Newlands welcomes mouthwatering test

2014-03-01 10:08

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Preview: South Africa vs Australia, third test, Newlands, Cape Town

Start time: 10.30am

The low-down: For a change, there is a deciding test between South Africa and Australia in South Africa. One team is hellbent on keeping a clean record in terms of not losing in South Africa.

It will not be easy against an Australian side that will be smarting from a heavy defeat in the second test in Port Elizabeth.

But the series itself has been of a topsy-turvy nature where both sides have brought different moods to the respective matches. If both teams bring their best for the next five days, a good game of cricket is in store.

Key match-up: Michael Clarke vs Dale Steyn

Both captains’ form has come into the spotlight but in an underachieving batting line-up, Clarke’s failures have been magnified more than any other batsman’s. He needed to deliver in Port Elizabeth but Vernon Philander and, more importantly, Dale Steyn, took his wicket very cheaply.

Clarke is the man for the big occasion and he has delivered at Newlands, but he will have to deal with an attack that prospers at Newlands. Steyn enjoys playing at Newlands and will enjoy having a crack at a precocious Australian batting line-up.

Team news: Aside from the injured Wayne Parnell, who has been replaced by Kyle Abbott. Chances of the Dolphins’ seamer playing are minimal, especially when Ryan McLaren is fit and ready after his Mitchell Johnson-induced concussion.

With Alviro Petersen fit, it will be a toss-up between Quinton de Kock and Dean Elgar, with the latter in the front line should the host opt for an extra batsman. Shane Watson is still a concern but it is likely that Shaun Marsh could make way if Watson is fit.

Probable teams:

South Africa: Graeme Smith (c), Alviro Petersen, Hashim Amla, Faf du Plessis, AB de Villiers (wk), Dean Elgar, Ryan McLaren, Robin Peterson, Vernon Philander, Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel

Australia: David Warner, Chris Rogers, Alex Doolan, Shaun Marsh/Shane Watson, Michael Clarke (c), Steven Smith, Brad Haddin (wk), Mitchell Johnson, Peter Siddle, Ryan Harris, Nathan Lyon

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