After a shoddy performance in the T20 International series, South Africa bounced back in some style as they got the better of Australia by 74 runs in the first ODI at Paarl.
After an indifferent home season, South Africa will be itching to close out the series at Mangaung Oval, in Bloemfontein. For Australia, on the other hand, this serves as a must-win game.
Ground details and team combination:
Bloemfontein has hosted just two ODIs since the start of 2016, and with an average run-rate of 6, this ground has seen runs flow. However, it has also brought the bowlers into play. They have returned a wicket every 27.4 balls, which is the best for any ground in South Africa since 2016. The average runs/wicket here is also a low 27.2. So, having a few hard-hitters in your team backed by a solid group of bowlers should be the way to go here.
On the bowling front, while pacers have picked up more wickets at this venue, spinners have a better strike-rate and average here in ODIs since 2016. They have picked up a wicket every 22.7 balls while averaging just 22.8.
Among the different bowler types, this venue is one of the very few in South Africa that has favoured spinners more. Leg-spinners and off-spinners with a bowling strike-rate of 19.2 and 22 respectively have been the most successful here. You can definitely go for leggie Adam Zampa for this game while the likes of Lungi Ngidi and Pat Cummins should be in the side.
In an otherwise fragile batting lineup, Quinton de Kock is the one shining light that the entire Proteas setup depends on. He missed out in the first ODI but at a ground where he has done well, de Kock will want to get back amongst the runs. De Kock has been in impressive form across formats. Since the start of 2019, he has scored 976 runs in 21 innings averaging a strong 48.8. In addition, he can also earn you important points behind the stumps.
It might seem that Steve Smith is not getting massive runs but the fact is that he is consistent and that is what any team wishes for. Since his return from a ban last year, Smith has scored 684 runs in 13 innings averaging 52.62. In the 13 innings, he has seven scores of 50 or more. As far as fantasy cricket is concerned, Smith is one player who is guaranteed to give you a lot of points.
Lungi Ngidi might have missed a lot of international cricket in the recent past but the fact is that in whatever matches he has played, he has been among the wickets and that is what matters. In 12 innings since the start of 2019, he has picked up 21 wickets striking every 25 balls. He picked up three wickets in the first ODI too and will be keen on continuing with the run.
Pat Cummins is probably one bowler you can always rely on giving you points no matter what the surface. He hits the right lengths, bowls correct channels and very rarely goes wicket-less. The highest wicket-taker for Australia since the start of 2019, Cummins has returned 36 wickets in 20 innings striking every 29.8 balls. He also has a decent record against South Africa as he showed in the first ODI.
So who should you pick in your fantasy team for this encounter? We are going with a combination of five frontline batsmen including the wicket-keeper, two all-rounders and four bowlers for this game.
Quinton de Kock (C), David Warner, Steve Smith (VC), David Miller, Heinrich Klassen, Andile Phehlukwayo, D’Arcy Short, Pat Cummins, Anrich Nortje, Lungi Ngidi, Adam Zampa