The first T20I between South Africa and Australia in Johannesburg ended up being a mismatch with the visitors easing to a 107-run win. Chasing a target of 197, the Proteas were on the back foot from the word-go after Mitchell Starc bowled Quinton de Kock in the first over.
Ashton Agar’s hat-trick was the icing on the cake for the Australians as they bowled South Africa out for just 89.
The two teams will now move to St. George’s Park in Port Elizabeth for the second T20I. It’s a must-win game for South Africa while Australia, who haven’t lost a match in the format since November 2018, will look to seal the series.
Ground details and team combination
The last time St. George’s Park hosted a completed T20 international was back in 2012. Since the start of 2018, there have been 12 T20 matches that have taken place at this venue.
In those matches, batsmen have scored 24.7 runs per wicket and a wicket has fallen every 18.4 deliveries, both of which are moderate numbers when you compare it to other South African stadiums which have seen at least 20 innings played during this period.
While pacers have taken most of the wickets to fall at St. George’s Park in T20 cricket since January 2018, there isn’t much difference between pacers and spinners when it comes to bowling average and strike rate.
Interestingly, leg-spinners have taken a wicket every 17.4 deliveries at this ground during this period, which is the best for any bowling type. Hence, Adam Zampa could be a good pick for your team.
Going by recent stats at this stadium, we can expect a good contest between bat and ball in this match. Therefore, it’ll probably be wise to keep a good balance of batsmen, bowlers and all-rounders in your team.
David Warner might have failed to make an impact in the first T20I, but that shouldn’t discourage you from picking the Australian opener. He has been incredibly consistent over the past year, scoring 1206 runs at an average of 67 in T20 cricket since the start of 2019. The most impressive bit is that he has scored 50+ in 15 out of the 26 innings he batted in during this period. When it comes to T20 internationals, he has been dismissed just twice in seven innings since his return in 2019.
Faf du Plessis was one of just three South African batsmen to have gotten into double digits in the first T20I. While he may no longer be captaining the team, his value as a batsman to the Proteas cannot be underestimated. He particularly has a good record while playing in South Africa. Since 2016, he has a healthy batting average of 37.66 while playing at home in T20Is.
As mentioned earlier, Adam Zampa could be a good pick for your team. While his spin partner Ashton Agar was the star of the show on Friday, Zampa also impressed, taking two wickets while conceding just nine runs from 2.3 overs. Since 2019, he has taken 51 wickets from 41 T20 innings which is a good return.
Did you know that Andile Phehlukwayo has taken at least one wicket in 11 out of the last 12 T20Is he’s played in? Since 2019, he is South Africa’s highest wicket-taker in the format too, having picked up 19 wickets in 11 T20I innings. During this period, his bowling strike rate is 13 which is superb. Phehlukwayo is handy with the bat too coming lower down and can get you a few important points there.
So, who should you pick in your fantasy team for this encounter? We will go for a combination of five frontline batsmen including the wicket-keeper, two all-rounders and four bowlers in our side. Here is my team:
David Warner (c), Quinton de Kock (wk), Faf du Plessis (vc), Rassie van der Dussen, Steve Smith, Ashton Agar, Andile Phehlukwayo, Tabraiz Shamsi, Lungi Ngidi, Mitchell Starc, Adam Zampa