Australia’s path to World Cup glory begins in earnest this Friday, when the five-match ODI series with South Africa commences in Perth.
The bitter rivals will start as two of the more fancied teams to take out the crown – and this series represents an opportunity to gain a huge psychological advantage, as well as settling on combinations with several spots in both teams still up for grabs.
The series was launched beside the Swan River on Tuesday, with George Bailey fronting the media to speak about World Cup preparations and defend his besieged skipper Michael Clarke.
There are six fast bowlers in Australia’s squad for this series – including Test spearhead Mitchell Johnson – and given the WACA’s reputation for fast, bouncy wickets, most of them can expect to get a run.
One of the pace-men, local lad Nathan Coulter-Nile, also talked about his desire to get a crack at the Proteas on his home track after featuring in Australia’s 57-run loss to England at the WACA last summer.