Proteas start ODI battle with Aussies

The first of five MTN one-day internationals (ODIs) between South Africa and Australia is to be played in Durban today, signalling that the long summer of battles between the two teams is drawing to an end.

The first of five MTN one-day internationals (ODIs) between South Africa and Australia is to be played in Durban today, signalling that the long summer of battles between the two teams is drawing to an end.

Since the middle of December, Australia and South Africa have played two Test series, with each winning the series away from home, two Twenty20 series, with each winning the series in their own backyard, and an ODI series in Australia, which South Africa won 4-1.

But far from being jaded after nearly four months of battles against one of their main rivals, coach Mickey Arthur says the Proteas are excited about the prospect of the last battle.

"We're getting a nice balance now," he said. "I'm very happy with the mix we have now."

Captain Graeme Smith returns from injury but Jacques Kallis (groin strain) is unlikely to feature.

Kingsmead is sold out for today's match, which starts at 2.30pm. - Sapa

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