After drubbing the hosts, South Africa 4-1 in the Tests, World Champions, England will be eager to continue their juggernaut in the rainbow nation as they gear up to take on the Proteas in the 3 match SA vs ENG ODI series, starting tomorrow. This is the first ODI assignment for both, England and South Africa post the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019.
South Africa seeks inspiration from new skipper
Pic Credit: Dhakatribune
Let’s face it, South Africa are a team under transition and will need some time to establish themselves as a force in international cricket.
They’ve seen some horrible times of late, especially in Tests, losing eight of the last nine Tests but they’ll fancy their chances in ODI’s when they step out on the park under the new skipper, Quinton de Kock.
South Africa will not have the services of Faf du Plessis or Kagiso Rabada, neither they’ll have Anrich Nortjhe and Chris Morris, but this new-look South Africa is a bunch of exciting young talents such as who’ve proved their worth in the domestic circuit.
Moreover, with players like Quinton de Kock, Temba Bavuma, David Miller and Lungi Ngidi in the squad, South Africa has enough experience to give England a run for their money.
England start as firm favorites, South Africa hopeful too
Pic credit: BBC
Post their quarter-final exit in the 2015 World Cup, England, under Eoin Morgan has transformed themselves into a brutal force. They’ve decimated everything that has come their way.
Fittingly, they’ve won the world cup as well. But what’s next, the world cup is over now and England must not put their feet off the pedal if they want to continue their dominance in white-ball cricket.
Apart from Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler, who’ve been rested for the series, England has a pretty similar squad they fielded in the World Cup.
On paper, they look at a formidable unit with players like Joe Root, Eoin Morgan, Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow in the squad but considering the unpredictable nature of the game, one must not count out South Africa completely.
They have a strong captain like Quinton de Kock who will not let his team surrender easily. Few good performances and South Africa are up and running.
The battle within the battle for England
Pic credit: The Munsifdaily
Apart from South Africa, England has few issues to deal with in their team. They’re sweating over the performance of Jonny Bairstow, who’ve had a torrid time with the bat of late. Bairstow, who was dropped from the squad after the first Test at centurion face a stern challenge to prove his place in the English set up.
Moreover, they’ll be hoping for a solid performance from returning Moeen Ali. Ali, who’d an average World Cup will be eyeing a place in the Test squad for the Sri Lanka tour and the T-20 World Cup later this year, and some fine performance in the series will put him in a good space. With his all-round abilities, he is an asset to England.
Good Start key to the series victory
Pic Credit: The South African
Both South Africa and England will be hoping to get off the winning start in the 3 match series. The inaugural match of the series will be played at Newlands, Cape Town, on February 4th.
South Africa will take heart from the fact that they’ve won all the five encounters played at this ground against England. Moreover, England has never touched the 250 marks at Newlands with 242 being their highest in 2009.
They’ve also been bowled out for 107 in 34.2 overs by Zimbabwe here. Certainly, these are some depressing stats for the visitors.
However, under Morgan, England has transformed itself into a ruthless unit and looking at the current form, South Africa needs to come up with some magic to continue their winning streak at this venue.
Toss and pitch conditions
Looking at the statistics, the team that bat firsts have a definite advantage at this venue. Of the 42 matches played at this ground, only 14 have been won by the sides chasing. The pitch at Newlands is expected to be flat and easy for batting. Post-2015, the average first inning total at this ground is 286.
People are reading right now:-
- Congrats to England For A Sensational Win. But, Don’t Lose Heart South Africa
- World Test Championship: Does Australia looks stronger than India?
- AB de Villiers Hints At World T20 Return: What It Means For South Africa?