Australia defeated South Africa by 32 runs in the first ODI of the series at Perth on Friday. It was quite an happening match as South Africa dropped four matches and missed one run-out in the match. The worst ever we saw South Africa field. Their batters also played some really bad shots and literally threw their wicket away. On the other hand, Australia batted well and their comeback man in bowling Nathan Coulter-Nile picked up four wickets to rattle the South African batting order. All in all, it was a good performance from Australia, but for now, it will all come down to the second ODI that’ll played at Perth on Sunday. 

Australians have suffered a huge setback as their regular captain Michael Clarke has been ruled out of Sunday’s ODI and it looks highly unlikely that he would be able to take part further in the series. Steven Smith would be the most obvious choice to take his place in the squad. David Warner and Aaron Finch started off very well with the bat and would look to continue their good form and score big. Shane Watson didn’t have a good outing on his return as he was able to score only 13 runs and was also expensive in his spell, giving away 48 runs in 6 overs, taking only one wicket of Faf Du Plessis.

So, he will look to make amends with both bat and ball and with Clarke out due to injury, it would put more responsibility on him to hold the innings. George Bailey would once again have to shoulder the responsibility of leading the side and with the kind of form he is in with the bat, a lot would depend upon him to take Australia past a good total. 

Their bowling was pretty decent on Friday. Mitchell Johnson was very well supported by Josh Hazlewood and Nathan Coulter-Nile expressed himself nicely to make a strong case for his World Cup chances. Mitchell Marsh was a bit expensive with the ball and he would look to get into shape before the Border-Gavaskar Trophy. 

On the other hand, South Africa would be itching to get back onto the field on Sunday to correct their mistakes. They were very rusty on the field and this didn’t help their bowlers at all. Their fielding has to be spot on if the bowling of Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel, Vernon Philander and Imraan Tahir has to make some meaning. The total of 301 was very much achievable but due to the lack of partnerships, it looked a huge one. Both Faf Du Plessis and Farhaan Behardien got off to starts but weren’t able to capitalize on them.

The 126-run partnership between AB de Villiers and David Miller did provide some hope for South Africa but it was not enough to take them to win. David Miller’s innings would have surely motivated De Villiers to play him up the order and give him enough chances to score big before the World Cup 2015. The second ODI would surely provide a good chance for South Africa to get back into form and create some thrill and excitement in the third, fourth and fifth ODI of the series which would be held on 19th, 21st and 23rd November respectively. 

Probable Playing XI For Australia:

Aaron Finch, David Warner, Shane Watson, Steven Smith, George Bailey, Glenn Maxwell, Matthew Wade, Mitchell Johnson, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Mitchell Marsh, Josh Hazlewood 

Probable Playing XI For South Africa:

Hashim Amla, Quinton de Kock, Faf du Plessis, David Miller, AB de Villiers, Farhaan Behardein, Ryan McLaren, Vernon Philander, Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel, Imran Tahir

Date: Novmeber 16th, 2014

Time (IST): 08:50 am 

Prediction: Australia looked formidable on Friday and with the match second ODI to be played at the same venue, it looks likely that Australia will secure a 2-0 lead. They have plenty of options in both batting and bowling and South Africa will have to do something special to create an opposite result.