South Africa V Australia : 3rd Test Preview
The four-match test series has now reached into the decider, with the series well-balanced 1-1, after the emphatic 6-wicket victory of South Africa over Australia. The series is on the stake, South Africa would be high on positives, and Australia would look to come back stronger and positively into the series. The exclusion of Kagiso Rabada (MoM in 2nd Test) might have eased the visitors to start the third test with some positives. However, it’s more about how the team put their efforts on the field. While Australia have good records at Cape Town against the hosts, the hosts too have a fine overall record in Cape Town. The last outing for South Africa in Cape Town saw them beating India by 72 runs in a low-scoring thriller. Can the hosts repeat the same match result, or will Australia turn the tables in their favor? We’ll only know that after 22nd of March. Until then, goodbye!
Date: Mar 22-26 2018
Venue: Newlands, Cape Town
Time: 10:00 AM-17:00 PM Local Time
T.V. Broadcasters: Sony Six / Sony Six HD
South Africa: South Africa are in a tense situation as Kagiso Rabada is most likely to miss out on the decider. With the demerit system of ICC going against Rabada, the hosts are obligated to make one forced change. South African speedster Dale Steyn too is unable to make it to the team due to the delayed recovery and hence will not be available for the third test. As South Africa have shown no real intent to make high no. of changes in the team, the Playing XI is expected to remain unchanged except for the replacement of Rabada.
Probable XI: Hashim Amla, AB de Villiers, Morne Morkel, Vernon Philander, Dean Elgar, Faf du Plessis (c), Theunis de Bruyn, Quinton de Kock (wk), Aiden Markram, Lungisani Ngidi, Keshav Maharaj
Australia: Australia would look to make a roaring comeback after the defeat, credit to AB de Villiers & Kagiso Rabada. However, there has been no indication of any change in the team’s starting XI. With the starting XI unchanged in the first two tests, we can expect the same in the third as well.
Probable XI: Shaun Marsh, David Warner, Tim Paine (wk), Steven Smith (c), Mitchell Marsh, Josh Hazlewood, Usman Khawaja, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Pat Cummins, Cameron Bancroft
South Africa in their last 5 Test Matches (W/L/D) : (3/2/0)
Australia in their last 5 Test Matches (W/L/D): (3/1/1)
Head to Head [SA vs AUS in Tests]
AUS won: 52
SA won: 24
Drawn Matches: 20
Tied Matches: 0
Head To Head In Newlands, Cape Town
Australia Won: 10
South Africa Won: 3
Drawn Matches: 0
Since 01 Jan 2000
Australia Won: 3
South Africa Won: 2
Venue Information (Test Format)
Name: Newlands, Cape Town
Total Matches Played: 55
Matches Won Batting First: 21
Matches Won Bowling First
Average 1st Innings Total: 332
Average 2nd Innings Total: 296
Average 3rd Innings Total: 229
Average 4th Innings Total: 163
Highest Total: 651/10 [by RSA vs AUS]
Lowest Total: 35/10 [by RSA vs ENG]
Players To Watch Out For
AB de Villiers: Scoring 1217 in 28 innings runs in Cape Town, AB de Villiers has produced some stellar knocks recently for South Africa in the ongoing series as well. AB de Villiers is the player to watch out for.
Steve Smith: With 2335 runs in 40 innings at an astonishing average of 66.71, Steven Smith is the man to watch out for South Africa. Although Smith hasn’t shown his masterclass so far in the first two tests, it would certainly be difficult for any bowling attack to keep Smith quiet for a long time.
The match results have clearly shown that batting first or second doesn’t have much influence on the match result and it is more about how the teams perform. However, chasing in Newlands has always been tough and the team winning toss would look to bat first and ask the opposition to chase in the fourth innings. Even in the absence of Rabada, SA have good chances of winning, in case AB de Villiers continues his show and Maharaj spins the opposition batting. On the other hand, Australia would want to keep the winning streak in SA continued by a win in the third test. After all, it’s all about how the teams show off in the field. However, what’s more important is the seam bowling as the seamers are expected to get help from the pitch. Last time when a test was hosted in the Newlands, a green pitch was waiting for the two teams and the pitch did all the harm. What’ll happen in the ultimate decider? We’ll find it once both the teams walk down into the field.