South Africa won the toss and chose to bat first vs Australia
Missing Kagiso Rabada, ruled out of the series late last night with a groin injury, South Africa opted for a spin-heavy attack, with Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje and allrounder Andile Phehlukwayo the three seam options in the side.
Australia sprung a surprise of their own, selecting D’Arcy Short as the spin-bowling allrounder ahead of Ashton Agar. Short was carded to bat at No. 7, and is set to share the fifth bowler’s workload along with Marnus Labuschagne and Mitchell Marsh.
As well as Rabada, South Africa were missing the rested Faf du Plessis, Rassie van der Dussen and Dwaine Pretorius, while Dale Steyn is travelling to Pakistan to play for Islamabad United in the PSL.
Malan, brother of Pieter, has played two T20Is for South Africa, against Pakistan last year. He was the leading South African run-scorer in this year’s Mzansi Super League, with an aggregate of 358 and an imperious strike rate of 149.79. Verreynne, an attacking middle-order batsman, makes his South Africa debut and is carded to bat at No. 6. He has had a quiet domestic season to date both in the Mzansi Super League and in the ongoing One-Day Cup, but has long been seen as one for the future.
Labuschagne, playing cricket in his native South Africa for the first time in more than 15 years, continues at No. 4, where he made his debut in India. Marsh continues in the middle order, with Wade missing out, while Josh Hazlewood comes in for Kane Richardson from the side that played throughout the T20I series.
South Africa: 1 Quinton de Kock (wk, captain), 2 Janneman Malan, 3 Temba Bavuma, 4 Kyle Verreynne, 5 Heinrich Klaasen, 6 David Miller, 7 Andile Phehlukwayo, 8 Keshav Maharaj, 9 Lungi Ngidi, 10 Anrich Nortje, 11 Tabraiz Shamsi
Australia: 1 Aaron Finch (captain), 2 David Warner, 3 Steven Smith, 4 Marnus Labuschagne, 5 Mitchell Marsh, 6 Alex Carey (wk), 7 D’Arcy Short, 8 Mitchell Starc, 9 Pat Cummins, 10 Josh Hazlewood, 11 Adam Zampa