Australia tour of South Africa (Preview)

Australia is all set to tour South Africa in the month of March to play four-match Test series. Steven Smith and co. produced an emphatic display with bat and ball to reclaim the Urn and regain Ashes series against England at home.

It is not going to be easy as surfaces in South Africa will provide assistance to Australian bowlers. Smith will be wary of the fact that his side played on sluggish surfaces in the Ashes series and would need to prepare adequately to withstand the onslaught thrown by South African pace bowlers. Steven Smith has been in splendid form as he amassed over 600 runs in the Ashes series against England. He led from the front and played important knocks for the side. Australian selectors got everything right for the Ashes series as Shaun Marsh came good with the bat. The left-handed scored two centuries in the five-match series and played crucial knocks to see Australia keep their control over England for long periods.

David Warner would be keen to return to form after a lean run with the bat. The left-handed batsman has not been at his best and would take heart from the fact that he has superb in South Africa. The surfaces in South Africa are quite similar in nature to what Australia prepares for their home summer. Peter Handscomb, Mitchell Marsh, and Usman Khuwaja will be keen to do well in South Africa. Wicket-Keeper Tim Paine was excellent with his work behind the stumps as selectors made a big move by selecting him for the Ashes series ahead of Peter Nevill.

Pat Cummins was superb throughout the Ashes series and would be keen to do well in the country he made his debut six years ago. Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood are potent new-ball pair and will be more than a handful on the surfaces that will offer assistance to fast bowlers. Nathan Lyon has become a great bowler in the format and would be keen to continue his good form against South Africa.

South Africa have plenty of problems at their disposal as captain Faf du Plessis will be trying his best to get fit for the first game of the series. It is believed that du Plessis might miss the opening game at Durban as his finger injury will take at least six weeks.

The other big name on the injured is AB De Villiers, who has suffered an ankle injury. The star batsman will be keen to play against Southern Hemisphere rivals Australia. Quinton de Kock and Dale Steyn are doubtful starters for the series. Khaya Zondo and Theunis De Bruyn might be included in the squad as a reserve batsman for the four-match series. Aiden Markram and Hashim Amla will be focused to do well against Australia.

Heinrich Klaasen might also be in the mix for a place in Test side after doing well in the one-day series against India. Vernon Philander, Kagiso Rabada, and Morne Morkel are all fit and will be first-choice bowlers for South Africa for the opening game at Durban. Lungi Ngidi is the fourth seamer after doing well against India in the two games. Duanne Olivier and Temba Bavuma will be included in the squad since it is four-match series between Australia and South Africa.

The opening Test of the four-match series will be played at Kingsmead, Durban on 1st March. The other games will be played at Port Elizabeth, Cape Town, and Johannesburg.

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