Toss winner- Southafrica
Match Winner – Australia
South Africa has suffered more heartache in ICC competitions than any other team, and they will be aiming to go all the way this time. Unlike prior years, they are not widely expected to win the championship, and as a result, they might emerge as the competition’s dark horse. In their opening match of the ICC World T20, the Proteas will face Australia, which is undoubtedly the most significant match of their group.
With all of the teams in their group capable of beating each other, South Africa and Australia will both want to get off to a good start. On Saturday, October 23, 2021, the two teams will face off at Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi.
We haven’t seen an Australian side struggle as much as this one. Make no mistake: this Australian side has a history of stunning opposing teams in ICC tournaments, and it might happen again this time. Australia has had a good series of warm-up matches, but they still have a long way to go if they want to compete with the elite teams.
The Australians’ hitting has been their major issue in recent years. Not only is David Warner off of form, but Aaron Finch has also struggled to settle down at the crease. With both openers struggling for runs, the onus has recently been on Australia’s middle-order to not only finish their innings on a high note, but also to rebuild when they’ve lost early wickets.
Australia managed to record a good total against India because to Steven Smith’s half-century and the contributions of Marcus Stoinis and Glenn Maxwell. Given their batting order’s recent form, it’s reasonable to predict that Glenn Maxwell will be essential in Australia’s success not just in this match, but also in future contests.
Australia’s bowling appears to be in a similar place as South Africa’s. The bowlers showed some promise in the first warm-up, despite their lack of colour against India. Kane Richardson took three wickets and was well supported by Adam Zampa, who took advantage of the conditions. With Ashton Agar and Glenn Maxwell both ready to roll their arm, Australia’s bowling unit is well-balanced, with a variety of bowling options.
Despite being one of the most consistent limited-overs sides in the world throughout the years, South Africa has yet to win a World Cup in any format. This season, they are not as well regarded as some of the other teams, which gives them the opportunity to fly under the radar and surprise everyone with their performance. They were able to accomplish so in the warm-ups and will be hoping to do it again in the main event.
With many of their seasoned players unavailable, South Africa is still rebuilding, yet their performance hasn’t reflected this. They’ve won their last seven games in a row, with nearly everyone contributing well. They were as impressive in the warm-ups, beating Afghanistan in the first match and then chasing down a massive total against a dynamic Pakistan attack in the second.
The Proteas had a good run building up to the big event, but they’ll be aware of the limits they’ve shown in recent encounters. Despite the fact that their batsmen appear to be in good form, they have yet to fire in unison. In the second warm-up, Rassie van der Dussen delivered a superb solo knock, but no one was able to congratulate him. Temba Bavuma did spend some time in the middle, but given he batted towards the death, he was a touch too sluggish.
Also, Temba Bavuma and Reeza Hendricks have also failed to impress in recent T20Is, leaving South Africa undecided over their starting partnership. Given Aiden Markram’s current form, we could see him open with Quinton de Kock in this forthcoming battle, which would make sense.
On the other hand, only a few clubs can match their potency when it comes to bowling. The inclusion of two express bowlers in Anrich Nortje and Kagiso Rabada will make them difficult to face at the outset of the innings, but they might also pose a threat later on. Keshav Maharaj, Tabraiz Shamsi, and Lungi Ngidi, for example, performed a good job in the warm-ups.
Overall, South Africa has some evident weaknesses, but they can all be fixed rather rapidly. In addition, the majority of their players have played in the IPL, so they have that experience. South Africa’s strength is undoubtedly bowling, and if their bowlers can produce, the team might surprise everyone.