Sat. Sep 26th, 2020

CWC 2019: England vs South Africa, preview, pitch report and live stream

England vs South AfricaEngland await the Proteas in an incredibly testing Cricket World Cup opener at the Oval on Thursday.

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England vs South Africa preview

The Proteas are set to be thrown into the Cricket World Cup’s deep end when they take on hosts and tournament favourites, England in the opening fixture.

It is unclear at this stage if Dale Steyn will be fit to face England at the Oval on Thursday. That will leave Lungi Ngidi and Kagiso Rabada to square off with England’s explosive openers Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow.

England skipper Eoin Morgan said after the warm-up win over Afghanistan, that the pair’s positive play fuels morale in the dressing room.

“When Jason is hitting it as well as that, not only does it impose our game on the opposition, it feeds right through the changing room,” said Morgan. “The authoritative nature in which he plays builds confidence. And Jonny is the same. The two of them at the top of the order impose themselves on the game when they get an opportunity.”

Proteas World Cup squad

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Jonny Bairstow of England bats during the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 Warm Up match between England and Afghanistan at The Oval on May 27, 2019 in London, England. Photo: Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images

The Proteas will be looking to play party poopers in a World Cup that has been billed as a celebration of England’s ODI revolution. England’s rise under skipper Morgan and coach Trevor Bayliss began after the three-time runners up were dumped out of the 2015 World Cup in the group stages. At one time one of the more conservative sides in world cricket, England have become an ODI juggernaut.

Faf Du Plessis’ reign as Proteas skipper has been characterized by a willingness to experiment and think outside the box, couple with gritty determination and naked aggression. The Proteas will need all of those if they are to upset England.

Without Steyn coach Ottis Gibson will have to turn to either Chris Morris or Dwaine Pretorius to complete the bowling attack alongside Rabada, Ngidi, Andile Phehlukwayo and Imran Tahir.

Morris and Pretorius add batting depth but the prospect of either bowling at an England side in full cry already has the more cynical Proteas’ fans wincing.

The Proteas second warm-up game was washed out but not before Hashim Amla stroked an encouraging fifty against the West Indies.

England suffered defeat in their first warm-up against an Australia team motivated by the hostile reception given to Steve Smith and David Warner.

England vs South Africa – Key players

England

Jonny Bairstow – Bairstow has made the openers spot his own since being given an opportunity to break into the ODI setup as a specialist batsman.

Jofra Archer – He may just have started his international career but Archer has been grabbing headlines for some time already. The Barbados-born allrounder is arguably the most exciting fast bowling prospect outside of South Africa.

South Africa

Quinton de Kock – De Kock represents the Proteas best hope of keeping pace with England’s explosive top order. The left-handed wicketkeeper batsman didn’t open against Sri Lanka but was back at the top for the washout against the Windies.

Kagiso Rabada – Rabada was on fire in the IPL and could be the man to knock the wheels off of England’s World cup bus. His pace and aggression will provide England with opportunities to send him to the boundary but he is a proven wicket-taker.

England vs South Africa – The Oval pitch report

The forecast long hot English summer has yet to arrive which could mean that there is a little more assistance for the quicks in the Oval surface.

There is also expected to be plenty of cloud around when the first World Cup 2019 game gets underway in London, though the Dukes balls used for the World Cup appear to swing less than is usual.

The last Cricket World Cup fixture at the Oval saw Pakistan spinner Saqlain Mushtaq take a hat-trick against Zimbabwe in 1999. We can expect both Adil Rashid of England and Imran Tahir of South Africa to play a role whether there is prodigious turn or not.

England vs South Africa – Broadcast and live stream info

Start time: 11:30 SAST Thursday 30 May
TV Broadcast: Supersport 2 and SABC 3
Live Stream: DSTV Now
Radio: Radio 2000

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