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Australian batting collapse against South Africa in the first ODI
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Australian batting collapse against South Africa in the first ODI

Agency News

Australian top order batting have collapsed against South Africa in the first ODI on a lively pitch in Perth.

Faf du Plessis' decision to bowl after winning the toss paid dividend as the top five batsmen found themselves back in the pavilion before 50 was on the board.

South African bowlers Andile Phehlukwayo, Dale Steyn and Lungi Ngidi could find good line and lengh in the attack. While Andile Phehlukwayo took three wickets, Dale Steyn scalped two and Lungi Ngidi one. As far as Australia is concerned only the Wicket Keeper Alex Carey could score better (26).

It continues a worrying trend for the Australian cricket team which has only won two of its past 20 ODIs, with less than a year remaining until they defend their World Cup crown. Australian batsmen looked less confident in the summer cricket. Experts say that the Australian cricket is yet to come out of the storm of ball tampering controversy.

Shaun Marsh was ruled out before play, having been sent for minor surgery on an abscess on his backside. His replacement D'arcy Short failed to bother the scorers.

Short's inclusion has also changed the bowling plans for Australia, and his ability to contribute spin overs has led to Adam Zampa being left out as the spinner and selectors instead backing in a four-pronged pace attack.

Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood and Nathan Coulter-Nile will all combine, with Marcus Stoinis as the all-rounder and Short, Travis Head and Glenn Maxwell capable of providing the spin component.