Australia won the toss and chose to bat v South Africa
On a hot day in Bloemfontein, Aaron Finch opted to make the hosts chase in their bid to win a first series this summer. The dry appearance of the pitch led the Australian captain to believe spin would play a role and, given South Africa’s history against the turning ball, it means they will be thoroughly tested as they attempt to give new coach Mark Boucher his first trophy since taking over in December.
Conditions caused Australia to make one change to the XI that lost in Paarl, with Ashton Agar replacing Josh Hazlewood and the batting line-up remaining the same.
South Africa have also given themselves extra spin options with Jon-Jon Smuts joining Keshav Maharaj and Tabraiz Shamsi in the team. Smuts stepped in for Temba Bavuma, who was ruled out of the series as he continues to recover from a hamstring niggle which kept him sidelined during the T20s. Bavuma will remain with the squad and is on track to travel to India for three ODIs next week.
The match presents a big opportunity for opening batsman Janneman Malan, who recovered from cramp to play in this match. He has been left out of the squad to tour India but a strong performance in the remaining two matches could make a case for his inclusion, especially if Bavuma’s fitness remains a concern. For now, Rassie van der Dussen, who was due to be rested for this series has joined the playing group but will not feature in this match.
South Africa: 1 Janneman Malan, 2 Quinton de Kock, 3 Jon-Jon Smuts, 4 Kyle Verreyne, 5 Heinrich Klaasen, 6 David Miller, 7 Andile Phehlukwayo, 8 Keshav Maharaj, 9 Anrich Nortje, 10 Lungi Ngidi, 11 Tabriaz Shamsi
Australia: 1 David Warner, 2 Aaron Finch, 3 Steve Smith, 4 Marnus Labuschagne, 5 Mitchell Marsh, 6 Alex Carey, 7 D’Arcy Short, 8 Ashton Agar, 9 Mitchell Starc, 10 Pat Cummins, 11 Adam Zampa,