There’s history in the making as South Africa head to Australia for a 3-Test, 3-ODI series for the first time in 6 years and since the sandpaper scandal rocked the cricketing world in 2018. This is also the series Marnus Labuschagne, the world’s No. 1 Test batter, lines up in a Test against South Africa, the country of his birth, in his home city of Brisbane.
The countries will play 3 Tests (part of the 2021–2023 ICC World Test Championship) and 3 ODIs (part of the 2020–2023 ICC Cricket World Cup Super League) starting Saturday 17th December, 2022. The ODI series begins 12th January, 2023.
South Africa who won the last series 3-1 in 2018 at home have also won the past three Test series in Australia. The last coming when South Africa famously rolled the hosts for 85 on a green Hobart wicket. That loss cost several Aussie players their Test spots before the tourists went on to win 2-1.
Infact, Australia last won a Test series against South Africa in 2014 and have won just two of the past nine clashes at home.
The ODI stats aren’t flattering either – the last ODI series between the two was in 2020 when Australia visited South Africa for a 3-match ODI series. The Proteas won the home series by a clean sweep (3-0). Australia last won an ODI series against South Africa in 2015.
To compound matters, Australia will face one of their toughest bowling attacks in recent times as South Africa name a near full-strength squad for the three-Test series.
Marnus Labuschagne’s debut against his country of birth is a highlight worth looking at a little closer though. He couldn’t have asked for a better time for a debut with the kind of touch he’s in. In two Tests against West Indies, Labuschagne amassed 502 runs at an average of 167.33 (3 consecutive centuries, including a double-century in the first Test).
As a young cricket-loving child in Klerksdorp, Labuschagne grew up idolising South African greats like Shaun Pollock, Jacques Kallis, AB de Villiers and Graeme Smith. When he moved with his family to Australia as a ten-year-old, his favourites quickly became Ricky Ponting, Michael Clarke, Mike Hussey and Damien Martyn.
Labuschagne will be in the sights of South Africa’s hostile bowling attack. Things are going to get interesting!
Australia top the World Test Championship and a series win could guarantee a spot in next year’s final at Lord’s. South Africa are second in the table.
Total – 98 | Australia – 52 |South Africa – 26 |Draw – 20
Total – 54 | Australia – 29 |South Africa – 16 |Draw – 9
Total – 103 | Australia – 48 |South Africa – 51 |Tie – 3 | No Result – 1
Total – 39 | Australia – 19 |South Africa – 19 |Tie – 1 | No Result – 0
1st Test – Dec 17, Sat – Dec 21, Wed, The Gabba, Brisbane
2nd Test – Dec 26, Mon – Dec 30, Fri, Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne
3rd Test – Jan 04, Wed – Jan 08, Sun, Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney
1st ODI – Jan 12, Thu, Bellerive Oval, Hobart
2nd ODI – Jan 14, Sat, Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney
3rd ODI – Jan 17, Tue, Perth Stadium, Perth
Australia: Pat Cummins (c), Scott Boland, Alex Carey (wk), Cam Green, Marcus Harris, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Marnus Labuschagne, Lance Morris, Michael Neser, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, David Warner
South Africa: Dean Elgar (c), Temba Bavuma, Gerald Coetzee, Theunis de Bruyn, Sarel Erwee, Simon Harmer, Marco Jansen, Heinrich Klaasen, Keshav Maharaj, Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje, Kagiso Rabada, Rassie van der Dussen, Kyle Verreynne (wk), Lizaad Williams, Khaya Zondo