The ball-tampering scandal during the Cape Town Test, earlier this year, shook the cricketing world. The incident led to a 12-month ban for Steve Smith and David Warner. This will be the first series between South Africa and Australia after the two were involved in the infamous series earlier in the year. There will be no Tests with the two teams clashing in a three-match ODI series and one-off T20I. With the Australian cricket culture coming under attack after the ball-tampering scandal, Proteas skipper Faf Du Plessis feels that there won't be too much of verbal banter between the two teams, especially from the Australian side.
"I do suspect this series will be a little bit more toned down, especially from the Australian side. Not necessarily from a body language point of view, but maybe just from a verbal point of view. There will still be the good battles on the cricket field, but there will just be a bit less of the verbal stuff," Du Plessis was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au.
Without Smith and Warner in the line-up, along with a nine-month suspension for Cameron Bancroft, the Australian team has been struggling in all the three format in the recent past.
After losing the ODI and T20I series in England, the team had a disastrous outing against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
When asked about the communication between him and the Australian team at the time of the ball-tampering scandal, Du Plessis recalled that he sent text messages to both Smith and Warner after the incident.
"I do remember there was a message to both ... to generally sympathize with the two of them," du Plessis said .
"I think it was a case of, 'I'm feeling for you; I know it's a tough time you're going through ... just stay strong and you'll come through this a stronger character', he added.
The first match of the three-match ODI series will be played in Perth on Sunday. Aaron Finch will captain the Australian team in the series.