Australia's 74-run loss against South Africa in Paarl was their fourth defeat in the last five ODIs when they have batted second, and captain Aaron Finch wants his men to address the issue.
On a dry surface in Paarl, Australia were set a commanding target of 292, courtesy of a brilliant hundred from Heinrich Klaasen. Steve Smith kept the visitors in the hunt with a patient 76, but no other Australian batsman got past 41 as they were eventually bowled out for 217.
Finch suggested that it would've been advantageous to have batted first, but recognised the need for his batsmen to get better at chasing targets. "It would've been nice to bat first, but we have to get better at chasing totals on wickets that are deteriorating a little bit and that was still a really good wicket at the end of the game."
Part of Australia's issue has been the lack of a hard-hitter in the middle-order, which has impeded their ability to push the accelerator in the middle overs in stiff chases. Having tried out a number of candidates to perform that role, Australia are now auditioning D'Arcy Short for the role. Short is more accustomed to opening the batting, but his power and ability to contribute in the field and with the ball make him an ideal candidate, according to Finch.
"He's got so much power; probably we left a bit too much for him to do tonight, which was unfortunate but he had some really good overs for us and really good in the field as well, so we're hoping that he can develop into that great finisher who chips in with the ball and does his job in the field really well."
Finch was generous in his praise of Klaasen, whose maiden ODI ton helped the hosts recover after they'd been reduced to 48/3 at one stage. "I think he played beautifully. I think the way that he rotated the strike of the spin; he was never able to be tied down. He picked his moments againt the fast bowlers to attack and got into some really good partnerships. That was a quality hundred."
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