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The Preview by Firdose Moonda
September 29, 2012
But there are others. In the 2007 World Cup, South Africa lost twice to Australia, once in the group stage and once in the semi-final. Australia have had the better of South Africa in major tournaments since Sydney 1992, when South Africa beat them by nine wickets.
This time, the contest is no more insubstantial. Australia could seal their place in the semi-final with a win and ease their passage to a trophy they have yet to lay claim on. If that happens, South Africa could be looking for the exit signs of yet another major tournament. If it does not, South Africa will live to fight another day, something they have promised to do in pursuit of silverware.
Even without the history, the match-ups are compelling. Both George Bailey and AB de Villiers are in the process of proving themselves as captains, South Africa have an experienced pace attack in Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel, Australia a youthful one with Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc leading their charge. Richard Levi was talked about as having the power of David Warner, but lacks the consistency and Jacques Kallis and Brad Hogg are two of the oldest men at the event who will no doubt take bragging rights from whoever makes a more athletic save in the field.
Although the tournament itself has been livened up since the group stage, South Africa and Australia have never disappointed when it comes to thrills. Theirs could be some of the bigger ones of an already big event.
Form guide(completed matches, most recent first)
Watch out for
Once shaky but now solid, JP Duminy has become a go-to man for South Africa and one of their most reliable presences on the field. Duminy's problems against spin are a thing of the past, his level head has helped steady the batting in everything from a Test match in England to the T20 against Pakistan. He also took a crucial wicket and an athletic catch and his all-round presence is an important one for South Africa if they hope to go all the way this time.
South Africa (probable): 1 Richard Levi, 2 Hashim Amla, 3 Jacques Kallis, 4 AB de Villiers (capt & wk), 5 JP Duminy, 6 Farhaan Behardien, 7 Albie Morkel 8 Johan Botha 9 Robin Peterson 10 Morne Morkel, 11 Dale Steyn
After outclassing India in all departments on Friday, Australia could go in with the same XI.
Australia (probable): 1 David Warner, 2 Shane Watson, 3 Mike Hussey, 4 Cameron White, 5 George Bailey (capt), 6 Glenn Maxwell, 7 Matthew Wade (wk), 8 Dan Christian, 9 Brad Hogg, 10 Pat Cummins, 11 Mitchell Starc
Pitch and conditions
Stats and trivia
Quotes"If we play better cricket, we will go through to the semi-finals and there won't be any choking there, that's for sure."
"We have got our fingers crossed that they will play AB de Villiers as low as they possibly can. That will work in our favour."
Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondentFeeds: Firdose Moonda
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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