South Africa will play a three-match T20 series against Australia starting Friday. This will be a preparation stage for both the sides just ahead of the ICC World T20 2016, which will be held in India from March 8.
Australia will look to test their mettle ahead of the big tournament and get back to winning ways in T20 cricket. But it will not be a cakewalk for the Aussies as they will be up against a formidable Proteas side, who have won their last two T20 series against the current No.1 team India and England.
Even if both the sides are trying to prepare for the ICC World T20, it is not going to help either of the team. Honestly, the wickets in South Africa are similar to the ones in Australia and way different from the ones in the Indian subcontinent.
The wickets in South Africa will generate a lot of pace and bounce, which straight away signals at fast bowlers, who are bound to get assistance from these wickets.
Australia have a problem playing the spinners but on these South African pitches, they will be playing the spinner with ease. In India, things are going to be different. The wickets are going to be lot slower and will aid the spinners in their wicket-taking cause.
The Aussie all-rounder however, warned his fellow batsmen about Imran Tahir, who can fox them with his variations.
Maxwell is looking to prove his worth during this series against South Africa, ahead of the ICC World T20.
"I like to think I'm just a handy player in our team, I wouldn't say I'm a big game player. I feel like I just try to play my role in the team as well as I can, no matter what the tournament. I don't think you have to try to get yourself up anymore for different tournaments. Every game you get to play for your country is just as important as any other," Maxwell was quoted as saying by the official website of Cricket Australia.
Meanwhile, the Proteas will depend on their seam attack. Dale Steyn's return will give them a major boost ahead of the big-ticket tournament. Kyle Abbott has also been in wicket-taking form in the last couple of series. Kagiso Rabada was a real revelation during the series against India.
However, with the return of Steyn, Abbott might have to sit out for one or two games and that can hurt his run of form.
"I always feel like a bowler that needs to bowl a lot and get into rhythms. To play one game in a series is tough. To get an extended run has really built my confidence," Abbott was quoted as saying by ESPN Cricinfo.
South Africa vs Australia: 1st T20 schedule:
Venue: Kingsmead, Durban.
Date: March 4, Friday.
Timings: 6 p.m. local time, 4 p.m. GMT and 9:30 p.m. IST
TV listings: India: Ten Cricket and Ten HD, Australia: Fox Sports 1, South Africa: SuperSport 2 and CSN, UK: Sky Sports 3 and Sky Sports HD 3, US: Willow TV.