Five Things we learned – Australia v South Africa ODI Series 2018/19

1. South Africa’s Pace Attack could win them the World Cup.

Fast, accurate and oh so dangerous, the South African fast bowling attack has all the makings of a World Cup winner. Dale Steyn, Kagiso Rabada and Lungi Ngidi all bowl 140kmh thunderbolts but with a level of control not usually evident in those who deal in the brutish fast bowling arts. With both Rabada and Ngidi yet to celebrate their 24th birthdays, they also appear set to terrorise batters of the world for a few World Cups to come.


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2. Batting woes plague Australia.

As has been their custom in recent series, the Australian batting line up appeared skittish and unreliable against South Africa. Just how unreliable evident in the fact a bowler finished third in Australia’s batting averages. Their whole approach to the game seems to be confused, whether it be in their strategy or the players they choose to implement it. Which other team in world cricket would have batted Alex Carey ahead of Glenn Maxwell given the situation of the Third ODI then justify it by suggesting the Victorian shouldn’t bat higher than seven on form despite him outperforming the captain and a number of other batsmen in the last two ODI series.


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3. Du Plessis and Miller show Australia how it’s done.

Coming together after the fall of three quick early wickets, Faf Du Plessis and David Miller delivered a master class of how to rebuild an ODI innings. Keeping the scoreboard ticking over while consolidating the position, the pair put themselves in position for a record breaking onslaught at the death. The last 15 balls of the partnership saw 51 runs added to the Proteas score, and the partnership becoming the highest in the history of Australia and South Africa ODI’s. While he will be sure to have conversations with his bowlers about their part in the proceedings, you can be sure that Justin Langer will also be making sure his batters know this is the template he expects them to follow.


4. A buttock abscess can hurt more than you think.

With Shaun Marsh’s late withdrawal from the First ODI we learned of the literal and figurative pain a buttock abscess can cause. While initially needing to suppress a schoolboy-esque giggle at the seeming ridiculousness of the situation, that it forced him from the side suggests the level of discomfort. The best performed Aussie bat in the recent ODI series against England, his absence hurt us all figuratively which was reinforced with his sublime century in the third game.


5. Marcus Stoinis is on the way to elite Allrounder status.

While his 63 in the last match ended a run of outs, as the leading wicket taker for the Series, Marcus Stoinis is fast building a reputation as one of Australia’s most important ODI players. Clearly disappointed with his dismissal when his team needed him to go on with the job, at 29 years of age and entering the peak of his powers, he will have plenty of future opportunities to bat Australia to victory.


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