Australia will head into the fourth ODI of the series against South Africa hoping to make some kind of an impact. They have just not been their usual self in this series. And the reason for that is simple. Australia just haven’t had the bowling firepower to control the South Africans. In the previous match at Kingsmead in Durban, Australia posted a huge 372 on the board. But, their bowlers could not defend that target as well, as South Africa gunned down the second highest total in one-day cricket. They will be keen to continue their great work in Sunday’s match as well.
There is really not much Australia can do about their inexperienced bowling expect the fact that hope to improve on their efforts as much as they can. John Hastings has some amount of experience in comparison to the above bowlers, but he hasn’t been able to rise up to the challenge. Much more will be expected of him as the Aussies look to save some face. Scott Boland, after being dropped following his poor show, is likely to come back given the lack of options in the team’s kitty. Adam Zampa would also hope for better fortunes at Port Elizabeth.
If their bowling can come up with a decent effort, Australia have the batting to compete. In fact, they demonstrated the same in the previous match as well. Steven Smith and David Warner both got impressive hundreds. Aaron Finch is also in form at the top of the order. In the middle-order George Bailey has also been consistent in his efforts. The lower order trio of Travis Head, Mitchell Marsh and Mathew Wade also have the ability to do well. With the bowling so poor though, Australia will have to go out of their way to outdo the Proteas.
For South Africa, their hero from the previous match David Miller has been ruled out with a groin injury. But, Miller has done his job, winning South Africa the series from adverse circumstances. His absence would mean Farhaan Behardien is likely to come back into the side at number six. Behardien has done well in the past so he will be confident of do making an impact. At the top of the order, Quinton de Kock has been in brilliant form, with 178 in the opening ODI, and 79 in the previous one. Hashim Amla, skipper Faf du Plessis, Rilee Rossouw, and JP Duminy have all been among the runs.
South Africa’s bowling took a beating in the previous game, although they ended up winning. Some changes can be expected then, especially since the series is already in their kitty. Dale Steyn went for 96 in the previous match so he could sit out. Considering the workload Kagiso Rabada has been handling in recent times, he is also due for a rest. South Africa could try out an extra spinner in his place while Abbott can come in for Steyn. Imran Tahir hasn’t made much impression so far. Thus, he will be keen for a good show too.
--By A Cricket Analyst