South Africa vs Australia, 1st ODI, Paarl: Fantasy Preview

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safari
28 Feb 2020 | 01:06 PM
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Ashish Pant

South Africa vs Australia, 1st ODI, Paarl: Fantasy Preview

Here are a few tips that might help you in building your fantasy team for the first ODI between Australia and South Africa at Boland Park, in Paarl

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Barring a few hiccups, Australia were clinical in their approach in the three-match T20 International series as they stormed to a 2-1 win over South Africa. 

The caravan now moves to the ODI series where Australia will once again go as favourites. South Africa have shown glimpses of form but have largely looked lacklustre which and will need to do a lot more to get the better of a strong Australian side. 

Ground details and team combination

Boland Park, in Paarl the venue for the first game has hosted two ODIs since the start of 2017. In South Africa in general, bowlers have dominated proceedings and Boland Park has been the best ground for bowlers out of the lot. Since 2017, batsmen have managed only 33.2 runs per wicket here while a wicket has fallen every 36.2 balls.

On the bowling front, pacers have been better at this venue than their spin bowling counterparts. They have picked up 71.9 per cent of the wickets to fall here striking every 30.8 balls while the spinners have a strike rate of 50. 

Paarl has been a happy hunting ground for right arm fast bowlers and with the world’s fourth and fifth-ranked ODI pacers in Kagiso Rabada and Pat Cummins in action, things could get feisty. 

Rabada though will have to be careful against Warner. The left-handed opener has faced Rabada seven times in ODIs, has scored 181 runs off 148 balls and has never been dismissed. 

The other interesting match-up will be between Lungi Ngidi and Aaron Finch. The pacer has dismissed the Australian captain twice in three innings and will look to continue with his run. 

Captain selection:

David Warner has looked a man on a mission ever since his comeback from a ban. In 13 innings since the start of 2019, Warner has smashed 793 runs at an average of 72.09 with seven scores of 50+. He also has an excellent record in ODIs against South Africa amassing 943 runs in 20 innings averaging 47.15. Warner was the leading run-scorer in the T20I series and he will want to continue with the same.

X-factors:

The golden boy of Australian cricket, Pat Cummins has been a revelation over the last year or so. The leading wicket-taker for Australia since the start of 2019, Cummins has returned 33 wickets in 19 innings at a strike-rate of 30.6. He will once again be tasked with leading the Australian bowling attack.

Kagiso Rabada has not looked his best in recent times but such is the dearth of good bowlers in the South African unit that he is still the leading wicket-taker for the Proteas since the start of 2019 in ODIs. Rabada did not have a good time at the T20Is and will want to rectify that in the 50-over format. The pacer has a good record against Australia in ODIs where he has picked up 19 wickets in 10 innings at a bowling strike-rate of 27.9. South Africa will definitely need him firing nice and early.

In an otherwise inexperienced lineup, Quinton de Kock is probably the most important component. His value can be measured with the fact that the only game that South Africa won in the T20I series was one where he top scored. De Kock has a good record against Australian in ODIs at home, averaging a strong 60 in five innings. South Africa will desperately hope their captain fires on all cylinders in the three-match series.

So who should you pick in your fantasy team for this encounter? We are going with a combination of four frontline batsmen including the wicket-keeper, two all-rounders and five bowlers for this game.

Suggested team:

Quinton de Kock, David Warner (c), Steve Smith (vc), Marnus Labuschagne, Andile Phehlukwayo, Ashton Agar, Kagiso Rabada, Pat Cummins, Lung Ngidi, Adam Zampa, Beuran Hendricks

 

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