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SA v AUS 2nd T20I Preview: de Kock & Co look to steady things after Wanderers shock


After South Africa suffered their biggest-ever defeat in T20I history, they are expected to bring in fit-again Temba Bavuma and tearaway Anrich Nortje into the side.

Venue - St George's Park, Port Elizabeth

Start time - 12:30 PM GMT | 02:30 PM LOCAL

Head to Head record in T20Is -  South Africa: 7 Australia: 12  Tied: 0

Weather - Mostly Sunny, 22°C, Precipitation: 0%, Humidity: 57%, Wind: 19 km/h

152 the average first innings score in Domestic T20s

The St George's Park in Port Elizabeth has hosted only two T20Is, one back in 2012 and the other even five years earlier than that in 2007. Hence, the average score of 118 batting first in T20Is here does not hold much relevance.

As far as the domestic T20s are concerned, 152 is the average first innings score which, with better skilled batters, hints at a 170 type of game.

The third Test match of the recently-concluded England tour of South Africa was played at this venue and England posted 499 runs on the board in the first innings with wickets tough to come by for the South African bowlers. This also points towards Port Elizabeth being quite a good batting surface.

Bavuma and Nortje to come in

South Africa, after their 107-run pasting in the Johannesburg T20I, are expected to make a couple of changes to the team. Lungi Ngidi, who was good in a couple of matches against England, was way off-target and conceded 37 runs off his 3 overs at an economy of 12.33 while picking up only one wicket. He is expected to make way for Anrich Nortje, who will add an x-factor to the Protea bowling line-up.

Another change would be the return of opener Temba Bavuma, who seems to have regained full fitness after he picked up a hamstring strain in the 3rd T20I against England. Bavuma will slot right back at the top with all South African batsmen, starting from Rassie van der Dussen, being pushed one notch down the batting order.

Australia firing on all cylinders

Australia could not have asked for a better start to their tour of South Africa. There was all the talk about the booing, following the team's return to the country for the first time since the Sandpaper Gate controversy, which ultimately amounted to nothing.

The opening match of the series was also hyped up because of South Africa's power-packed performances against England and the team was expected to give Australia a tough fight as well. However, Australia was right on the money from the get-go.

Aaron Finch and Steven Smith set the base for the likes of Matthew Wade and Ashton Agar to make crucial contributions towards the end. Mitchell Starc may have only one wicket to show but it was initially he, along with Pat Cummins, who roughed up the South African batsmen and there was no coming back for them from there on.

Left-arm spinner Ashton Agar cashed in with a 5-wicket haul, including a hat-trick, to register the best-ever bowling figures for Australia in T20Is.

Australia will not make any changes to their XI.

South Africa likely to come back strongly

South Africa copped their biggest-ever defeat in T20Is in the first match of the series against Australia and were bowled out for their lowest ever T20I total. However, that should not suggest that the team is already down and out of the series and it would be a cakewalk for the Aussies from here on.

It was just one of those days in Johannesburg when things did not go South Africa's way at all. They were sub-par in the field, something which they pride themselves on. Kagiso Kagiso and Lungi Ngidi, who are generally good in this format, had off days as well.

As for the batting, in pursuit of 196, they did not have any option but to go for it from the beginning and once a couple of wickets fell, it was always going to be tough for the team to keep up with the required run rate while trying to buck the batting collapse.

Ultimately, neither objective was achieved as the team imploded for just 89. But with the quality that the Proteas possess, they are expected to come back strongly in the second match.

Here's a look at the probable playing XI of both teams:

South Africa - Quinton de Kock (c & wk), Temba Bavuma, Rassie van der Dussen, Faf du Plessis, JJ Smuts, David Miller, Andile Phehlukwayo, Kagiso Rabada, Dale Steyn, Anrich Nortje, Tabraiz Shamsi

Australia - Aaron Finch (c), David Warner, Steven Smith, Matthew Wade, Mitchell Marsh, Alex Carey (wk), Ashton Agar, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Kane Richardson, Adam Zampa 

This is where you can catch all the live action across the globe:

Australia: Fox Sports

South Africa: SuperSport

India & Subcontinent: Sony Network

Canada: ATN Cricket Plus (Asian Television Network), CBN

USA: Willow TV, Hotstar

Malaysia: Astro Cricket HD

Middle East and North Africa (MENA): OSN Sports Cricket HD

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