This is my 200th article post on this site, and pleased it is on the eve of the ODI series!
No major news to chirp about within Australian cricket, besides the fact that the squad announcement for the T20 Champions Trophy is to be announced very soon, so I am hoping for a fresh, enthusiastic 15 man squad to head over to England for the tournament and knock India off their title.
As for the present, the plan of action will be to win this series in an effort to reclaim the number 1 ranking in ODI cricket and leave the Proteas shores with some regained credibility.
The freakish element of victory would be to win 4-1 to complete a pattern to mirror the results in all forms of the game from the Australian home series.
But here's a quick preview for the 1st ODI between Aus and the Proteas, which is to be played at Sahara Park Kingsmead, Durban. The weather forecast looks to be in favour for play to occur!
Should be a good contest between bat and ball!
Last time the teams met here in an ODI was back in 2006 in the highly intense, nail-biting series, which the Proteas won 3-2 as they grabbed that unbelievable 438 match!
Australia won the ODI played in Durban in that series, which was an essential game to win in order to stand a chance of still claiming the series. It was a tense ending, where Stuart Clark and Mick Lewis managed to survive as the 10th wicket stand to ensure a victory was just reached! Stuart made 16 runs in that match, while it would be Mick Lewis' last memorable performance for Australia.
It was an unconvincing victory in the end, but it kept the series alive.
This time around we commence the series in Durban!
In order to win this series, I place a heavy amount of responsibility upon our top order with the bat.
Our bowlers haven't been by any means on top-form in the ODI game, but our batting has been unbelievably inconsistent! We managed to see better signs in the Test matches, but the ODI's are a one chance only domain, and this places even bigger responsibility on the batsmen to ensure they play consistently, and give our bowlers something to work with. If the batting plays out positively, on wickets that are a batsman's calling, I can see alot going well for Australia in this series.
If not, the Proteas will have their eyes on the kill again!
I would like to see Brad Haddin open the batting, but who will partner him?
I am not sure, but my guess is a toss up between Cal Ferguson, James Hopes, Mike Hussey, Michael Clarke (please no!) or maybe Marcus North to give him a chance, but that is a slim chance.
Here is the squad:
Ricky Ponting (C),
Michael Clarke (VC),
Brad Haddin (W/K),
* FACT: Of the present Australian squad, only 5 members were apart of the ODI squad in 2006, while for the Proteas they had six of their currently selected team for the first 2 ODI's.
The Australian players were; Ricky Ponting, Michael Clarke, Michael Hussey, Nathan Bracken and Mitchell Johnson.