SA pumped for MCG

2014-11-07 00:00

MELBOURNE Cricket Ground is expected to draw a huge crowd for today’s second T20 International that sees Australia taking on a young and rejuvenated Proteas outfit.

JP Duminy and his band of merry men have the Aussies in a state of shellshock after Wednesday’s convincing seven-wicket win with an over to spare, their first T20 win on Australian soil, and they will go for the jugular this time around, keen to wrap up the three-match series with a 2-0 series win.

On paper, the Aussies looked to be the far stronger unit, with captain Aaron Finch, Cameron White and Shane Watson seasoned campaigners in the T20 format. They had a more than decent attack with the likes of Doug Bollinger and Pat Cummins in the ranks and they were up against a Protea side that had no Hashim Amla, AB de Villiers, Faf du Plessis, Morne Morkel or Dale Steyn.

Rilee Rossouw, Reeza Hendricks and Kagiso Rabada made their debuts and although the Aussies also had debutants – Ben Dunk and Nathan Reardon — they must have fancied their experience to pull them through.

As is the nature of the game, Rossouw stood tall, guiding the Proteas home with 78 to get the selectors’ attention with the World Cup mere months away. Kyle Abbott used the opportunity to boost his credentials with a fine spell of 3-21 in his four overs, his bowling at the death worth his place alone.

It was a solid all-round performance in all departments by the Proteas and it’s the opposition who are now searching for the right formula to please their home fans and stay in the series. Glen Maxwell is scheduled to be in today’s line up, returning from the Test mauling against Pakistan in the UAE, while the Proteas will be content to step on the field with the same eleven. If there is to be any change, it could see the pacey Marchant de Lange coming in for Rabada.

Duminy will want more of the same from his troops. “We spoke about starting well in the series as with some new faces, there is plenty nerves and pressure to perform …” he said.

“I think we passed the test admirably, with our execution outstanding from ball one.

“We wanted to … take wickets without letting them settle and I think we achieved that.”

The Protea captain was full of praise for his bowlers, especially at the back end of the innings where, “I thought we used the dimensions of the ground well and got the ball in the block-hole when it mattered. It’s a massive tick for our seamers and spinners,” he said.

Rossouw has staked a big claim to make the trip to Australia and New Zealand in February for the World Cup, as has Abbott who is consistently tapping the selectors on the shoulder. The man in danger could be David Miller, who needs time in the middle and runs under the belt.

Today’s match is telecast on SS2 from 10 am.

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