South Africa desperate, Australia confident

Australia was unbeatable during their men’s white-ball tour of South Africa as recently as Tuesday morning; they played five games and won five of them. When the South Africans lost all eight of their first-ever Tests in March 1889, it marked the longest home losing streak in team history.

In their most recent three One-Day Internationals, which were played in January and February against India in a Test and three One-Day Internationals, they have dropped three straight games at home. But it had been nearly 124 years since the country had suffered five straight losses. South Africa might have suffered another 8-0 defeat in its final three ODIs of this trip, which began with three T20Is.

No, South Africa won the third one-day international on Tuesday at Potchefstroom by a score of 111 runs, maintaining its advantage in the series. On Friday in Centurion, the series will resume. The Australians soon reached 135/1 in 14 overs while chasing 339. After then, South Africa soon regained control of the game thanks to the combined efforts of Tabraiz Shamsi and Keshav Maharaj, who each grabbed four wickets for 43 runs. With a 4/22 in 20 balls, Gerald Coetzee quickly helped South Africa win.

If Australia wins again, the series will be declared to be over, making Sunday’s game at the Wanderers meaningless. People won’t start to feel better until Friday. Aiden Markram, an unbeaten competitor, admitted to feeling relieved after the game. The home team is not in the position they would like to be in before the World Cup in India begins next month, despite the fact that they can no longer be blanked.

The fact that this is South Africa’s final match before the competition means that turning around a 2-0 deficit would significantly alter the narrative. This only helps to emphasise how crucial it is for them to outperform Australia in the two games left. Despite their performance on Tuesday, the visitors have been the superior team overall.

As they get ready for their three ODIs in India, which get underway next Friday in Mohali, they now have good news. Nobody needs convincing that a team from a country that has won the World Cup five times, more than any other team – no other side has done so more than twice – can compete successfully on the international stage.

Since their debut in 1992, South Africa has always sent the best team while being infamous for never having won a World Cup. That won’t be the case this time, but they’ll argue that their stance is still evolving. There are still two games remaining for them, the first of which is against Centurion on Friday, where they have the best chance of winning their case.

When: September 15, 2023; 1pm Local Time (4.30pm IST)

Where: Centurion

What to expect: A fast pitch, a faster outfield, and a warm day that fast turns into a chilly evening. No rain is forecast.

Team news:

Both Anrich Nortje and Temba Bavuma were eliminated in South Africa due to lower back spasms and adductor strains, respectively. In place of Bavuma, Aiden Markram will serve as the team’s leader. Tabraiz Shamsi appears to be ready for a nap.

Possible XI:

 Reeza Hendricks, Quinton de Kock, Rassie van der Dussen, Aiden Markram (capt), Heinrich Klaasen, David Miller, Marco Jansen, Keshav Maharaj, Sisanda Magala, Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi


Ashton Agar has gone home to be present at the birth of his and his partner’s child.

As Possible XI:

┬áTravis Head, David Warner, Mitchell Marsh (capt), Marnus Labuschagne, Josh Inglis, Alex Carey, Marcus Stoinis, Sean Abbott, Nathan Ellis, Adam Zampa, Josh Hazlewoodhton Agar has gone home to be present at the birth of his and his partner’s child.

What they said:

“For me, the World Cup was a significant event. Playing 50 overs is still physically taxing even after two T20 World Cups. I wanted to have that experience. I like pushing myself all the time. I mapped out my route. I don’t believe I would have anticipated coming three months sooner. I wish to return to India because my family is from there and they work so hard to make it unique. That served as my main inspiration. Keshav Maharaj, who ruptured his Achilles tendon in March, is now fully recovering.

Really, it won’t affect how we continue the series in any way. We came here in order to win some cricket matches, a series, and to generate excitement for a World Cup. For the remainder of the series, it doesn’t really matter whether South Africa won the previous game or we were ahead 3-0. Josh Inglis refuses to acknowledge that Australia has already dropped a game on this trip.

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