South Africa (SA) and Australia (AUS) will square off in a mouth-watering clash in the ODI World Cup 2023 on Thursday, October 11, in Lucknow.

The Proteas recently hosted Australia in a three-match T20I series followed by a five-match ODI series. The away side won all three T20Is and went on to lead the ODI series 2-0 before Temba Bavuma’s men mustered a spirited fightback to bag the series 3-2. This series win will surely give South Africa a lot of confidence as they face the former five-time champions.

South Africa produced a record-shattering batting effort in their opening encounter of the ODI World Cup 2023 against Sri Lanka in Delhi. Centuries from Quinton de Kock, Rassie van der Dussen, and Aiden Markram helped South Africa post 428/5 in their 50 overs, which is the highest-ever total amassed in the history of the marquee event. The Sri Lankans lost by 102 runs as youngster Gerald Coetzee finished with a three-for.

Australia, on the other hand, come into this encounter on the back of a six-wicket loss to India in their opening match of the tournament in Chennai. Josh Hazlewood was the standout performer for the Men in Yellow as he picked up three wickets. However, as a team, Australia were far from the lofty standards they have set for themselves.

Here’s South Africa’s Predicted XI Against Australia:

Openers: Temba Bavuma (C), Quinton de Kock (WK)

Quinton de Kock and Temba Bavuma

South Africa’s opening batters performed contrastingly against Sri Lanka. Captain Bavuma hit a couple of boundaries before being adjudged LBW off the bowling of Dilshan Madushanka for just eight. However, the diminutive batter has been in prolific form in ODI cricket in 2023, and one bad outing will not dent his confidence.

Quinton de Kock is one of the most experienced players in the Proteas side. The experience came to the fore in the game against Sri Lanka as he scored a fantastic 84-ball 100 to set the platform beautifully for the middle and lower order.

Middle Order: Rassie van der Dussen, Aiden Markram, Heinrich Klaasen, David Miller

Aiden-Markram-and-David-Miller. (Photo by Surjeet Yadav/Getty Images)

Rassie van der Dussen was terrific in his maiden ODI innings in India. He formed a 204-run partnership alongside de Kock and played some exquisite shots during his knock of 108 off 110 balls. The top-ranked South African batter in the 50-over format will look to build on this innings.

Aiden Markram took time to get used to ODI cricket but is now a force to be reckoned with. He made his debut in the format in 2019 but had to wait four years to register his maiden century. In fact, all three of Markram’s centuries have come in 2023. Against Sri Lanka, Markram scripted history as his 49-ball century was the quickest in the history of ODI World Cups.

Heinrich Klaasen will come in Adam Zampa’s nightmares for a while as the flamboyant batter took the Aussie spinner to the cleaners during his 83-ball 174-run onslaught in Centurion last month. However, in the more spinner-friendly conditions at the Ekana Stadium, Zampa could turn the tide. Klaasen played a crucial cameo of 32 runs off 20 balls against Sri Lanka and will the dangerman in the latter overs.

David Miller is the designated finisher on the Proteas side. He has the ability to bat deep if wickets fall early and can also finish with a flourish. The southpaw scored an unbeaten 21-ball 39 against Sri Lanka and helped his team finish strongly.

Also Check: Most Runs in ODI World Cup 2023

All-rounder: Marco Jansen

Marco jansen
Marco Jansen. (Photo Source: Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

The young all-rounder has come of age this year. Bowling was always his prime skill, but in 2023, he has shown a lot of ability to tonk the ball by using the long handle. Against Sri Lanka, Jansen picked up a couple of wickets with the new balls but was later taken for 92 runs at the end of his quota of 10 overs. The 23-year-old is still learning the tricks of the trade but has already produced some memorable performances, including the five-for against the Aussies in the fifth ODI last month.

Bowlers: Keshav Maharaj, Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi, Tabraiz Shamsi

Kagiso Rabada
Kagiso Rabada. (Photo Source: Getty Images)

Keshav Maharaj has been bowling really well since his comeback from injury. In the high-scoring encounter against Sri Lanka, Maharaj managed to hold his own, finishing with figures of 2/62 in 10 overs, which is quite commendable on the belter that was on offer at the Arun Jaitley Stadium.

Kagiso Rabada’s stocks might have been on a little bit of decline in recent times, but he is still the spearhead of the South African bowling attack. The right-arm pacer picked up a couple of wickets in the last game, including the important one of Sri Lanka’s in-form batter, Kusal Mendis. Temba Bavuma and Co. would love to see the 28-year-old delivering against a top side like Australia.

Lungi Ngidi was the most economical bowler for South Africa in their previous game. He was also the only Proteas bowler who bowled a maiden in that encounter and picked up the wicket of Sri Lanka’s top-scorer, Charith Asalanka. Ngidi will have a crucial role to play with the new ball.

Tabraiz Shamsi might be considered for the game against Australia in place of Gerald Coetzee because the left-arm spinner will have conditions in his favour in Lucknow. Also, after seeing Australia’s struggles against the Indian spinners in the last game, bringing Shamsi into the playing XI might not be a tough call. However, Coetzee picked up three wickets in the game against Sri Lanka, and that could give a selection headache for the management.

Also Check: Most Wickets in ODI World Cup 2023

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