In the upcoming semi-final clash at the Eden Gardens, Kolkata, South Africa will square off against Australia in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023.
South Africa’s campaign, marked by courage, witnessed only a stumble against the Netherlands and a substantial loss to India. Despite their dominance, a vulnerability to chasing remains evident. Navigating this challenge becomes crucial as they step into the knockout phase, emphasising the need for strategic caution while chasing in pursuit of victory.
In World Cup cricket, discounting Australia is a grave error, and this holds true. Following initial setbacks, written off by many after two defeats, they’ve produced a stunning resurgence with seven consecutive wins, propelling into the semi-finals. The momentum is undeniable; Australia is undeniably embedded in the zone of formidable form, proving once again their capacity for compelling turnarounds on the grand stage.
Head to head
Australia and South Africa have faced each other in seven matches in ICC ODI World Cup tournaments. Out of these seven games, Australia has won three whereas South Africa has come out victorious on three occasions. One match ended with a tie.
The highest total posted by Australia is 377 runs while the highest score posted by South Africa is 325 when these two teams have clashed with each other in WC. 149 is the lowest total posted by South Africa, and 153 is the lowest total posted by Australia in the marquee event.
The Eden Gardens pitch, showing a gradual slowdown, favours initial batting but progressively loses its pace. As the innings progress, spinners become pivotal, exploiting the surface’s grip.
Seamers, facing a less responsive ball, resort to cutters towards the end. Chasing becomes a formidable task under the lights, with increased ball movement and a more challenging batting surface. Early advantage despite the pitch dynamics demands strategic adaptability for success in both batting and bowling.
Probable playing XIs
South Africa: Quinton de Kock (WK), Temba Bavuma (C), Rassie van der Dussen, Aiden Markram, Heinrich Klaasen, David Miller, Marco Jansen, Kagiso Rabada, Keshav Maharaj, Tabraiz Shamsi, Gerald Coetzee
Australia: David Warner, Travis Head, Mitchell Marsh, Steve Smith, Marnus Labuschagne, Glenn Maxwell, Josh Inglis (WK), Pat Cummins (C), Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Adam Zampa