. 2 in the WTC points table and for them to qualify, at least 3 wins are needed out of their remaining 5 encounters. Thus, the Proteas need to win at least 1 game out of the 3 to be played in the series, and then whitewash a relatively weaker West Indian side at home.
South Africa last played a test series 3 months back, where they were handed over a defeat by 2-1 in England. They would look to bounce back and confirm their qualification by clinching victory over the series.
South Africa’s bowling unit is remarkable, comprising pacemen Anrich Nortje, Kagiso Rabada, and Lungi Ngidi and assisted by a calm and composed Keshav Maharaj.
Probable Playing XI
Australia: David Warner, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Steven Smith, Travis Head, Cameron Green, Alex Carey (wk), Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Pat Cummins (c), Scott Boland
South Africa: Deal Elgar (c), Sarel Erwee,Temba Bavuma, Rassie Van Der Dussen, Kyle Verreynne (wk), Khaya Zondo/Theunis de Bruyn, Marco Jansen, Anrich Nortje, Keshav Maharaj, Lungi Ngidi, Kagiso Rabada
Players to Watch Out For
Dean Elgar: Dean stands out as one of the best test openers of this generation. His fine leadership skills are supplementary. If the Proteas want to go ahead in the competition, the skipper needs to step up and take control to get their team over the line. Talking about the records, Elgar needs just 27 runs to reach the milestone of 5000 Test Runs.
David Warner: The left-hander hasn’t been impressive in the last few months. Australia and the fans would desperately want him to bounce back at the right time. If David starts complimenting their rock-solid middle order, there would be little to worry about for the Kangaroos.
Marnus Labuschagne: An absolute Maniac. Marnus has been extraordinary for the last three years. Australia would be wanting just another day at the office from the young man who never fails to impress. If the Proteas fail to stop Marnus, their chances of qualification for the WTC finals may be drained.
Kagiso Rabada: Rabada has been the best since Dale for the Proteas. His numbers are remarkable and a similar performance is being expected from him by the South African Team and fans. Kagiso and his men can pave the way forward for the Proteas but the task isn’t going to be easy against some of the greatest batters in modern-day test cricket.
Steven Smith vs Keshav Maharaj: 79 Runs, 184 Balls, 3 Dismissals
Steven Smith vs Kagiso Rabada: 78 Runs, 180 Balls, 3 Dismissals
Usman Khawaja vs Kagiso Rabada: 103 Runs, 216 Balls, 3 Dismissals
Dean Elgar vs Nathan Lyon: 128 Runs, 401 Balls, 5 Dismissals
Dean Elgar vs Mitchell Starc: 120 Runs, 263 Balls, 4 Dismissals
Dream11 Team for AUS vs SA 1st Test
For Final Team (After Toss), Join our Telegram Channel “Clan For Gamers“
We expect Australia to continue their form and defeat South Africa in the first encounter of the series.