The Proteas go into the second T20I in Melbourne on Friday with an opportunity to seal the three-match series against Australia.
On the back of a committed fielding display, excellent death bowling and a solid partnership between two youngsters during the chase, South Africa won the first encounter with ease. It is unlikely that the second match will be as one-sided, but JP Duminy and the rest of the South African brains trust will be keen to build off their momentum.
On the other hand, Australia are a wounded animal and their media is all over the team. They are also a young bunch of guys who will be looking to restore some pride in Melbourne. The one thing they can count on is scoring more runs. The outfield is much smaller than the one that was played on in Adelaide, which will allow their powerful strikers to launch the ball into the stands more regularly.
There is plenty for the Australians to work on. They will have to take their catches, formulate a plan to combat the spinners in the middle overs and find the boundary towards the death. The bright side for the local supporters is that the home team won’t be as bad two matches in a row.
Players to watch:
During South Africa’s successful run chase, Quinton de Kock tempered his aggression and played a supporting role. However, he was striking the ball well and could be the one who cuts loose in Melbourne. For Australia, Cameron White has been in brilliant touch domestically and looked the goods during his start in the first T20I, before an outstanding catch sent him packing. If he bats deep this time around then Australia will post a competitive score.
It’s always dangerous to back the visitors, especially in Australia, but the skills that the South African bowlers showed at the death could again make the difference.