6 talking points ahead of SA v Oz ODI series

2016-09-28 16:22
Dale Steyn (Getty Images)

Cape Town - The Proteas start off their summer by taking on world No 1 Australia in a five-match ODI series on home soil.

The Proteas haven’t had a good year thus far and they will be looking to get their 2016/17 season off to a winning start.

Following the five ODIs against Australia, the Proteas will head Down Under for a three-match Test series, which begins on November 3.

Here are six talking points ahead of the Australia’s ODI tour to South Africa:

1. No AB

The Proteas will be without their star batsman AB de Villiers and his absence in the squad will be sorely missed.

De Villiers, the world's No 1-ranked ODI batsman, failed a fitness test which has ruled him out of the home and away series' against Australia.

Rilee Rossouw will replace De Villiers as he comes back into the Proteas squad after injuring his right shoulder in the recent triangular series in the Caribbean.

2. Faf ‘used’ to captaincy takeover

Faf du Plessis' role in the Proteas squad has transcended from just being a middle order batsman, as he's had to on multiple occasions fill in for De Villiers as skipper.

So coming into the ODI series at the helm, Du Plessis knows a thing or two about captaining South Africa in the one-day game, winning three out of four as skipper.

3. Steyn and Tahir lead bowling attack

Dale Steyn is back for the Proteas after missing almost half of the year due to injuries. He delivered a match-winning performance against New Zealand, as the Proteas went on to take the three-match Test series, 1-0.

Steyn and spinner Imran Tahir will lead a rather young South African bowling attack, alongside Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi and new cap, Andile Phehlukwayo.

Wayne Parnell and Aaron Phangiso will add some experience and momentum going into the series, as they took two wickets apiece in Sunday's warm-up against Ireland.

4. Miller returns

David Miller is back in the squad after he was overlooked by coach Russell Domingo and the national selectors following Rilee Rossouw’s early departure from the Caribbean.

The big-hitting batsman returns after solid performances of 90, 124* and 72* for South Africa ‘A’ in Australia in August.

The 27-year-old Miller has struggled to find a spot in the national squad in recent times and will be hoping to find his way into the starting XI. He may well be fighting for one spot with Farhaan Behardien. Whether he'll get a crack at it on Friday or in the coming matches, it will be vital that 'Killer' Miller seizes his chance and cements his place in the squad.

5. Get back into winning form

There's no sugar coating this, South Africa haven't had the best season this year: losing their No 1 ranking, losing the Test series against England, another disappointing ICC World Twenty20 campaign and losing the tri-series in the Caribbean.

However, there have been some positives: the ODI series win against England and the Test series win against New Zealand.

The Proteas have won six of their 12 one-day games, which isn't the best return heading into a busy and long season for South Africa.

Consistency is key for Domingo and his troops, especially with the Champions Trophy looming next year.

6. SA could edge closer to Aussies in rankings

South Africa could move up from their current fourth-place position to No 2 in the ODI team rankings.

While no result will see the Proteas overtake Australia at the summit, a Proteas victory by a 5-0 or 4-1 margin will see them move to second, ahead of India (currently third) and New Zealand (currently second).

A 3-2 series win will put South Africa in third.

A series defeat by any margin would see the Proteas remain in fourth, unless they lose 5-0 and England beat Bangladesh 3-0.

Proteas squad:

Faf du Plessis (Titans, captain), Kyle Abbott (Warriors), Hashim Amla (Cape Cobras), Farhaan Behardien (Titans), Quinton de Kock (Titans), JP Duminy (Cape Cobras), Imran Tahir (Dolphins), David Miller (Knights), Wayne Parnell (Cape Cobras), Aaron Phangiso (Highveld Lions), Andile Phehlukwayo (Dolphins), Kagiso Rabada (Highveld Lions), Rilee Rossouw (Knights), Tabraiz Shamsi (Titans), Dale Steyn (Cape Cobras)
Tour fixtures:
Friday, September 30: 1st ODI, South Africa v Australia, SuperSport Park - 13:30
Sunday, October 2: 2nd ODI, South Africa v Australia, Wanderers - 10:00
Wednesday, October 5: 3rd ODI, South Africa v Australia, Kingsmead - 13:30
Sunday, October 9: 4th ODI, South Africa v Australia, St George’s Park - 10:00
Wednesday, October 12: 5th ODI, South Africa v Australia, Newlands - 13:30


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