South Africa v Australia, 1st ODI, Centurion October 18, 2011

All change for hosts and visitors

38

Match facts


South Africa v Australia, October 18, Centurion
Start time 1430 (1230 GMT, 23.30 EDT, 23.00 CDT, 20.30 WST)

Big Picture


Australia and South Africa have shared a theme of all change since both endured earlier World Cup exits than they had bargained for. Had the two teams faced each other in that tournament, it would have been with different captains, different coaches and arguably different approaches to the contest. In each case there is now also an element of the incomplete transition. Australia are touring with an interim coach, Troy Cooley, while Cricket Australia casts its net widely for a new man to fill the role. South Africa will be led by a stand-in captain in Hashim Amla while AB de Villiers continues his recovery from a broken finger.

A point of contrast between the two sides is the cricket they have played since the World Cup. South Africa have enjoyed an extended break from the game, allowing the new coach Gary Kirsten to settle into his position after leaving India at the conclusion of the World Cup. Though Australia also had a break after the cup, it was interspersed with a brief visit to Bangladesh where the visitors claimed a 3-0 sweep, then a successful tour of Sri Lanka where both the ODI and Test series were won by Michael Clarke's men.

Now Australia have the benefit of a deep and fully fit battery of fast bowlers, with the teenager Pat Cummins a most enticing new addition. South Africa must find the correct balance under Kirsten and Amla, though in Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel, Jacques Kallis and Amla himself there is one of the most accomplished senior groups in world cricket.

Form guide


South Africa: LWWWL
Australia: LWLWW

In the spotlight


Graeme Smith stepped down from the Twenty20 and ODI captaincy following the World Cup defeat, and for all his successes in Test cricket he had been unable to shake the unwanted "choking" tag from the team at major tournaments. A duck and 24 in the two T20 matches was not an outstanding return, and Smith will need to be at his best against an Australian attack that is clearly enjoying the pace and bounce on offer in South Africa after the trials of Sri Lanka's numerous unforgiving batting surfaces.

Michael Clarke showed tremendous poise and natural flair for captaincy on his first full tour in charge, but has acknowledged that the challenge will be far greater in South Africa. Added to his list of tasks on this trip is to hold together a highly transitional tour unit, with an interim coach and temporary selection panel, against opponents perfectly happy to exploit any weakness they can find. Clarke is also an exceptional player of spin but has been challenged by pace in the past, notably against England last summer. Steyn will be particularly keen to get at him.

Pitch and conditions


Centurion's surface has generally offered plenty of runs to batsmen, though there is also the possibility of bounce, movement and wickets for bowlers prepared to bend their backs. This may be even truer with a new ball being taken at each end as per the new ICC playing conditions.

Team news


South Africa's major selection doubt surrounds the place of the legspinner Imran Tahir, who excelled during the World Cup. He may take the place of Morne Morkel or Lonwabo Tsotsobe, though rain in the region may encourage the selection of three quicks.

South Africa (probable) 1 Graeme Smith, 2 Hashim Amla (capt), 3 Jacques Kallis, 4 Jean-Paul Duminy, 5 David Miller, 6 Faf du Plessis, 7 Mark Boucher (wk), 8 Johan Botha, 9 Dale Steyn, 10 Morne Morkel, 11 Lonwabo Tsotsobe.

Shane Watson's hip complaint is expected to keep him out of the first ODI at least, presenting a chance for David Warner at the top of the order. The loss of Watson's allround skills should also provide an opening for Mitchell Marsh, while Pat Cummins may shade James Pattinson to earn an ODI debut following his T20 success.

Australia (probable) 1 Shaun Marsh, 2 David Warner, 3 Ricky Ponting, 4 Michael Clarke (capt), 5 Michael Hussey, 6 Mitchell Marsh, 7 Brad Haddin (wk), 8 Mitchell Johnson, 9 Pat Cummins, 10 Xavier Doherty, 11 Doug Bollinger.

Stats & Trivia


  • Australia have won seven of 11 matches at Centurion, and the venue provided an important stepping stone to success in the 2003 World Cup and the 2009 Champions Trophy. However the record against South Africa is a little more balanced at 3-2 in favour of the hosts.
  • South Africa can draw all but level with Australia on the ICC ODI rankings with a 3-0 series sweep. The top-ranked Australians presently have a 14-point advantage over the Proteas.

Quotes



"Having lost AB is massive, You cant replace a guy like AB overnight, that comes over years. It's a big loss for SA cricket, our middle order and batting all in all. There is probably pressure on the middle order but injuries are part of the game nowadays."
Mark Boucher on the absence of AB de Villiers

"There's definitely still a chance. We won't pick our team until tomorrow morning. If they are not, it's important to make a smart decision.."
Michael Clarke on Shane Watson and Shaun Marsh's injuries.

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on October 19, 2011, 12:12 GMT

    Australians commenting here all reckon Australia has the edge,, what a surprise

  • on October 19, 2011, 11:44 GMT

    I'd be mortified if Imran Tahir does not play, He is a genuine wicket taker compared to Botha who is a container and does not get a lot of wickets. There would be no need for 2 spinners because Duminy is in the side to bowl offspin which furthers Tahirs claim because he adds variety, otherwise u just have 2 offspinners if botha plays. Botha certainly can bat and the tail looks very very hopeless without him but u have to trust the top 7 to produce the goods. I think SA has a huge problem Greame Smith is in horrid form, and with david miller and faf du flessis playing at 5 and 6 and then a long tail, they are really relying on Amla, Kallis and Duminy for consistency..they are 3 blokes that can be relied on but against australia I think the team will come short, Aussies batting looks better for mine, they are all in solid form, even mitch marsh if he plays he will be playing the number 6 role and if u compare him to Miller of SA he is a lot better batsman, Australia to win series

  • brisCricFan on October 19, 2011, 11:26 GMT

    @SubhashK: the quote was a reference to Watson & Marsh being fit to play. I heard Clarke in another interview sayin he didn't want to play either if not 100% as they need to b available for the other ODI's and Test series. A smart decision is to not play them and risk them for the other important games.

  • on October 19, 2011, 11:09 GMT

    SA tail, a bit shallow - will def put more pressure on the top order. Especially Smith, who's been struggling for form. For Aus, i think if Warner goes for broke, he could destroy SA. Return of Steyn is key tho. If he's pumped up and swings it - we'll def knock the aussies over cheaply.

  • i_witnessed_2011 on October 19, 2011, 11:00 GMT

    @Shashank: Its about availability of Watson and Marsh due to injury. Read it as "There's definitely still a chance (of playing them in 11) . We won't pick our team until tomorrow morning. If they are not(playing), it's important to make a smart decision.. (that means he(clarke) has to carefully pick replacements out of the available players. He does not want to give any hint on who will replace them :-))

  • on October 19, 2011, 10:55 GMT

    @SubhashK: He was taking about the possibility of Shane Watson & Shawn Marsh as you can see below!

  • on October 19, 2011, 9:40 GMT

    @naveenpnayak dont compare indian batting with aussie because aussies are familiar with SA , in history they won lots of matches vs SA in SA compare to india ....... Aussie will win series against SA,

  • SubhashK on October 19, 2011, 9:24 GMT

    I get confused with some quotes. Can someone please explain "There's definitely still a chance. We won't pick our team until tomorrow morning. If they are not, it's important to make a smart decision.." ? In particular, the last sentence and how it fits in

  • BIG_B_army on October 19, 2011, 8:48 GMT

    SA good team but for me Botha not good enough to bat 7 in intternational cricket. he is a good for a cameo and a really good number 8 but 7 not so sure. if i was opposition captain and saw him cuming in at 7 i would be far more happy then the other 7's around the world. Raina, Mathews, Bopara,

  • Marcio on October 19, 2011, 7:56 GMT

    It's pretty hard to predict what will happen here with all the new players. SA will be hard to beat at home, but AUS do ODIs pretty well anywhere. One thing I am predicting a big tour by Ponting, esp for the tests.

  • on October 19, 2011, 12:12 GMT

    Australians commenting here all reckon Australia has the edge,, what a surprise

  • on October 19, 2011, 11:44 GMT

    I'd be mortified if Imran Tahir does not play, He is a genuine wicket taker compared to Botha who is a container and does not get a lot of wickets. There would be no need for 2 spinners because Duminy is in the side to bowl offspin which furthers Tahirs claim because he adds variety, otherwise u just have 2 offspinners if botha plays. Botha certainly can bat and the tail looks very very hopeless without him but u have to trust the top 7 to produce the goods. I think SA has a huge problem Greame Smith is in horrid form, and with david miller and faf du flessis playing at 5 and 6 and then a long tail, they are really relying on Amla, Kallis and Duminy for consistency..they are 3 blokes that can be relied on but against australia I think the team will come short, Aussies batting looks better for mine, they are all in solid form, even mitch marsh if he plays he will be playing the number 6 role and if u compare him to Miller of SA he is a lot better batsman, Australia to win series

  • brisCricFan on October 19, 2011, 11:26 GMT

    @SubhashK: the quote was a reference to Watson & Marsh being fit to play. I heard Clarke in another interview sayin he didn't want to play either if not 100% as they need to b available for the other ODI's and Test series. A smart decision is to not play them and risk them for the other important games.

  • on October 19, 2011, 11:09 GMT

    SA tail, a bit shallow - will def put more pressure on the top order. Especially Smith, who's been struggling for form. For Aus, i think if Warner goes for broke, he could destroy SA. Return of Steyn is key tho. If he's pumped up and swings it - we'll def knock the aussies over cheaply.

  • i_witnessed_2011 on October 19, 2011, 11:00 GMT

    @Shashank: Its about availability of Watson and Marsh due to injury. Read it as "There's definitely still a chance (of playing them in 11) . We won't pick our team until tomorrow morning. If they are not(playing), it's important to make a smart decision.. (that means he(clarke) has to carefully pick replacements out of the available players. He does not want to give any hint on who will replace them :-))

  • on October 19, 2011, 10:55 GMT

    @SubhashK: He was taking about the possibility of Shane Watson & Shawn Marsh as you can see below!

  • on October 19, 2011, 9:40 GMT

    @naveenpnayak dont compare indian batting with aussie because aussies are familiar with SA , in history they won lots of matches vs SA in SA compare to india ....... Aussie will win series against SA,

  • SubhashK on October 19, 2011, 9:24 GMT

    I get confused with some quotes. Can someone please explain "There's definitely still a chance. We won't pick our team until tomorrow morning. If they are not, it's important to make a smart decision.." ? In particular, the last sentence and how it fits in

  • BIG_B_army on October 19, 2011, 8:48 GMT

    SA good team but for me Botha not good enough to bat 7 in intternational cricket. he is a good for a cameo and a really good number 8 but 7 not so sure. if i was opposition captain and saw him cuming in at 7 i would be far more happy then the other 7's around the world. Raina, Mathews, Bopara,

  • Marcio on October 19, 2011, 7:56 GMT

    It's pretty hard to predict what will happen here with all the new players. SA will be hard to beat at home, but AUS do ODIs pretty well anywhere. One thing I am predicting a big tour by Ponting, esp for the tests.

  • on October 19, 2011, 7:30 GMT

    South Africa Australia rivalry specially in One Dayers are always been the best in the business,South Africa of late have dominated Australians in One day series but the new look Aussie line up under the leadership of Michel Clarke are much focussed now

  • kolusu on October 19, 2011, 7:16 GMT

    SOA will win today, if get good opening from amla and smith and i like marsh brothers batting...

  • Dashgar on October 19, 2011, 6:33 GMT

    I really hope James Pattinson plays. He has a far superior one day record to Cummins and deserves to be picked.

  • on October 19, 2011, 6:01 GMT

    Looking forward for a great game between the two teams...They always had some close matches so want to see a good cricket from both the sides!

  • hameede on October 19, 2011, 5:59 GMT

    I believe the biggest problem behind Australia is if they collapse and leave it to inexperienced players such as Warner and M Marsh

  • naveenpnayak on October 19, 2011, 5:59 GMT

    SA team looks strong on the papers that the Aussie Team, Aussie team lack consistent bowlers. Harris should have been selected instead of cameron white. That would had given them more bowling options. Aussie have a reasonable batting side, but their major concern would be their bowling dept. SA Team looks quiet strong and would be hard to beat on their soil. We all remember how Indian batsmen struggled to face the likes of Steyn and Morkel when they had toured SA.

  • on October 19, 2011, 5:54 GMT

    Exciting to watch SA and OZ battling The loss of Watto to AB evens out the chances for 1st game atleast. I would rate SA to be a bit more as compared to OZ this time. Apart from top 4 in SA they have Styne and morkel who are real good bowlers and they have Botha whom i would reckon as a good allrounder after his some good performances in T20's.

    Boucher though might have been out of touch but we all know he is a good and clean striker of cricket ball and FAF and miller might just help Top four, Botha and Boucher to reach a good target

    Now for OZ, most important would be how they bowl as compared to how they bat. No doubt their Batting looks more promising than hosts but if Styne and Morkel bowl good Starting spell whch they should given the home condition and New ball at both the ends, Oz would be in Danger.Its not EASY to score against Botha coz of his stop and bowl action

    Finally my gut feeling SA might just edge it with 2-1

  • on October 19, 2011, 5:44 GMT

    It will be fantastic contest, waiting for it....lolz

  • theju on October 19, 2011, 5:38 GMT

    Tahir have to be included. Miss u AB. Smith, u really need to do some footwork. All the best to Amla and SA

  • cricketjd on October 19, 2011, 5:04 GMT

    south africa wil lose very badly. proteas batting line up looks as if its a test batting line up. du plesis dont deserve to be picked in the team. justin kemp and albie morkel is far better player than him. hashim amla and graeme smith dont have power hitting caliber also. south africa cant score 300. plz pass this comment to Mr. Andrew Hudson who is the proteas chief selector.

  • anver777 on October 19, 2011, 4:30 GMT

    An interesting & a close series is on the card......its a real test for these two giants in ODI format !!!!!

  • hris on October 19, 2011, 4:19 GMT

    surprised SA didn't pick Rudolph. especially when AB is injured. SA middle order does look a bit dodgy, but Miller could come good. Why is Ingram not there though? Their bowling unit is looking extremely strong, arguably the best in the world. But Oz have better balance. Just hope Ponting comes good.

  • on October 19, 2011, 4:16 GMT

    if anyone can tell me, is shaun marsh fit to play in todays match??

  • azzaman333 on October 19, 2011, 3:30 GMT

    Could we please pick Pattinson instead of Cummins? One has earnt his position with results, one has been given his position based on potential.

  • johnathonjosephs on October 19, 2011, 3:27 GMT

    Why do they say that Sri Lanka had a flat wicket? The game Aus won was a unbelievably bowling favorable wicket and they even got a warning from the ICC for it claiming it was "not suited for play". Real excited now that the joke T20s are done. Aus adds Ponting, M Hussey, CLarke, Johnson, while SA add Kallis, Boucher, Steyn (and when he comes back AB De Villiers). Should be a great contest and the Tests should be even more exciting. With the Aus-SA Tests coinciding with the Ind-Eng Tests and the SL-PAK ODI's, the end of the month is looking to be a great time to be watching cricket

  • Meety on October 19, 2011, 0:50 GMT

    To me (assuming the probable line ups are the actual sides), a lot will depend on both teams starts. The Saffas have to start well with the bat & the ball, or they'll be in trouble. Their top 4 is their strength & if Bolly, Cummins & MJ make in-roads, the Saffas will be on the back foot. If the Saffas bowl poorly Warner will flog them, & make it easy for the Ozzy middle order of Punter, Pup & Huss to propel Oz to a big score. I'm leaning towards Oz in this series 2-1, it will be tight, but Oz will only lose the dead rubber! I am flirting with danger by saying Steyn is not as big an ODI threat as in the tests, I think Morkel is more threatening. Oz survive those 2, I think they will flog Tahir, (sorry not worried by the leggie). The Saffas won't give an inch, & will fight to the death (2nd T20 is proof). Wish Channell 9 would show this!

  • HatsforBats on October 18, 2011, 23:37 GMT

    If Australia are playing a spinner I would rather O'Keefe or Smith, that would also add depth to the batting down to no. 9. Hope to see Warner make the most of the opportunity, also good to see Haddin not opening, too much pressure for him when he's not in the best form. Should be a good, close series, Aus should win though.

  • on October 18, 2011, 21:57 GMT

    Why is jaques rudolph not in SA side. Best batsman in SA at moment. Does anyone know why he is not on team. Surely he will get test place.

  • AdoSR on October 18, 2011, 20:58 GMT

    Looking at the likely Oz team lineup without Watson it's easy to see why he has become so integral. The balance is lost. Where's the sixth bowler coming from if needed? Mussey? Clarke?

  • on October 18, 2011, 19:42 GMT

    Gary's is a great coach and with Donald etc as his support staff SAs should be a good team especially on their home grounds...

  • on October 18, 2011, 18:24 GMT

    i am sure S.A will win this series 2.1 easily.. team would be completely different than t20 . And tahir shoud be included. I am a great fan of hashim amla batting. Amla just rock in batting...

  • landl47 on October 18, 2011, 17:56 GMT

    Both teams have got challenges. SA has a pretty ordinary-looking middle order with Miller, Du Plessis and Boucher. If Tahir plays that further weakens the batting. Australia, without Watson, are short both a bowler and a batsman. If the team is the one listed as possible in this article, Mitch Marsh not only has to bat 6 but to bowl a good few overs as well- pretty daunting for a 19-year old on debut. SA, with Kallis back, look better balanced and with more players than can make a difference. However, unless their top 4 make runs, they might not be able to put enough on the board. An intriguing match, I'm looking forward to watching it.

  • on October 18, 2011, 16:22 GMT

    good luck hashim amla, i think tahir can make a difference at any pitch brng him in for botha or miller

  • on October 18, 2011, 15:15 GMT

    I expect SA to let Tahir play too. He is great leg spinner and a wicket taker. And also what is the point of playing H. Kuhn although he does not score any runs at all. Doesn't SA have got any other wicketkeeper batsman better than him?

  • Patz10 on October 18, 2011, 15:14 GMT

    all i gotta say iz all da very bst to da proteaz..... da sde iz awesum n experienced.... AMLA show deez owez ur power n gutz... fingerz crssd n thombs up!!!!!!!

  • on October 18, 2011, 15:14 GMT

    i reckon australia got a slight edge

  • on October 18, 2011, 14:49 GMT

    South Africa should appoint Johan Botha as the interim captain... Amla should play with out pressure hitting on him as you cant afford to tamper with one of the worlds best batsman... besides, Johan Botha isnt a bad choice for a stand in captain... However, huge task for SA though they got the potential to beat Aussies.. Go SA!!!

  • jonesy2 on October 18, 2011, 12:32 GMT

    i dont think clarke gets challenged by pace, he just tends to play ridiculous shots and get out to pace bowlers ala mark waugh. great opportunity for warner to get a big score, hopefully mitch marsh plays and gets time to bat and bowl. looking forward to it!

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  • jonesy2 on October 18, 2011, 12:32 GMT

    i dont think clarke gets challenged by pace, he just tends to play ridiculous shots and get out to pace bowlers ala mark waugh. great opportunity for warner to get a big score, hopefully mitch marsh plays and gets time to bat and bowl. looking forward to it!

  • on October 18, 2011, 14:49 GMT

    South Africa should appoint Johan Botha as the interim captain... Amla should play with out pressure hitting on him as you cant afford to tamper with one of the worlds best batsman... besides, Johan Botha isnt a bad choice for a stand in captain... However, huge task for SA though they got the potential to beat Aussies.. Go SA!!!

  • on October 18, 2011, 15:14 GMT

    i reckon australia got a slight edge

  • Patz10 on October 18, 2011, 15:14 GMT

    all i gotta say iz all da very bst to da proteaz..... da sde iz awesum n experienced.... AMLA show deez owez ur power n gutz... fingerz crssd n thombs up!!!!!!!

  • on October 18, 2011, 15:15 GMT

    I expect SA to let Tahir play too. He is great leg spinner and a wicket taker. And also what is the point of playing H. Kuhn although he does not score any runs at all. Doesn't SA have got any other wicketkeeper batsman better than him?

  • on October 18, 2011, 16:22 GMT

    good luck hashim amla, i think tahir can make a difference at any pitch brng him in for botha or miller

  • landl47 on October 18, 2011, 17:56 GMT

    Both teams have got challenges. SA has a pretty ordinary-looking middle order with Miller, Du Plessis and Boucher. If Tahir plays that further weakens the batting. Australia, without Watson, are short both a bowler and a batsman. If the team is the one listed as possible in this article, Mitch Marsh not only has to bat 6 but to bowl a good few overs as well- pretty daunting for a 19-year old on debut. SA, with Kallis back, look better balanced and with more players than can make a difference. However, unless their top 4 make runs, they might not be able to put enough on the board. An intriguing match, I'm looking forward to watching it.

  • on October 18, 2011, 18:24 GMT

    i am sure S.A will win this series 2.1 easily.. team would be completely different than t20 . And tahir shoud be included. I am a great fan of hashim amla batting. Amla just rock in batting...

  • on October 18, 2011, 19:42 GMT

    Gary's is a great coach and with Donald etc as his support staff SAs should be a good team especially on their home grounds...

  • AdoSR on October 18, 2011, 20:58 GMT

    Looking at the likely Oz team lineup without Watson it's easy to see why he has become so integral. The balance is lost. Where's the sixth bowler coming from if needed? Mussey? Clarke?