South Africa played some superb cricket to defeat Australia in the first T20 at Kingsmead and take a 1-0 lead in the three-match T20 series. South Africa have a chance of winning the series as they face Australia Sunday in the second T20 at the New Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg.
But it is not going to be an easy game for the home side, as was witnessed in the first T20 where Australia were in the driver's seat until David Miller played a brilliant innings to notch up a 35-ball 53 to help South Africa emerge victorious.
Australia's form in the T20 format has not been impressive of late, hence there is a serious need for them play better cricket against South Africa in the seocnd T20, with the World T20 set to be played in India in a few days.
Australia have an amazing batting line-up, which includes Aaron Finch, David Warner, Glenn Maxwell and Steve Smith. These players were tested by South African spinner Imran Tahir in the first T20, and the leggie troubled the Australian batsmen, picking three wickets. With World T20 pitches in India expected to turn, Australia need a way to be effective against spinners.
Opener Finch is not surprised spinners are targeting their batsmen, as their recent series against India showed their weakness against spin. One can expect Tahir to come out aggressively again. Australia have to be up for it.
"It's no secret teams are targeting us with spin and, rightfully so. We haven't played it all that well over the last little while in the shortest format," ESPN Cricinfo quoted Finch as saying Friday.
"India took a lot of wickets with spin, and today Imran was all over us. It's something we are going to have look to change our plans. The guys are quality players of spin. It's just about changing our mindsets slightly if we do have a few dot balls."
Despite South Africa emerging victorious in the first T20, they need to pull up their socks in the second T20. Their three-wicket victory was not an easy win. Chasing a total of 157 runs, their top-order batsmen failed to deliver. They were tottering at 95 for six, after which Miller used the willow like a wand to help the home team defeat Australia.
Like Australia, South Africa also have some world-class batsmen in AB de Villiers, Miller, Quinton de Kock and JP Duminy. If these batsmen click, there are very few bowlers in world cricket that can stop South Africa from scoring big runs.
With such batsmen in both teams, one can expect a run feast in Johannesburg during the second T20. The South African bowling line-up without Dale Steyn looked a bit weak in the first T20, but the speedster could play in the second T20 to bolster their team's attack.
The second T20 promises to be a cracker of contest as both teams will be keen to go into the World T20 with some good wins under their belt. Australia and South Africa, irrespective of which ICC event they participate in, are always among the contenders for the title.
Where to watch live:
South Africa vs Australia 2nd T20 is scheduled for a 2:30 p.m. local time (12:30 p.m GMT and 6 p.m. IST) start with live coverage in India on Ten Cricket and Ten HD. The live streaming option will be available on Tensports.com.
Viewers in South Africa can watch South Africa vs Australia 2nd T20 live on SuperSport 2 and CSN. The live stream option is on SuperSport Live.
Australia viewers can catch the live action of South Africa vs Australia 2nd T20 on Fox Sports 1. Foxtel Play will provide the live streaming of the match. Cricket Australia official website will live stream the T20 series worldwide.
Audience in UK can watch South Africa vs Australia 2nd T20 on Sky Sports 3 and Sky Sports HD 3. Live Streaming option will be available on SkyGo.
Viewers in US can watch the South Africa vs Australia 2nd T20 on Willow TV. The games can also be live-streamed on Willow TV online.