Australia's decision to rest Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood might have contributed to their being thrashed 5-0 in the one-day series in South Africa, but Hazlewood is confident that he will be better for the break this Test summer.

While Steven Smith and his men fly home from their disappointing tour of South Africa, Hazlewood is in Sydney preparing to play in the later stages of the Matador Cup for New South Wales. Friday's game against Victoria will be his first competitive outing since Australia's one-day series in Sri Lanka in late August.

Australia used three previously uncapped fast men during the South Africa campaign - Chris Tremain, Joe Mennie and Daniel Worrall - and although they all showed promise at times, overall it was a major step up for the trio. But despite the 5-0 result in the ODIs, Australia must now hope the decision to rest Hazlewood and Starc pays off in next month's Test series against South Africa.

"Sri Lanka was a long tour physically and mentally," Hazlewood told reporters in Sydney on Thursday. "And with a lot of cricket coming up I think the rest was valid."

However, the absence of Starc and Hazlewood did not help Australia's cause in the ODI series, during which Scott Boland and John Hastings were the senior fast bowlers in the side. Tremain finished as Australia's leading wicket taker with seven at 36.42, Mennie had a poor debut but bounced back with 3 for 49 in the final game, and Worrall went wicketless in his two ODIs against South Africa.

"It is an opportunity to see some younger guys," Smith said after the final game in Cape Town. "I think with the schedule these days and the amount we play, it's impossible particularly for fast bowlers to sustain bowling at good pace for long periods of time.

"We've chosen to give Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood a rest for this series. It's given an opportunity for a few younger guys to come in and try and impress. It's been a very tough series for everyone, but I'm sure they'll learn a lot out of it."

"I've never played in a one-day series where we've lost all five games. It's been a difficult task. We've been outplayed. But the group has stuck together well. We're always looking at ways we can improve ... We just haven't been able to go out there and do the business. We've had a pretty inexperienced side, to be fair."

Smith also highlighted the lack of runs from the batting order, aside from David Warner, as a key reason Australia were unable to win a match. Warner finished as the leading run scorer from either side, with 386 at 77.20 including two centuries, and he is comfortably top of the ODI run list from all countries for the 2016 calendar year, in which he has made five hundreds.

"We just haven't been able to put enough partnerships together," Smith said. "We've had guys who have had starts and not been able to go on with it. Having said that, Davey was magnificent today. To score 170 out of our 290 was remarkable. The rest of us weren't good enough."