Australia will take on South Africa at The Gabba, Brisbane. The opening Test of the three-match series gets underway at 10:20 local time on Saturday 17th December.
The hosts have selected a 14-man squad ahead of this series with the same players who were chosen for the Tests against West Indies and no place for spinner Mitchell Swepson. Australia were far too strong for West Indies but will be aware that South Africa are a much tougher opponent. Josh Hazlewood will miss this match through injury.
With three centuries from his four innings against West Indies, Marnus Labuschagne will arrive in Brisbane with his confidence at an all-time high. Former captain, Steve Smith, is also in excellent form and hit 200 not out in the First Test against West Indies.
One of the great strengths of Australia’s bowling attack is the variety that skipper Pat Cummins has at his disposal. Off-spinner Nathan Lyon will be a threat across both innings with the likes of Scott Boland, Mitchell Starc and Cummins likely to get plenty of bounce from the surface.
Australia have lost only one Test out of nine matches in this format across this year.
Although they arrive in Australia with a very strong bowling attack, question marks do remain over the batting line-up of the visitors ahead of this opening Test. Dean Elgar will captain the side and we do not expect to see any debuts handed out in Brisbane.
South Africa’s batters come into this first Test of the series after making four successive totals under 200 against England at The Oval and Old Trafford. However, the hard bouncy wicket in Brisbane should be more familiar to the batters compared to swinging conditions in the UK.
Right-arm pace bowlers, Anrich Nortje and Kagiso Rabada, will make up a strong quick bowling attack alongside left-armer Marco Jansen. There may well also be a place in the team for Lungi Ngidi with Keshav Maharaj likely to be selected ahead of Simon Harmer.
South Africa have lost their last two Tests but won four games in a row before that.
The match will be played at The Gabba, Brisbane. We expect good cricket betting coinsAustralia vs South Africa 1st Test Match Prediction & Betting Tips pace and carry on this pitch with a par score in the first innings of around 400.
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