Master blasters out for revenge against in-form SA
THERE will be a point to prove for most of the Australian line-up when they face South Africa in a one-off Twenty20 international at Carrara Stadium on Saturday night.
Many members were part of the squad that made unwanted history for Australia by losing a second consecutive bilateral ODI series on home soil for the first time.
A number of players underperformed and showed only mere flashes of brilliance in the 2-1 loss to the Proteas.
Australia does comfortably outrank South Africa in the ICC's T20 rankings (third and sixth respectively), but the latter still boasts a group of in-form players who are threatening to compound the hosts' woes.
Here, foxsports.com.au takes a look at the players who could take their side to victory on Saturday night.
Lynn himself said he wants to prove a point against the Proteas after making just 59 runs at 19.66 in the 2-1 ODI series loss. He did, however, give South Africa a taste of just how dangerous he can be when he pummelled its star quick Kagiso Rabada to the boundary on four consecutive deliveries in the second match. To South Africa's relief, he was caught behind on 44 before he could inflict further damage. Lynn is now looking to make up for that missed opportunity in his pet format, T20. He averages 32.94 in all T20 cricket and is arguably due for a big score on the international stage.
McDermott will also be looking to prove a point on Saturday night, but for a different reason - he hasn't had a chance to. The 23-year-old earned his international spurs when he played in Australia's three T20Is against Pakistan last month. He was run out in all three innings. The right-hander was then picked in the Cricket Australia XI that faced South Africa on Wednesday. He was run out again. McDermott also averages more than 30 in all T20s, including 325 at 36.11 in last season's Big Bash League.
Tye's point to prove is not to himself or to South Africa, but to national selectors. He wasn't picked for the ODI series despite dominating the domestic One-Day Cup with 18 wickets at 16.16. He's a proven star at T20 level, also topping the wicket-taking chart in this year's Indian Premier League (24 at 18.66). More recently, the 31-year-old took four wickets at 23.50 against the world's No.1-ranked T20I side, Pakistan, in the UAE last month.
No player heads into this match in better form than 29-year-old David Miller. The middle-order batsman was awarded man of the series against Australia after making 192 runs at 96. That included a series-winning 139 - his highest score in 50-over cricket - in the third ODI. Miller is also a star of cricket's shortest format, averaging 36.15 in all T20s, and 29.28 at international level. He also scores at nearly 1.4 runs a ball in T20 cricket. In his last two T20Is, he scored 39 and 19 not out against Zimbabwe.
FAF DU PLESSIS
Captain du Plessis' form is almost identical to Miller's after a stellar ODI campaign against Australia. The veteran scored 182 runs at 91 and also made a big score in the series' decider - 125 off 114. Unlike Miller and Lynn, du Plessis' average in international 20-over matches is higher than his in all T20s. He's made 1237 runs at 35.34 in T20Is, compared to 4063 at 27.45 in all competitive T20s. Du Plessis is South Africa's highest ranked (22nd), available T20I batsman for the match.
Phehlukwayo was afforded only one shot in the ODI series, but he made the most of it. The fast bowler took 3-33 on the pace-friendly Perth deck to help his side to a commanding win. He sat out the remaining two matches, which leaves him as the freshest of the Proteas quicks heading into the one-off T20. The 22-year-old has 14 T20I wickets at 23.42, including best figures of 3-19.
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