Friday, 04 March 2016 - 11:35
South Africa, Australia Gear Up For WT20



South Africa and Australia lock horns in a three-match Twenty20 International series as part of preparations for the upcoming World T20 in India starting on Friday (March 4) in Durban.

Both teams have world class fielders in their ranks and the matches would be extremely competitive. The three matches will be organized at Kings Mead, wanderers and NEW LANDS. First and the third match are day night contests while the second one will start at 2:30 P.M.

South Africa and Australia will be seeking to find their best combinations when they meet in three Twenty20 internationals, shortly before both sides travel to India for the World Twenty20 tournament.

Australia appear to have the most uncertainties. They were beaten 3-0 at home by India in their most recent T20 series and the selectors made several significant changes in picking a squad for South Africa and the global event.

Steve Smith was handed the captaincy, making him the leader in all three formats, while the squad includes three players who have yet to play in a T20 international – wicketkeeper Peter Nevill, left-arm spinner Ashton Agar and leg-spinner Adam Zampa.

While Nevill has established himself as Australia's Test wicketkeeper, Agar, Zampa and fast bowler Andrew Tye are virtual novices at international level.

Agar has played in two Tests and two One-day internationals, famously hitting 98 at No. 11 on Test debut in the 2013 Ashes.

Zampa made his debut and played in two One-day internationals in New Zealand last month. They played in only two T20 internationals against India.

Australia have a strong batting line-up, however, although this too could be problematical in terms of deciding on the best combination.

South Africa won two T20 internationals against England last month and will be strengthened by the returns of fast bowler Dale Steyn and wicketkeeper-batsman Quinton de Kock.

The series is a repeat of the 2013-14 season when the two sides met in South Africa shortly before the 2014 World Twenty20 in Bangladesh. Australia won convincingly and looked strong contenders for the world crown.

But form in the warm-up series proved illusory. Australia won only one out of three matches in Bangladesh and failed to reach the knock-out stage, while South Africa reached the semi-finals. (Cricbuzz)

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