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Aussie bowlers under pump after ODI hiding

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No Mitchell Starc. No Josh Hazlewood. No James Faulkner. No chance?

Australia's undermanned bowling stocks were cruelly exposed by South African opener Quinton de Kock at Centurion on Friday, the 23-year-old blasted a 113-ball 178 as the Proteas opened up a 1-0 lead in the five-match series.

The manner of the defeat, with Australia conceding eight runs an over as South Africa reached a victory target of 295 with 14 overs to spare, had been somewhat anticipated.

With Starc, Hazlewood and Faulkner all rested for this series, Australia's bowling attack for this tour has been labelled "pedestrian" and "workmanlike" by former Test batsman Kepler Wessels.

Of the five bowlers picked for Friday's match, only all-rounder Mitchell Marsh had played more than 25 ODIs for his country.

If selectors opt to change the lineup for Sunday's second match, their choices are uncapped pair Joe Mennie and Chris Tremain.

Australia bowling coach David Saker says the inexperienced attack is learning quickly there is no place to hide at international level.

"International cricket's brutal and if you don't get it right, you get eaten up pretty quick," Saker said.

"The conditions over here, as a bowler, you need to be right on it.

"It's hard work enough if you're bowling well, let alone if you're not getting it right. The disappointing thing was that start. We just didn't bowl well enough with the new ball."

Australia will at least have little time to dwell on their defeat with less than 48 hours between fixtures.

But the venue of game two - Johannesburg's Wanderers Stadium - is another venue where batsmen can score quickly if a bowler's radar is off.

In March 2006, nearly 900 runs were scored in an unforgettable one-dayer between these two teams in a game viewed by many in South Africa as the greatest ODI of all time.

Nonetheless, Saker is backing his attack to bounce back and show their class.

"Bowling's not that complicated. If you can, try and hit that off stump as much as you can," he said.

"They're not in the Australian team because they can't execute.

"They're good players and we know that they can do that. I'm confident we'll bowl a lot better than we did."

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