Being South Africa is not easy. There is something or the other always happening off the field and after as much turmoil their cricket has seen recently, winning games for the country is the only respite for the members. In the T20I series, the Africans were far from their best game. Credit must also be given to the brand of cricket displayed by England, who have hunted Quinton de Kock’s men in their den, and have deservedly crowned themselves as the No. 1 T20I team displacing Australia.
And that is despite South Africa’s renowned reputation of being one of the hardest to defeat at home. They should regret this profoundly not because the defeats have posed a question on their dominance, but because they were indeed not as feeble as the score line represents. Despite having their moments, it was the lack of capitalization that continued to push them into defeats.
A change in the format of the games is where South Africa’s hopes to change their fortunes would lie. A format where there is more time to counter the opponents, more time to set oneself in, and more time to execute the plans into actions. After being outplayed quite a few times in the recently-concluded three-match T20I series, the Proteas would be itching to open their account, come the 50-over format of the game.
The challenge to disrupt a rolling English side will only be tougher for them in the absence of their premium pacer Kagiso Rabada – who injured his right adductor and will not be a part of the entire series, and the in-form Faf du Plessis, who has been allowed to take rest. In their absence, eyes will be on the likes of Janneman Malan and George Linde. The latter managed to impress through his exploits in the T20 series, and the coming opportunity will be one to cement their position in the setup.
On the other hand, England brags a potent arsenal of limited-overs players, who all have some blistering form to back their place in the side. That said, luck has historically favoured the hosts at tomorrow’s venue – Cape Town – where South Africa has a 5-1 record against England in the ODIs. The only instance when the Englishmen won an ODI came in 2005, whereas in their last meeting at the venue earlier this year, the hosts won by 7 wickets. Given the way things stand, de Kock and the company won’t mind some luck favouring them.
Pitch and conditions
The halt of international action for over 9 months has given ample rest to the pitches. Although, two of the three T20Is were played at Newlands, and with only a gap of two days between the last encounter – which recorded 383 runs in 226 balls – and the first ODI, the track will, of course, be slightly tired. We might witness spinners enjoying their stay in the middle.
Playing combinations for SA vs ENG
With scores of 0, 14, and 16, Jason Roy has squandered the T20I series, and he would be desperate to get amongst the runs in a precocious line up of batsmen. Jos Buttler and Eoin Morgan had a decent patch of form in the IPL and have followed that in the T20I series too. Jonny Bairstow has since some time made a reputation of being England’s default choice in the limited-overs, and with Sam Billings, who, too, has some respectable performances under his belt in 2020, the batting order of England is as balanced as any.
That England manages to look that way even in the absence of Ben Stokes, Sam Curran, and Dawid Malan, who both have been sent back home for rest, is intimidating. In Jofra Archer’s absence, who is in the same list as Stokes and Malan, Chris Woakes will be assisted by Tom Curran and Mark Wood in the pace column, whereas Adil Rashid will be the spinner alongside Moeen Ali.
Probable XI: Jason Roy, Jonny Bairstow, Joe Root, Eoin Morgan (C), Jos Buttler (WK), Sam Billings/Moeen Ali, Chris Woakes, Tom Curran, Adil Rashid, Mark Wood, Reece Topley/Olly Stone
Bench: Liam Livingstone, Lewis Gregory, Sam Billings/Moeen Ali
In Faf du Plessis’ absence, Janneman Malan will pick himself in the top-order alongside Quinton de Kock and Temba Bavuma. Rassie van der Dussen, Heinrich Klaasen, and David Miller will form the middle-order. Tabraiz Shamsi had a notable outing in the second game at Paarl, and he might be in action alongside George Linde. In Rabada’s absence, Nortje will lead the pace attack with Beuran Hendricks and Lungi Ngidi assisting him.
Probable XI: Quinton de Kock (C & WK), Janneman Malan, JJ Smuts/Temba Bavuma, Rassie van der Dussen, Heinrich Klaasen, David Miller, George Linde, Keshav Maharaj/Tabraiz Shamsi, Anrich Nortje, Beuran Hendricks, Lungi Ngidi
Bench: Junior Dala, Glenton Stuurman, Lutho Sipamla, Keshav Maharaj/Tabraiz Shamsi, Kyle Verreynne, JJ Smuts/Temba Bavuma, Andil Phehlukwayo
SA vs ENG Head to head
Played – 63 | England – 28 | South Africa – 30 | Tied/NR – 5
In South Africa
Played – 32 | England – 9 | South Africa – 18 | Tied/NR – 5
SA vs ENG Broadcast details
Match Timings – 4:30 PM (IST); 1:00 PM (Local)
TV – Star Sports 1, Star Sports First, Star Sports Hindi, Star Sports HD 1
Live Streaming– Disney+Hotsar VIP
Source: The source of this content is our cricket news platform Crictracker.
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