South Africa

South Africa v Australia First T20 Tips: Hosts underrated to draw first blood

Aiden Markram
Markram skippers the hosts

Ed Hawkins has all the team news, stats and trends for game one from Durban on Wednesday.

South Africa v Australia
Wednesday 30 August, 17:00
TV: Live on TNT Sports

South Africa v Australia team news

South Africa are not at full strength. None of Kagiso Rabada, Quinton de Kock, David Miller, Anrich Nortje, Heinrich Klaasen or Wayne Parnell will appear in the series.

That almost certainly means the Proteas pick the slow coach Temba Bavuma for his experience. But otherwise it's not too bad a possible line-up. We're still sweet on Aiden Markram despite the IPL disaster and Reeza Hendricks is a firestarter up front.

The two key men are spin pair Tabraiz Shamsi and Keshav Majaraj. They could cause problems. Sisanda Magala and Lungi Ngidi are excellent pace options. Tristan Stubbs is the confirmed keeper.

Possible XI: Bavuma, Hendricks, Markam, Rassie, Stubbs, Ferreira, Jansen Maharaj Shamsi Mgidi Magala

Australia have already named their XI. But how couldn't they? They are so hamstrung by injury and unavailability options were limited.

The main decision they faced was where to bat Josh Inglis and Aaron Hardie. With Matt Short opening with Travis Head, Inglis and Hardie are asked to be a middle-order rock and finisher respectively.

The late withdrawal of Glenn Maxwell seems to give this lot more of an experimental air than South Africa. Short, Hardie and Spencer Johnson make their debuts.

Australia XI: Head, Short, Marsh, Inglis, Stoinis, David, Hardie, Abbott, Ellis, Zampa, Johnson

South Africa v Australia pitch report

Durban can be a tricky pitch to call. In the last 17 South African domestic T20 matches, more than 160 was busted just twice with ten won by the chaser. In the franchise SAT20 we saw whopping scores in two from three.

The weather forecast is pretty good for the day-night contest and there is a suspicion that runs are in the offing. But it might be that the par line is insurmountably high for us to go overs at around the late 160s, possibly higher as that's where it's heading.

South Africa v Australia match odds

South Africa are 2.427/5 with Australia 1.695/7. Given the player drain both sides have suffered these odds don't make a huge amount of sense.

It smacks of a choice affair if ever there was one. For that reason, then, South Africa are worth an interest. We could probably even make a case for them having the edge with the ball.

By all means keep that toss bias on side. But we'd be very surprised if they don't at least flip these odds.

Back South Africa 2.427/5

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South Africa v Australia player bets

Ngidi would be a bet at 10/34.33 even if the likes of Rabada and Nortje were playing. He's an out-and-out wicket-taker in this format and we're happy to bet with Sportsbook.

With the bat, Travis Head may not have much to beat at 11/43.75 for top Aussie. Hitter Donovan Ferreira catches the eye at 18/119.00 for South Africa.

Back Lungi Ngidi top SA bowler @ 10/34.33

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