Ed Hawkins previews the one-off T20 from Carrarra on Saturday and can't see much value in the hosts...
"If South Africa can post more than 180 they will expect Shamsi or Tahir to put the significant squeeze on"
Australia v South Africa
Saturday 17 November 08.20
Australia in a state
Australia were well-beaten in the end by South Africa in the three-match series. Ordinarily we don't put too much store in form crossing over to a different format but it's hard not to take notice of Australia's slump.
They are still suffering the fallout of the ball-tampering scandal which robbed them of Steve Smith and David Warner. And before the deciding ODI against South Africa Marcus Stoinis, rather surprisingly, admitted the team were mentally shot.
They have also lost their last three T20s, suffering a whitewash against Pakistan in the UAE thanks to some awful efforts chasing. They are over-reliant on Aaron Finch for runs, who is on a stinker of a run while Chris Lynn and D'Arcy Short continue to struggle to bring Bash form to the biggest stage.
Bowling resources are stretched here. There is no Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood or Nathan Lyon. That means AJ Tye, Nathan Coulter-Nile and Billy Stanlake form the attack.
South Africa eye spin threat
The three-pronged pace attack which fired South Africa to ODI series glory remain in attendance yet it is doubtful as to whether Dale Steyn, Kagiso Rabada and Lungi Ngidi will all play. South Africa could look to spin here to win the day.
Getting Tabraiz Shamsi and Imran Tahir into the same team is a struggle but is surely worth it considering Australia's awful record against turn. It could be that Shamsi is the sole spinner as South Africa have moved towards giving him his head with Tahir rested.
There is, of course, no Hashim Amla or JP Duminy. Instead Quinton De Kock, Reez Hendricks and Aiden Markram will be charged with fast runs. It is not a wholly reliable line-up and much will depend on Faf Du Plessis and David Miller, just as it did in the ODI.
South Africa warmed up with a convincing win over a Cricket Australia XI after posting 201. Markram, Heinrich Klaasen and Farhaan Behardien all hit form.
Groundsman going for runs
The Gold Coast Stadium hosts an international for the first time. Great for the people of the region. Not great for us as there is little to go on because it's an Aussie Rules stadium. We would be surprised, however, if it was not a run fest. These one-off venues are desperate for entertainment value so produce absolute roads. And that is what the groundsman has said his aim is. Busting more than 180 would seem to be a given for the side batting first.
Groundsman going for runs
Australia are [1.82] with South Africa [2.16] . Given Australia's form in all formats (two wins in ten) and their malaise, it seems a tricky job to convince anyone they are value at that price.
They are better at home, though, with four wins on the bounce in T20s and if they bat first and go big they won't look such a bad bet after all.
Of course the opposite will be true if South Africa bat first. If they can post more than 180 they will expect Shamsi or Tahir to put the significant squeeze on. They will be our bet with the toss in their favour.
To the Max
Finch is Australia's top runscorer in the last 12 months with 469 but his form is not good enough to warrant support at 11/4 with Betfair Sportsbook for top Australia runscorer. His last seven scores in all formats read: 11-41-5-1-3-0-1. Short is only eight runs behind but his last four scores read: 0-10-2-4. Glenn Maxwell has a decent record over the same period and the 7s sticks out like a sore thumb.
Miller and Klaasen underrated
Klaasen whacked 43 from 21 balls from No 4 in the warm-up from No 4 and we're not sure what he's done wrong to get a 12s quote from Betfair Sportsbook. Miller also looks big at 6s considering his sensational form in the ODI series.
Ed Hawkins P-L
Based only on available prices. Does not include back-to-lay in-running match advice or commission rate. Figures 2013-2016 on 1pt level stakes. New points system (0.5pt-5) introduced for 2017. Includes Hawk-Eye stats column p-l
Back South Africa bat 1st 2.16 or better (1pt)