7:00 PM (AEDST) Friday, March 30 at New Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg
South Africa will be looking to wrap up the series against an Australian team in disarray after the ball tampering scandal of the third test.
Australia: Joe Burns, Mett Renshaw, Glenn Maxwell, Pat Cummins, Peter Handscomb, Josh Hazelwood, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Mitch Marsh, Mitchell Starc, Shawn Harsh.
South Africa: Faf du Plessis, Hashim Amla, Keshav Maharaj, Temba Bavuma, Theunis de Bruyn, Quentin de Kock, AB de Villiers, Dean Elgar, Morne Morkel, Vernon Philander, Kagiso Rabada.
There has been 25 Test series played between these sides, with Australia winning 15 to South Africa’s 5, with 5 series drawn. 95 Test matches have been played with Australia winning 50 to the Proteas 25 while 20 games have been drawn. South Africa won the last series 2-1 in 2016 and the the previous 2 tests.
Australia’s home summer series saw them win the Ashes in a commanding series win over England, winning 4 games to nil. Prior to that series they had been kept to a 1 all drawn series with Bangladesh, which saw them lose their first ever game to Bangladesh in Test cricket. Australia batted first in the first test of this series and scored a solid 351 before Starc and Lyon ripped through the home side. Australia gave South Africa 417 to win, but they fell 118 runs short. In the second Test Australian batsmen failed to fire as the host side claimed a comfortable win by 6 wickets in a fiery clash. The third test which Australia also last was marred by the ball tampering incident which has resulted in Test Captain Steve Smith and Vice Captain David Warner copping 12 month bans, as well as opener Cameron Bancroft receiving a 9 month suspension.
South Africa scored a 2-1 series win against India back in January on home soil. Their only other Test cricket in the last 6 months was a big win in a one-off test against Zimbabwe and two months prior saw South Africa hammer Bangladesh 2-0, scoring two huge wins. They failed to fire in the first innings of the first test here with both bat and ball, which allowed the visitors to set up a healthy lead. They’ll take plenty of good from the great improvement they displayed in their second digs with bat and ball despite losing. South Africa’s batting was greatly improved, as was their bowling, with AB de Villiers bouncing back to form with a brilliant ton. South Africa dominated the third test, especially with the ball, as they claimed a big 322 run victory.
Focus – The series has been rocked by plenty of bad sportsmanship and fiery clashes, but with Australia fielding three new players, with the chief aggressor in Warner out, it will be interesting to see how well the side regroups and handles the conditions.
South Africa will be red hot favourites here as they have won every innings since the first two in the first test.
South Africa $1.44