Why Australia Lost the Series Against South Africa?

image-lmp6w7ygSouth Africa won the series against Australia by 3-2 (Source: Twitter)

The ODI series between South Africa resulted in the Proteas making a great comeback. The series ended 3-2 to South Africa after another dominating victory in the 5th ODI. It was a surprising end to the series since the Aussies were looking well in front in the first 2 ODI's. The Australians took an early 2-0 lead where they were looking like a much complete side. They boasted of a deep and explosive batting order and a decent bowling attack. 

However in the last 3 games the Aussies were not looking like the same dangerous side. Despite the South Africans showing a lot more promise and character, the performance of Australia was very underwhelming. They had lost the last three matches above 100+ Runs. This raises the questions in the management of the Australian team. Losing a series after a great start will affect their confidence going into the World Cup.

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Analysing Australia's Setbacks: What Went Wrong?

image-lmozwua8Bowling Figures in Middle Overs in last 3 ODIs. Green: SA, Yellow: AUS (Source: OneCricket)

Bowlers conceding runs in the middle overs

There is a big reason why Australia had to chase 300 and above in the last three games. The major reason for that is the number of runs conceded in the middle overs. If we compare both the teams in the middle overs Australian bowlers have conceded 547 runs in the last 3 games at an economy of 6.08. 

Along with that the average of 49.73 shows how much the bowlers have struggled in the middle overs. Unfortunately this is where the South Africans had got the better of them as they conceded 437 runs at an economy of 5.95 and an average of just 18.21. 

In terms of wickets South Africa were way ahead of Australia as well as they had taken 24 wickets in the middle overs whereas the Aussies could only manage 11. This explains that their bowlers not only conceded a lot of runs but also failed to make vital breakthroughs that allowed the Proteas to be able to make those big runs.

Middle order failed at crucial stages

Another major setback is the middle not able to form crucial partnerships in the middle. Except for Labuschagne no Australian middle over batter was consistent in this series. Even Aussie skipper Mitchell Marsh was not looking good in the middle as well. This resulted in Australia falling behind in the chases. We also know that the likes of David and Green can be dangerous in the middle but even their performances were sub par.


This series loss will be a learning curve for Australia who have otherwise been brilliant this season. The last three matches have shown us that though Australia might be one of the favourites going into this tournament, there are still some issues that can affect their campaign. There are those minor details that Australia needs to look at to be a much stronger side. 

With only a few weeks left before the World Cup the players must show more consistency than they have shown in the series against South Africa. Overall Australia is still one of the most balanced squads going into the World Cup with world class players who need more consistent performances by their players. With a perfect mix of experience and young players Australia will look to comeback from this disappointing series.