After reckoning the performance in the first T20I as “pretty average”, skipper Eoin Morgan sounded slightly content after the series victory in Paarl on Sunday. “Today’s performance was pleasing. The bowlers held them to a score that was very chaseable even if we collapsed at the start,” stated a happy captain. That is what skipper Morgan’s attitude has been like, always. He barely beats around the bush and believes in being straightforward.
And his team has now brushed aside all the oppositions in the format, and have embarked upon a record-breaking, mind-boggling streak of 7 T20I series wins over two years. As many victories is not a small feat, and England has won these while touring as well as hosting. Since forever, the teams that travel well are considered to be better than the rest and come to the shortest-format of the game, the men from England have proven their superiority with great domination and authority.
More than that, England has mastered the art of winning the games out of difficult situations. That is what the best teams do. In the first game, needing 51 from the last four, England’s rivals looked like the probable favourites. Yes, Hendricks’ shocker over eased it out but it still took the batsmen to score those runs. In the second game too, England was in a spot of bother after losing Jos Buttler, Jonny Bairstow, and Ben Stokes in a space of 6 overs. The track at Paarl was not an ideal track for T20s and the run-scoring was problematic indeed.
That is when Dawid Malan held the ship for the team and displayed why he is such an important commodity when it comes to the limited-overs versions of the game. Any team is just as good as its players as that is what the team, after all, is made of. And it is these tiny things that make the biggest difference. In the second encounter, Malan did exactly that for his team that the Proteas failed to and hence, faced trouble. He anchored the innings, realizing that it was not the track where going gaga would assist him.
None of the batsmen were able to find their feet properly in the game, and Malan, too, struggled initially. But instead of adopting the rushed template, he played the waiting game and hung around, unflustered about what was happening at the other end. He put his foot on the accelerator just when the time was right and the rest was ensured by the South African bowlers, who were unable to keep things tight when it was required the most.
The two teams will play each other again at Cape Town, where the series was commenced. While the last fixture is more of a dead-rubber, the hosts will be itching to open their account before they head into the longer format of the game.
Pitch and conditions
The track at Newlands is much better for the batsmen, although the use of the same strip might be a reason for spinners to stay interested. The first game at Cape Town recorded 362 runs and witnessed England chasing down a 9 run per over target with 4 balls to spare. A similar track, with a little more assistance for the spinners, can be expected for today’s encounter. There is a slight chance of rain, although nothing enough to hamper the game.
Playing combinations for SA vs ENG
Temba Bavuma will be on the opening duties alongside Quinton de Kock, and they will be followed by Faf du Plessis, Rassie van der Dussen, Heinrich Klassen, and Reeza Hendricks in the middle-order. South Africa made the probable changes in the last game as they included Hendricks and Anrich Nortje. Though Nortje went wicket-less, he was economical enough with the ball, unlike his compatriot Lungi Ngidi, who, despite claiming two wickets with the ball, gave away 51 of the total 146 the opponents scored.
Probable XI: Temba Bavuma, Quinton de Kock (C & WK), Faf du Plessis, Rassie van der Dussen, Heinrich Klassen, Reeza Hendricks, George Linde, Anrich Nortje, Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi, Tabraiz Shamsi
England does not believe in meddling with their playing eleven too much. Apart from trying to give some game time to those warming the bench, there is no change expected in their side. However, England might play Moeen Ali given the use of the same strip as that in the series-opener.
Probable XI: Jason Roy, Jos Buttler (WK), Dawid Malan, Jonny Bairstow, Eoin Morgan, Ben Stokes, Sam Curran, Adil Rashid, Tom Curran/Mark Wood, Moeen Ali/Chris Jordan, Jofra Archer.
SA vs ENG Head to Head
Played – 20 | ENG – 10 | SA – 9 | NR/Abandon – 2
SA vs ENG Broadcast details
Match Timings- 9:30 PM (IST), 06:00 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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