| Ricky Ponting |
Johannesburg: This weekends Twenty20 matches between South Africa and Australia will give players a chance to earn a spot on their countrys squad for the upcoming Twenty20 World Cup in England.
This is a very important weekend for players to show their worth on the international stage, South Africa coach Mickey Arthur said.
All 15 members of the squad will play at least one match and we also want to assess how players contribute in the dressing room environment and at practice.
The teams play at the Wanderers in Johannesburg on Friday and at Supersport Park in Centurion on Sunday.
With Australia ranked as the top Test side in the world and South Africa holding the same billing for one-day internationals, both sides are looking to establish the upper hand in the Twenty20 format going into the World Cup in June.
Weve got a nice brand of cricket in the Tests and the one-dayers and were still looking for a certain type of brand in the Twenty20s. We are working on that, said South Africa batsman A.B. de Villiers.
Weve had some good matches in the past, and some disappointing ones. Were looking for that brand — its not yet there, but well definitely find it in the next few games. Its very important with a World Cup coming up.
Australia captain Ricky Ponting said his team will likely experiment with its lineup as well to find the best setup for the World Cup.
Its about time we started looking ahead to the Twenty20 World Cup as well and started to try to pencil in what we think is going to be our best team for that, he said.
In the four previous Twenty20 matchups between the teams, Australia have three wins — all at home — to South Africas one.
The countries split two test series earlier this year with each getting a 2-1 win, while South Africa won the ODI series 4-1 in Australia.
South Africa will be led by all-rounder Johan Botha in the absence of Graeme Smith (broken finger), although the big opening batsman is set to return for the five-match ODI series starting next week.
Left-arm swing bowler Yusuf Abdulla and spinning all-rounder Roelof van der Merwe are new inclusions in the Proteas squad after showing good domestic form.