T20 World Cup Tips: South Africa v Australia

JP Duminy could be South Africa's top batsman

It is do or die for the Proteas. Defeat against the Australians will mean an early return home for AB de Villiers' men. Richard O'Hagan previews the game.

"There were signs against India that Watson’s run of good form with the bat may be coming to an end as he scratched around like an itchy chicken"

South Africa v Australia
Sky Sports 3
1100hrs BST

South Africa
It is the fate of all South African teams that, whenever they lose a tight contest such as the one against Pakistan on Friday, a certain 'c' word is immediately bandied about. To do so now would be unfair, though. The simple fact is that South Africa batted poorly in that game and left themselves with too small a total to defend. The Morkel brothers bowled poorly, going for an average of ten runs per over, and AB de Villiers bizarrely only gave his spinners eight of a possible twelve overs when Pakistan were tying themselves in knots trying to deal with them. You can bet that South Africa won't be that bad again. They may bring in Justin Ontong for Albie Morkel to give themselves one more slow bowling option.


With Shane Watson, Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc sure of their place, Australia's problem so far has been how to make up their other two bowlers. Brad Hogg has bowled well, but has been increasingly a liability in the field, with two expensive misfields and a dropped catch against India. The other four overs have come from Glenn Maxwell, who not only sounds like a country and western singer but who bowls about as threateningly as one, too, and Dan Christian, who seems to bowl at just the right pace to be thrashed around the ground on these wickets. With this in mind, it is surely time that the Aussies bit the bullet and recalled David Hussey, giving them four overs of flightless spin and a chance to play an extra bowler such as Clint McKay.

Match Odds
One thing which we learned from Friday's game is that whichever side has the more potent spin attack is going to have the upper hand in this game. With neither side being particularly well-endowed in that respect, the balance of power could lie with the Proteas, who have the weight of spinning numbers on their side. The closeness of the game is reflected in the market, with Australia [2.0] and South Africa [1.99] to win.

Top South Africa batsman
For all of the attention heaped upon the likes of Amla and Kallis, the one South African batsman who mastered the Colombo pitch on Friday was JP Duminy. The little left-hander has previous against Australia, too, making his name as a Test player against them back in 2009. Back him at the generous odd of [8.2]

Top Australia batsman
There were signs against India that Watson's run of good form with the bat may be coming to an end as he scratched around like an itchy chicken against the Indians before being given some easy runs by the sort of bowling which would disgrace a charity game, turning what looked like being a very dirty 30 into a match-winning 72. His opening partner, David Warner, was the exact opposite, cutting, pulling and driving with immense power and playing the supporting role to perfection. Those roles may be reversed against the South Africans, as Watson always looks uncomfortable against genuinely quick bowling whereas Warner usually does not mind a bit more pace on the ball. Back him at odds of around [4.3]

Recommended Bet
Back JP Duminy at 8.27/1 to be top South Africa batsman

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