The World Champions Australia had an awful tour of South Africa in the later part of 2016, they were whitewashed brutally from the Proteas; however, the Australians were in great form in the one day format before coming into this series. They won 3-2 from England in England, won 4-1 from India in Australia, then they won the Triangular series from West Indies and South Africa, outclassed Sri Lankans at their backyard and then won an ODI from Ireland just before the ODI series against South Africa.
Coming to the series in which they had a poor start, South Africa invited the Aussies to bat first in 1st ODI, Mr Reliable George Bailey scored solid of 74 and took his team to 294; on the other hand, Proteas were ready to hunt this inexperienced bowling line up of Australia without Mitchell Starc, South Africa’s young talented opener Quinton de Kock scored 178 and took the game away single handedly. The second ODI was another bright day for the Proteas, they batted first and posted a total over 360 courtesy the brilliance of their skipper Faf Du Plessis who scored a cameo of 111. In it’s reply Australia didn’t even managed to pass 250 and their skipper failed again to make a difference. After couple of defeats the Kangaroos managed to score a humongous total of 371 due to the classical knocks of David Warner and Captain Smith. In spite of scoring an unreachable total, they failed to defend it and lost their third consecutive game.These failures in a row buried their confidence and they collapsed on 167 and the same story repeated in the final ODI and this series defeat affected their performance in the Test Series against South Africa which Australia lost 2-1. David Warner was the only batsmen from the Australian squad who performed according to his ability and expectation, he scored 386 runs with an average of 77 with a strike rate above 113.
After a disastrous meeting with the Proteas, Australia hosted the Kiwis from New Zealand who were set to play 3 Match ODI Series. The same captain who was unable to perform started the series with a big hundred and took his team to victory. The dominance of the hosts entered to the next level in the second game when the whole batting order clicked and managed to give a target of 379 which New Zealand failed to come even close to it. The last match was replay of the first two games and New Zealand was whitewashed by its neighbour.
The major difference between the two series was the performance of their captain Steven Smith who averages over 40. They were also missing their experienced pace attack Starc, Hazlewood and Cummings who played a major role in the victory against the Kiwis. Another missing element was the exclusion of the quality all rounder James Faulkner from the South African series who contributed in the victory against Kiwis. Big teams have the capability to bounce back and Australians proved that they are the World Champions by coming back hard on their neighbours. Australia’s next challenge is the series with Pakistan which is well known for its unpredictability.