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Cricket: South Africa v Australia - 1st ODI preview

After dominating South Africa in the T20I series, Australia will now look to do the same when the two sides meet in the One Day Internationals.

Australia were impressive as they brushed aside South Africa 3-0 and now all focus will turn to the ODI series.

With the Cricket World Cup fast approaching, there is even more importance on this series, which is essentially a warm-up for the big one, with places in the side up for grabs.

Australia can be backed at 5.50 to win the World Cup and will be keen to build some momentum heading into the India showpiece.

WhatSouth Africa v Australia 
WhereMangaung Oval, Bloemfontein
When21:00 (AEST) Thursday 7th September, 2023 
How to watchKayo, Foxtel
OddsSouth Africa 2.10, Australia 1.72

Warner back for ODIs

David Warner is set to return to the Australian squad for the One Day Internationals after being rested during the T20I’s and it will be interesting to see where he fits in.

The Aussies have performed well during the T20 matches and there is now a battle to open the batting in the One-Day side.

Matt Short opened in the T20 games and did an excellent job, but he will now make way for the 50-over format of the game.

It means there are three players – Warner, Mitch Marsh and Travis Head battling for the two spots at the top of the order.

Marsh will continue to skipper the side in South Africa and was named man-of-the-match in the T20 series following scores of 92no, 72no and 15.

Then to give the selectors even more of a headache, Head smashed smashed 91 runs of 48 balls during the third T20 clash.

Australia opted to open with Marsh and Head in the ODI’s against India earlier this year, pushing Warner down to number four on the batting order.

Now all eyes will be on the selectors to see what they do for the opening match against South Africa.

Star duo ruled out

Australia will once again be without Steve Smith and Mitchell Starc who both missed the T20 series through injury.

Smith is struggling with a wrist injury, Starc a groin problem, so that will present an opportunity for others to shine in their absence.

Marnus Labuschagne has been handed a late call-up to replace Smith, while Australia have plenty of strength-in-depth in the bowling department.

It could be shaping up for a battle between Sean Abbott and Nathan Ellis for who takes a spot in the World Cup squad and both will be determined to shine in this series.

Abbott was the star bowler in the last game when taking 4-31 off his four overs, while Ellis was super expensive when producing 0-50 off his four.

Rusty South Africa look to improve

South Africa were left hugely disappointed after the series whitewash in the T20 format of the game and will look to sharpen up over the next five matches.

A lack of international cricket will not have helped along with key players missing from the side.

South Africa experimented with new combinations, and although white-ball coach Rob Walter was pleased with the batsmen on the whole, it was the bowling attack that concerned him the most.

The Proteas will need Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje back as soon as possible. Lungi Ngidi, who lead the attack in their absence, failed to take a wicket in the entire T20 series.

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