Australia was humiliated by South Africa, ending their World Cup campaign in disarray. This was their second straight loss, dropping them below Afghanistan in the group standings.
Australia would likely need to win six of their final seven games, including the ‘Ahmedabad Ashes’ on November 4 when England might eliminate their arch rivals from the tournament, in order to get to the semifinals.
This latest mauling was even worse than their opening-game defeat to tournament favorites India by six wickets. The formidable batting lineup of South Africa produced 311 for seven runs in Lucknow before Australia lost for just 177 runs, adding to the pressure on captain Pat Cummins.
Only Sri Lanka, the Netherlands, and Afghanistan have lost both of their first contests. To make matters worse for Australia, their net run rate is dangerous, making the task of finishing the competition even more difficult.
Prior to facing England on Tuesday, Australia will play Sri Lanka on Monday in Lucknow before playing Pakistan, the Netherlands, and New Zealand.
No other country has won more than twice in the history of the World Cup; Australia has won five times in 12 competitions. They have additionally lost finals thrice.
Both of Australia’s losses so far have been characterized by batting collapses. Australian batsmen have yet to hit the fifty-run mark. However, whereas Australia was defeated by India in Chennai due to their weakness against spin, they were defeated by South Africa due to pace.
The Proteas’ superb new-ball combination of Lungi Ngidi, Marco Jansen, and Kagiso Rabada held Australia to 56 for four in the 12th over. The most stunning dismissal was Josh Inglis, who was clean bowled by Rabada with a delivery that appeared to crash into the top of the off stump.
The next wicket taken by Australia was very contentious. The on-field umpire ruled Marcus Stoinis not out after a delivery from Rabada looked to strike the batsman’s glove. Replays appeared to indicate that the glove was no longer secured to Stoinis’s bat handle, which means that he should have been given not out in accordance with the rules of the game. Richard Kettleborough, the third umpire, however, called him out, stating that in his opinion the bottom hand had made contact with the upper one. More replays revealed that Stoinis’ hands were not actually in contact.
Australia made two changes for the game, dropping all-rounder Cameron Green and wicketkeeper Alex Carey, who has struggled in all forms since controversially stumping Jonny Bairstow in the Lord’s Ashes Test. This move seems to indicate that they are unsure of their best XI. However, Carey’s replacement, Inglis, only managed five. Green’s equivalent replacement, Stoinis, bowled two overs before scoring five runs.
Glenn Maxwell, an off-spinner for Australia, had a bowling average of two for 34. Even said, concerns regarding Australia’s decision to include only one specialist spinner, Adam Zampa, in their final 15-man team have grown in response to this performance. The original Australian team included left-arm spinner Ashton Agar, but Marnus Labuschagne, a batsman, took his place.
In addition to his overall numbers of one for 104 from 15.1 overs this season, pace bowler Cummins returned figures of one for 71 from nine overs, prompting some to argue that despite his stellar Test record, he is no longer deserving of a spot in Australia’s top one-day international XI.