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Cricket: South Africa v Australia T20 series preview

Australia men’s cricket team are back in action with a tour to South Africa, which will begin with a three-match T20 series.

The Aussies have enjoyed a short break to recharge the batteries following a hectic Ashes series in England, and now focus turns to the shortest format of the game.

The T20 series is followed by five One Day Internationals against South Africa, and with the cricket World Cup fast approaching, these games will be crucial.

Australia have a new captain for the T20 internationals, while three players will make their debuts, so it has all the makings of an exciting series.

T20 series schedule

Australia will play their first T20 match against South Africa on Thursday 31st August at the Kingsmead Cricket Ground in Durban.

Indeed all three T20 internationals against South Africa will be played at the venue.

The second match will played on Saturday 2nd September, with the series concluding the day after on Sunday 3rd September.

Australia name Marsh as captain

Australia have confirmed that Mitch Marsh will skipper the side during the three T20 internationals.

Following the decision by Aaron Finch to step aside as white-ball captain earlier this year, Australia had a decision to make, and Marsh has got the job for the T20s.

Test captain Pat Cummins will be at the helm for the ODI World Cup later this year, but it’s thought that Marsh could be handed the role after the tournament.

National selector George Bailey has saluted the experience of Marsh, who has represented Australia in all formats of the game, and seems the best man for the job.

No doubt all eyes will be on Marsh and his captaincy during the three T20 internationals.

Three debutants named in Aussie T20 side

Australia will be without Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Pat Cummins, Cameron Green and David Warner, who have all been handed a rest following the Ashes.

All five players are set to return for the One Day Internationals, but for now it hands the opportunity to some other players to shine.

Namely the three that have been handed their international debuts.

They are South Australian fast bowler Spencer Johnson and all-rounders Aaron Hardie and Matt Short.

Johnson caught the eye playing for Brisbane Heat in the Big Bash League last season, while Hardie has been a consistent performer for Perth Scorchers.

Matt Short was also outstanding for Adelaide Sixers in the BBL, which also earned him a deal in the IPL with Punjab Kings.

All three players will now get the chance to show what they can do in the Australian side.

Australia T20 squad: Mitchell Marsh (capt), Sean Abbott, Jason Behrendorff, Tim David, Nathan Ellis, Aaron Hardie, Travis Head, Josh Inglis, Spencer Johnson, Matt Short, Marcus Stoinis, Ashton Turner, Matthew Wade, Adam Zampa.

Australia T20 form

Australia will be looking to bounce back following a disappointing T20 World Cup which was played on home soil.

The Aussies went out in the group stage and this series will be the first time they have played T20 cricket since then.

This is a new-look side however and represents a great opportunity to move on from that disappointment.

Australia did win the last T20 series between the two sides, 2-1, but that was on home soil in 2019/20.

The last time they played a series in South Africa was 2018/19 and the home nation won it 1-0.

Before that Australia dominated when winning three T20 series on the bounce.

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