South Africa v Australia, 2nd Twenty20, Johannesburg October 15, 2011

Australia's chance for Twenty20 success

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Match facts

October 16, Johannesburg
Start time 1430 (1230 GMT)

Big Picture

South Africa were rusty in the first game, which was to be expected after such a long lay-off. They missed chances in the field and, JP Duminy aside, didn't hit their straps with the bat. But on a better batting pitch in Johannesburg, they will be able to use the pace from Australia's fast men and feel the ball coming off the bat. Hashim Amla now has a match under his belt as the country's captain and he will lead with more confidence at the Wanderers. The key for the hosts is to produce a more consistent performance - Duminy, Morne Morkel and Lonwabo Tsotsobe played well in the series opener, but they cannot be expected to carry the side.

For Cameron White's Australia, this match presents a rare chance to win a Twenty20 series. Flying in to a country for one or two Twenty20s and then heading home could become a familiar feeling for White, who is not part of the ODI squad, and it would do his confidence a world of good to depart with a 2-0 result. Shane Watson has been told by Michael Clarke not to expect a rest any time soon, even if he feels tired after his Sri Lanka tour and Champions League commitments. Watson is not the type of player who would want a break in any case. His strong half-century in Cape Town showed the kind of form he is in, and if he and David Warner make a good start, Australia will be hard to beat.

Form guide

South Africa LLWWW
Australia WLLWL

In the spotlight

South Africa's batting in the first match was built around JP Duminy, who played himself in and then started finding the middle of the bat. He enjoys playing against Australia and will again be a key man at the Wanderers.

David Warner finished the Champions League T20 with a pair of centuries but viewers didn't get to enjoy his fireworks in Cape Town, where he was run out in the first over. If Warner spends a few overs at the crease in Johannesburg, expect plenty of balls to fly into the crowd.

Team news

Rusty Theron was a weak link in South Africa's attack and could be under pressure from Wayne Parnell. Graeme Smith was rusty in the first game and would benefit from another outing. Richard Levi has a strong case to be included, and it could be at the expense of David Miller.

South Africa (possible) 1 Hashim Amla (capt), 2 Graeme Smith, 3 JP Duminy, 4 Colin Ingram, 5 Richard Levi/David Miller, 6 Heino Kuhn (wk), 7 Johan Botha, 8 Robin Peterson, 9 Morne Morkel, 10 Rusty Theron/Wayne Parnell, 11 Lonwabo Tsotsobe.

The spinner Steve O'Keefe was given only one over in the first game, with David Hussey effectively acting as the lead spinner. That could mean the selectors will consider leaving O'Keefe out in Johannesburg, especially with a harder pitch on offer, and handing a debut to Mitchell Marsh, a powerful batsman who can also offer another seam-bowling option.

Australia (possible): 1 David Warner, 2 Shane Watson, 3 Shaun Marsh, 4 David Hussey, 5 Cameron White (capt), 6 Steven Smith, 7 Mitchell Marsh, 8 Matthew Wade (wk), 9 James Pattinson, 10 Patrick Cummins, 11 Doug Bollinger.

Pitch and conditions

The Wanderers surface is expected to be hard and bouncy, with plenty of runs available for the batsmen. The seamers are likely to find more assistance than the spinners. The forecast is for a sunny day and a top of 27C.

Stats and trivia

  • South Africa and Australia have met in seven Twenty20 internationals. Thursday's win by Australia was the first victory in those seven games by the away team.
  • Graeme Smith needs 42 runs to become the third man to reach 1000 runs in Twenty20 internationals, after Brendon McCullum and Kevin Pietersen.

Quotes

"If we can improve 5-10% every game, we are heading in the right direction."
South Africa batsman JP Duminy

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo