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Australia's bowlers face another examination at Wanderers

Match facts

Sunday, October 2, 2016, Johannesburg
Start time 1000 local (0800 GMT)

Big Picture

Australia were always going to be vulnerable at the start of this stand-alone ODI series in South Africa. Their priority is to restate their Test pedigree during their home summer against South Africa and Pakistan, a need that has grown stronger because of their recent trouncing in a Test series in Sri Lanka.

That much became clear from the moment Cricket Australia chose to rest Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc for the battles to come. Whatever the logic of that, Steve Smith could be forgiven for looking around for them in desperation in the opening ODI at SuperSport Park as Quinton de Kock, destroying good balls and bad, pulverised an Australian attack also missing James Faulkner.

De Kock's 178 from 113 balls - the highest ODI score ever made in South Africa and many more records besides - was an immediate indication of the challenge facing Australia. With the absence of AB de Villiers and Hashim Amla - the latter presumably only briefly - from South Africa's batting line-up, they might have perceived a gentle introduction, but few opening batsmen these days possess the destructive threat of de Kock, and it was not long before sixes were raining down on the leg-side boundary.

A few miles down the road in Johannesburg, Daniel Worrall, Scott Boland and John Hastings will hope for a second outing, although South Australia's Joe Mennie and Victoria's Chris Tremain are also in the squad and are likely to get an airing at some point in the series. They have all received a warning from Australia's bowling coach Ryan Harris about the challenge. "National cricket is brutal and if you don't get it right you get eaten up pretty quick," he said.

Form guide

South Africa: WWLWL
(last five completed matches, most recent first) Australia: LWWWW

Players to watch

Andile Phehlukwayo's second ODI came against a backdrop of new transformation targets which require the selection of a minimum average of 54% black players - of which 18% must be Black African - across the three formats over the season. He showed good command of length at SuperSport Park and took 4 for 44 off his 10 overs, a sound start for a powerfully-built allrounder.

South Australian Daniel Worrall was the second leading wicket-taker in last season's Sheffield Shield. After a comfortable debut against Ireland in Benoni, South Africa asked tougher questions and it will be interesting to see how he responds in Johannesburg.

Team news

South Africa are monitoring the fitness of Dale Steyn. Although he completed his full allocation in his first ODI since he suffered a shoulder injury while bowling against England last December, he was below his best, left the field twice and on several occasions looked concerned about the shoulder. It was a far cry from his triumphant Test return against New Zealand on the same ground in August. Hashim Amla, who only joined the squad on Wednesday following the birth of his third child, missed Friday's match due to illness but he could return.

South Africa (probable) 1 Quinton de Kock, 2 Hashim Amla/Rilee Rossouw, 3 Faf du Plessis, 4 JP Duminy, 5 David Miller, 6 Farhaan Behardien, 7 Andile Phehlukwayo, 8 Wayne Parnell, 9 Dale Steyn, 10 Kagiso Rabada, 11 Imran Tahir.

Australia's captain Steve Smith gave no indication that there might be changes to Australia's line-up after Friday's defeat. Even considering the pummelling that Australia's weakened attack received at the hands of Quinton de Kock, or the failure of the batsmen to take advantage of a run-friendly surface, a 48-hour turnaround between matches leaves little time for reassessment.

Australia (probable) 1 David Warner, 2 Aaron Finch, 3 Steven Smith (capt), 4 George Bailey, 5 Mitchell Marsh, 6 Travis Head, 7 Matthew Wade (wk), 8 John Hastings, 9 Adam Zampa, 10 Daniel Worrall, 11 Scott Boland.

Pitch and conditions

There have been water restrictions in Johannesburg, leaving groundstaff hoping for some early spring rain to assist with grass growth. It remains to be seen whether this has a detrimental effect on the pitch or, indeed, the outfield. The weekend has been sunny, with 23C forecast for Sunday.

Stats and trivia

  • Quinton de Kock's 178 in the first match at SuperSport Park on Friday was South Africa's second highest individual score in ODIs

  • South Africa achieved their third highest successful chase in that game .

Quotes

"Hopefully there will be a couple more wickets like that in the series. Then we can have some more fun."
Quinton de Kock, in boisterous post-match mood after his demolition of Australia in the opening ODI.

"We got a nice wicket to bat on and we gave some opportunities away… so going forward it's the responsibility of one of our top four to post a big total, and if we do that then the team total is going to be big as well."
Steve Smith, Australia captain, does the math.