he fourth and final Test between Australia and South Africa has just begun at the Wanderers, Johannesburg. After losing first Test, the hosts made aggressive comeback to take 2-1 lead. This series has been back to life so far with both sides are playing hard but the recent scandal of ball tempering has ruined the spirits of Australian players as well as their fans. Now both ex-vice captain David Warner and former skipper Steve Smith are banned for one year.
Australia has been cut out under their new skipper Tim Paine while replacing both Warner and Smith. It’s time for other senior players to take charge with the ban of two most veteran players.
- Tim Paine
From being in doubt of position in inaugural XI during Ashes to being Australia’s captain, Tim Paine has seen a lot of changes over the past five months. He has extra burden now to bring some positive changes to his Australian side is in its new low. Though he doesn’t have much numbers, he has some done some valuable contributions on his side. It’s time for Paine to follow the tradition of playing hard and aggressive just like the way Australia has played before.
- Shaun Marsh
His career has always been in the low due to injuries and he has been out of the side all the time. During the Ashes, his fortunes have been changed where he emerged by playing a vital role in Australia’s Ashes win. In second Test, his unbeaten 126 earned him MoM. Then, he backed it up with 156 at Sydney. He is yet to score half-century in this series and he will be looking forward to finish series with a bang.
- Usman Khawaja
He is a national stroke maker and he is at his best when he keeps going. He wouldn’t be happy with the difference between his away and home average. When he is away, he averages just 24.88, otherwise 59.38. It’s time for the 31-year-old to rise in absence of other veteran players and he must prove his mettle as a strong no.3 batsman.
- Nathan Lyon
He has made great strides over the past couple of years and he has been one of the best off-spinners worldwide. Recently, he went past 300 wickets in Test in Cape Town. His achievements didn’t get much limelight due to other controversies. Despite making some major breakthroughs, he hasn’t looked behind. Australia would depend much on Lyon in the final Test.
- Josh Hazlewood
He had a significant beginning in his Test career and has good numbers to back up the same. But the tall fast bowler is trying hard with his rhythm in the existing Test and he has not lived up to his strength. He has fairly wide release points from the stumps on most events. The 27-year-old troubled batsmen a lot when he came near the stumps and it is where he got his wickets mostly. He has been economical but Australia still hops for match-winning five-for to level up the series.