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Aussies need to live without Starc

South Africa captain Faf du Plessis says it's obvious how much Australia miss Mitchell Starc.
Aussies need to live without Starc: Warner
Photo Source: AP

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Two games into Australia's five-match one-day series against South Africa and already it looks like the tourists' inexperienced bowling attack will be a decisive factor.

Shorn of top talents such as Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and James Faulkner, Australia were always likely to be up against it in South Africa.

But the manner of their defeats in the opening two matches, especially Sunday's 142-run loss at the Wanderers, suggests the absence of those frontline names is devastating.

Far from being a world champion line-up, Australia have looked toothless as they've twice been battered by the Proteas on the Highveld.

Steve Smith turned to the two bowlers spared the carnage of Quinton de Kock's 178 at Centurion in game one on Friday for Sunday's match.

Joe Mennie and Chris Tremain's debuts quickly turned into days to forget however.

Mennie's 0-82 is a record for the most runs conceded by an Australian bowler on ODI debut while Tremain (1-78) would have set that mark had it not been for his fellow first-gamer.

But vice-captain David Warner thinks constantly referencing to those not on the tour is pointless.

He says Australia must simply deal with what they have.

"It's irrelevant. You've got to play the cards that you're dealt," he said.

"We do have a young attack but they've done everything they can to be here and be in this position to play for their country.

"With Starcy and them out, it is what it is. We just have to deal with it."

Warner was also at pains to note both matches had been played at venues renowned for being unforgiving for bowlers.

Mennie's debut performance was bad, but Warner reference Mick Lewis' infamous day at the same venue in 2006, when he was smashed for a world record 113 runs off his 10 overs in a match where South Africa successfully chased a victory target of 435 for victory.

"It's not a great stomping yard for some fast quicks," Warner said.

"As a batsman, you feel that the bowler's trying to bowl a bit shorter and a bit faster.

"That's the challenge for the bowlers, to try and keep hitting that right length because here, if you miss the mark, it travels and we know that."

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