Australia meet South Africa at 9:30 AEST tonight in the first ODI encounter in Centurion, South Africa.
Australia, which goes into the five-match series as the top-ranked ODI side, will want to prove that they are the best despite losing the psychological edge.
The Australian side will be without several core players, while South Africa are near full strength. Absentees from the opening match include fast bowler Mitchell Starc who suffered a gruesome knee injury in training two weeks ago. Australia have also lost Josh Hazlewood, who is being rested, while Nathan Coulter-Nile, James Pattinson, Pat Cummins, James Faulkner and Peter Siddle were all ruled out due to injury.
Australian coach Darren Lehmann has selected three new fast bowlers, Daniel Bowral, Chris Tremain and Joe Mennie, to join Mitchell Marsh, John Hastings and Scott Boland.
Fourth-ranked ODI side South Africa have been without captain A.B. de Villiers for two months because of an elbow injury but they have an abundance of experience in their side including J.P. Duminy, Quinton de Kock, Hashim Amla and Faf du Plessis as the stand-in captain.
In the past two years the sides have played eight one-day matches. Of those, Australia has won five and South Africa two, with one no-result. – Ben Owusu
Photo of captains Steve Smith and Du Plessis with the trophy from Cricket Australia’s Twitter feed.