On Thursday 1st May, South Africa will start a four test series against Australia. This series is set to sparkle as two strong teams do battle. South African test cricket is in a strong position having just beaten #1 ranked test team India 2-1 at home. The Proteas winning at Cape Town and Centurion, before losing in Johannesburg. De Villiers managed 211 runs across three tests, and Philander and Rabada took 15 wickets each.

South Africa Vs Australia Test Preview

A poor showing in the one-day matches (losing a 6 match series 5-1) and losing the t20 series 2-1 will hopefully not have led to a drop in confidence. South Africa will be pleased to see the back of Virat Kohli who top scored in the test and ODI series’ with a combined 844 runs, now they just have to face Steve Smith!

Australia are coming to South Africa of the back of a 4-0 dismantling of England in the latest Ashes series. World #1 ranked test batsman Steve Smith scored 687 runs across 5 tests, with Shaun Marsh and David Warner also both passing 400 runs for the series. Cummins and Stark both bowled superbly managing 45 wickets between them, and Nathan Lyon picked up 21 wickets as well.

Head to Head

The two sides are similar in quality on paper with South Africa currently in second position on the ICC test rankings while Australia are third.

The last time that the two sides had a test series against each other was in November 2016 with South Africa going on to win the series 2-1 on Australia.

The last time that Australia toured South Africa was in 2013-14 and Australia went on to win the series 2-1.

Top Batsmen

Though none of the South African batsmen were particularly standout during the test series against India, they do have the likes of Hashim Amla, Faf Du Plesis and AB De Villiers in their team who can carry a game away from you if you let them.

South Africa’s ODI series woes against India proves how fragile they are without Du Plessis. Following the injury of Du Plessis after the first ODI, the Protea’s struggled and it came as no surprise that they went on to lose the series after being convincingly outplayed.

Amla is the only player that is currently in the ICC rankings for top test batsmen, coming in at number 7.

Record for the past 12 months:

  • Amla – 42.91(13 Matches), highest score of 137
  • Du Plessis – 49.62(11 Matches),highest score of 135*
  • De Villiers  – 37.71 (4 Matches), highest score of 80

Australia have two batsmen in the top 10 of the test rankings with captain Steve Smith coming in at 1 and the hard hitting David Warner coming in at 5. Smith was stellar during the recent Ashes series as he went on to score three centuries during the series scorring 687 runs across 5 tests with an average of 98.14.

Record for the past 12 months:

  • Smith – 83.50 (10 Matches), highest score of 239
  • Warner – 49.23 (10 Matches), highest score of 123
  • Marsh – 48.33 (8 Matches), highest score of 156

Top bowlers

At this moment in time, South Africa’s main strength is their bowling. They have the likes of Kagiso Rabada, Vernon Philander and Morne Morkel who are all in the top ten of the ICC test bowler rankings, coming in at 2,6 and 9 respectively.

Record for the past 12 months:

  • Rabada – 22.35 (12 Matches), best of 5/30
  • Morkel – 22.26 (12 Matches), best of 5/21

Philander was South Africa’s man of the match during their test series victory over India after taking 15 wickets from the three matches.  The young Lungi Ngidi has also shown that he could be another top South African bowling prospect for the future after taking 6/39 during the second innings of the second test against India to guide the Protea’s to victory.

The Australians have two bowlers in the top ten of the bowler rankings with Josh Hazlewood coming in at number 4 and Nathan Lyon at 10.

Record for the past 12 months:

  • Hazlewood – 29.75 (9 Matches), best of 6/67
  • Lyon – 23.42 (10 Matches), best of 8/50

Test 4 Preview and Predictions

 

 

Test #4 Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg (30th March – 3rd April) – The Bullring is the perfect venue for the final test of this series. Famous for the greatest ODI match in history, where South Africa managed to chase down Australia’s score of 434. It is also famous for De Villier’s epic 149 runs off just 44 deliveries against the West Indies. In the 38 test matches to be held at the Wanderers, SA have 15 wins, 12 losses, and 11 draws.

Their recent record here is not great though, they have won 4, lost 5, and drawn 1 of their previous 10 tests. Losing to India twice, England once, and Australia twice. Their last test here against India was controversial because the pitch was so poor. The ICC marked the pitch poor, and almost banned it. If the pitch is anything like last time, this game could be over in three days.

With the ball tampering controversy aside. This game will be dominated by the quick bowlers, and the win will go to whichever bowlers have the best momentum going into this Test. Morne Morkel will be playing his last Test for the Proteas and is coming off a great performance in Cape Town.

Verdict: We expect a fiery encounter, but with with Smith and Warner sent home, it will be South Africa’s test to lose.

Series Winner Betting Odds

Please note betting odds quoted are subject to change. View the latest Cricket Betting Odds

Test Series Prediction

After 4 tests we’ve gone with a 3-1 draw. Usually test cricket is dominated by the home team, but when it comes to SA and Australia the form book goes out the window. South Africa win in Australia, and Australia win in South Africa. Both sides are in great form, but Australia have less injuries to deal with. The first test feels like a huge indicator of how the series will go. If either team wins heavily, then they could continue to dominate, in the way that Australia did against England in the Ashes.

 

Leave a Reply