AUS vs SA World Cup 2023, Match prediction: Australia will face South Africa in a key group game at the 2023 World Cup on Thursday.
After their disheartening opening game loss to India, the Australian team is gearing up to face a formidable South African side with the inclusion of the fit-again all-rounder Marcus Stoinis in a bid to strengthen their batting lineup. The five-time World Cup champions got off to a rocky start in the tournament, suffering a comprehensive six-wicket defeat at the hands of the hosts India in Chennai last week.
Their upcoming opponents, South Africa, enter the contest brimming with confidence following their convincing 102-run victory over Sri Lanka in the World Cup opener. The emphatic win has established the Proteas as strong contenders in the competition.
It’s not just the defeat itself but the manner in which Australia succumbed that poses a significant concern for their team management. Their batting display lacked aggression, with the exception of David Warner and Steve Smith, as no other player managed to surpass the 30-run mark. Furthermore, their struggles against India’s quality spin attack on a sluggish Chepauk wicket highlighted the absence of a second frontline spinner, with Adam Zampa being the solitary option due to Glenn Maxwell’s part-time role. To compound their woes, a rare dropped catch by Mitchell Marsh against Virat Kohli dented their only hope of mounting a comeback.
With Stoinis now recovered from his hamstring injury, he is poised to replace Cameron Green in the lineup. Stoinis is a well-established match-winner and holds familiarity with the ground due to his IPL stint with the Lucknow Super Giants. In this pivotal match against South Africa, Australia aims to correct their previous mistakes and revive their campaign with a much-improved performance.
AUS vs SA World Cup 2023: Surface at Lucknow
Following the 2023 Indian Premier League, the pitches at the Ekana International Cricket Stadium underwent significant alterations, prompted by the removal of the curator after a low-scoring T20I encounter between India and New Zealand in January. Consequently, certain preconceptions about the stadium might not align with the current conditions during the World Cup. Nevertheless, there persists a prevailing anticipation that spin will maintain its prominence and continue to be a decisive factor in the matches.
And if the pitches indeed favor spin, Australia may find themselves in a challenging situation. Their recent game against India exposed their vulnerability to spin, with six wickets falling to the spinners. While Adam Zampa is their primary spin option, Glenn Maxwell’s part-time spin might not suffice if spin-friendly conditions persist. This could be a critical factor to watch as Australia navigates through the World Cup, not just the game vs South Africa.
South Africa upbeat
South Africa is riding high on confidence following its resounding victory against Sri Lanka. They achieved a significant milestone by breaking the 400-run mark in their match in Delhi, which undoubtedly provides them with considerable momentum. A trio of centuries from Aiden Markram, Quinton de Kock, and Rassie van der Dussen underlined their batting prowess.
De Kock, in particular, has the added advantage of knowing the Lucknow ground well, having previously played for the Lucknow Super Giants in the IPL. This familiarity with the conditions could give South Africa an edge in their clash against Australia.