The series is on the line in Hobart as Australia and South Africa lock horns in the Tasmanian capital city on Sunday.
Australia, after a disappointing performance in the first one dayer at Perth, came back strongly to defeat South Africa by 7 runs in the second ODI at Adelaide, thus ending their seven game losing streak in ODI’s.
With the series level at 1-1, a win here will do both sides a world of confidence ahead of next year’s World Cup in England.
Aaron Finch, would have been relieved to get a first win under his belt after their testing tour of the UAE. Finch’s captaincy was instrumental in Australia’s win at the Adelaide Oval, with the Victorian preferring to use his pace bowlers first instead of keeping them for the end overs.
In the second ODI, the likes of Finch, Shaun Marsh, Chris Lynn and Alex Carey all got starts but weren’t able to convert them into big scores, with no Australian able to even make a half century.
Adam Zampa’s late flourish enabled the home side to put up a competitive total of 231 which at one point seemed unlikely.
Travis Head has had a disappointing series with the bat. The Aussies may contemplate opening with Lynn, and push Head down the order.
Big hitters like Glen Maxwell and Marcus Stoinis have fallen to some pretty ordinary shots in both the ODI’S.
Stoinis though has been outstanding with the ball, and delivered the key wicket of David Miller in Adelaide. It was also his inch perfect throw from the deep that lead to the crucial run out of Aiden Markram and triggered a collapse at the top for the visitors.
South Africa, after a outstanding performance in the first ODI suffered a jolt in the second, with old batting demons coming to roost.
The chase at Adelaide was a relatively easy one, but the Proteas made a horrible mess of it, and the nature of their lower order capitulation would’ve been a cause of great concern for coach Ottis Gibson and skipper Faf du Plessis.
In the bowling department the likes of Dale Steyn, Kagiso Rabada and Lungi Ngidi have been sensational. A potential change could be made in the all rounder spot, where South Africa could choose to give Chris Morris a game, or return to Andile Phehlukwayo in place of Dwaine Pretorius.
Gibson’s men were guilty of allowing the game slip in Adelaide as they conceded valuable runs to Australia’s last wicket partnership, and those 20 odd extra runs eventually proved to the difference at the end, with the Proteas falling short by 7.