South Africa will be keen to continue their good run in Test Cricket when they face Australia in a four-match series. Hosts South Africa played well to beat India in the three-match series but could not replicate their good work in the one-day series. The absence of big players saw depleted South African teams get hammered by India in the one-day series.
Faf Du Plessis has returned to training full-time and still remains doubtful for the first game against Australia at Durban. South African team management and medical staff will be given to make Du Plessis would able to fit on time and lead the side for the game at Durban. South Africa Test Captain Faf Du Plessis has done a splendid job as the leader and contributed with crucial runs for the side with the bat.
AB De Villiers has regained full fitness and will be eyeing to do something special in this series. South Africa have never won a series against Australia at home. In total seven series, Australia have come out on five occasions. De Villiers will be determined to produce his best with the bat to upstage Australia at home.
Dean Elgar came good with the bat in the final game against India at Johannesburg. The left-handed batsman will have to raise his game for this series after producing a string of low scores against Australia.
Aiden Markam has cemented his place as an opener for South Africa. The youngster has all the ingredients to play for South Africa for a long time. Hashim Amla has not been at his best in the Test arena. He has shown signs of impatience at times but will need to bring his A-game for South Africa in this series.
Quinton de Kock will under pressure after suffering from poor form in the five-day format. The wicket-keeper will have to produce runs as South Africa has included uncapped Heinrich Klaasen for the four-match series. Klaasen has produced good performances for South Africa which resulted in his maiden call-up to the Test Squad.
Vernon Philander has been terrific with the ball and was declared man of the series against India. Kagiso Rabada has been South Africa’s designated enforcer with the ball in Test cricket in absence of Dale Steyn. Morne Morkel has decided to quit the international game after Australian series. The fast bowler will be keen to produce his best performance against Southern Hemisphere rivals Australia. Lungi Ngidi is the fourth seamer in the squad.
On the other hand, Australia have adjusted to the conditions well after beating South Africa A in the warm-up game. David Warner will be keen to produce big runs against South Africa after suffering from a dip in form during Ashes series. Steven Smith will be a key player for Australia as captain has been producing big runs with greater consistency.
Usman Khuwaja and Shaun Marsh are experienced players who will be keen to continue good form in South Africa. Mitchell Marsh came back with a bang in the Ashes series and scored two centuries to see Australia notch up a comprehensive series win over England in the five-match series.
Marsh needs to work on his bowling as Australia is hoping that he can contribute with overs in the format. Mitchell Starc will be excited to play his first series in South Africa. The left-arm will be a handful in conditions that offer plenty of assistance for fast bowlers. Josh Hazlewood is an accurate bowler who has a habit of sticking to a game plan.
Pat Cummins will be one to watch out for his extreme pace. Nathan Lyon has become an attacking option with the ball and would be keen to continue his good form with the ball. The spinner might enjoy conditions in Durban and Port Elizabeth that have becomingly slower surfaces than other ones in the country.
South Africa vs Australia Schedule
1st Test–South Africa vs Australia
Thursday, Mar 1, 2018, at 08:00 GMT
2nd Test- South Africa vs Australia
Friday, Mar 9, 2018, at 08:00 GMT
3rd Test – South Africa vs Australia
Thursday, Mar 22, 2018, at 08:00 GMT
4th Test – South Africa vs Australia
Friday, Mar 30, 2018, at 08:00 GMT