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South Africa vs Australia T20 Series

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4pts South Africa to win at 4/5 with Ladbrokes

2pts South Africa bowler at 10/3 with Paddy Power

2pts Duminy to be top SA batter at 8/1 with Ladbrokes

Australia visit South Africa in search of a real test to adequately prepare themselves for the challenging month ahead, taking on one of the tournament favourites in their own back yard. Coming off the back of a tough test series against New Zealand, Smith will now be joined by a raft of short form specialist who have made their name in the ever-growing Big Bash.

They will need to perform well after drubbing they received at the hands of India, where they were whitewashed in convincing fashion. The conditions in Durban will be more familiar however, so we should expect a close game.

Australia play less T20 cricket than most countries, but South Africa on the on the other hand, play plenty of it. Successfully too. They come into this series after disposing of Eoin Morgan’s England with a two nil series win just a couple of weeks ago.

There will be some serious firepower on show, with power hitters a plenty and talent throughout the batting line ups.

For the Proteas, AB de Villiers is back to his scintillating best on the back of a 23-ball fifty in the series clinching victory over England. Even more heartening will be the majestic way Hashim Amla played in the same game. It has long been thought that the bearded one’s technique is perfectly suited to India, where his wristy elegance should perfectly match the lower bounce.

South Africa also have potentially the biggest rising star on the planet at the moment in the form of Kagiso Rabada. The young pacer seems to have everything to become the best, and he will have the chance to learn from a modern day master. Dale Steyn is set to return to the international scene to partner the youngster with the new ball. There can be fewer more potent pair around. Especially as both can prodigiously reverse swing the white ball.

Australia perhaps bat deeper, with players like Hastings, Coulter-Nile and Agar all able to bat properly in this format. They are likely to bat 7,8 and 9.

However, as England proved, having capable batters down the order is ok, but not at the expense of picking the best bowlers. A batter at 7 or eight is only likely to face 15 balls on a good day, and therefore has little chance of regularly affecting the game.

To my eye, South Africa have a better bat vs ball balance in their side, and will be able to get the key wickets that ultimately set up games.

Full preview: https://www.punterslounge.com/betting-tips/south-africa-vs-australia-tips-will-durban-be-a-happy-hunting-ground-for-smith-s-men--2016030204

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4pts South Africa to win at 4/5 with Coral

2pts Tahir to be top South Africa bowler at 3/1 with Ladbrokes

2pts Finch to be top Australia batter at 3/1 with Coral

In many respects the first game was squandered by Australia, who relinquished a commanding position after the powerplay. They went from 70/1 to 159/9 in a collapse of biblical proportions. But they will have few better chances to protect such a total, after dismissing AB de Villiers first ball of the home team’s reply.

T20 seems to be South Africa’s comfort zone, and they looked generally calm as they chased the score with just four balls left. And there was a surprising figure head to the chase. David Miller, scoring his first T20I fifty, marshalled the pursuit, aided by the efforts of skipper, Faf du Plessis.

Miller continues to languish at number six, but as the game played out, he was left with a perfect scenario, facing 35 balls and measuring his innings.

Australia will be left with some concerns. In the same way that England balance (or rather don’t balance) their eleven, they had a lot of all rounders not facing many balls. Too many able batsmen discourages the actual batters from taking real responsibility. And responsibility is still an attribute in T20 cricket. Teams like India don’t bat down to 10, instead they rely on batsmen to get runs, and bowlers to get wickets.

A captain’s knock from former skipper Aaron Finch put the visitors in a great position, but he was let down by the players who followed, including the new captain, Steve Smith. Glenn Maxwell continues to show why his is not world class, with a limp knock that promises enough to keep his place, but delivers little to win a match.

As the second game comes around, it seems that we can reasonably assume a spin friendly surface once more, putting South Africa as clear favourites. After all, Adam Zampa doesn’t frighten anyone. Australia could be left to rue the omission of Nathan Lyon here.

Full preview here: https://www.punterslounge.com/betting-tips/cricket/south-africa-vs-australia-tips-home-team-dominance-or-visitor-resurgence--2016030406

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