SA is 2-0 up against Australia; potential series decider in Durban
The Standard Bank Proteas have gone 2-0 up against Australia in their five-match ODI series and they haven’t even used the likes of Hashim Amla and AB de Villiers arguably the best 50-over batsmen in the world, yet. This is truly a Moving Forward approach that puts the sport of cricket a wonderful position when one looks at development of up and coming players. The team is just one win away from clinching the series and with Amla hopefully set to return for the third Momentum ODI at Sahara Stadium Kingsmead on Wednesday.
Rilee Rossouw has been used as an opener in Amla’s absence and was a tremendous success with scores of 63 off 45 balls at Centurion and 75 off 81 deliveries at the Wanderers.
In fact, one of the major weapons the Proteas have used against the Australians has been the phenomenal success of their opening pair against the new ball compared to how much better South Africa’s bowlers have fared up front.
Australia have had to field three debutants in Daniel Worrall, Chris Tremain and Joe Mennie across the two games, and Quinton de Kock and Rossouw have made merry, providing a wonderful platform for daunting scores of 295 for four in just 36.2 overs and 361 for six. If Amla does return in Durban, Rossouw is likely to be used in the middle-order. “I’ve been hitting the ball really well and I just want to carry on with this form. After a difficult year with a stress fracture of my foot and then dislocating the a\c joint in my shoulder, I’m just very happy to be back on the park, I’m tired of gym!
The team from down under has struggled to overcome the absence of half-a-dozen bowlers and key batsmen like David Warner (40 & 50) and Steven Smith (8 & 14) have yet to really fire, South Africa are flourishing even after the tough times they have had and their missing stars like Amla, AB de Villiers and Morne Morkel.
“We’ve come to terms with not having AB or Hash and the guys that have come in are more than ready to do the job. On the mental side, we’ve been freed up, all of the team has been told to express yourselves, have a good time and trust your ability. That’s paid dividends along with our preparation,” Rossouw said. The lack of big partnerships has also been a major reason for the world champions finding themselves on the brink of a series loss, while the Proteas batsmen have recorded magnificent centuries by De Kock, with a phenomenal 178 at Centurion, and captain Faf du Plessis, who scored a fluent 111 at the Wanderers.
Du Plessis shared a partnership of 150 off just 111 balls in the middle overs between the 25th and 42nd overs with JP Duminy in Johannesburg, rectifying an area of concern against Ireland.
“We’ve been working really hard on trying to get a boundary an over, while also keep turning over the strike with ones. You need to make sure you’re hitting into space, finding the gaps, and then trying to score one medium-risk boundary an over. That makes it extremely hard for the bowling side, because then you can’t control the run-rate. That’s the challenge when the pitches get slower as well, you have to up your skills when batting in those middle overs,” Du Plessis explained.
Standard Bank wishes the team well ahead of their game. South Africa shares the #ProteaFire with you and is proud of heroic acts on the field of play.
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