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by Alastair Symondson Monday 3 February 2020
Both teams are almost even stevens as far as the overall ODI record is concerned but when it comes to ODIs in South Africa, the home team obviously has the upper hand with 17 wins as opposed to England's 8. In the last ODI series played between the two teams, England came out victorious 2-1.
South Africa's performance has actually been outstanding in their last 5 ODI series with them having won all of them. But, the victories have come against inferior teams, with two of them against Sri Lanka, one against Zimbabwe, one against Australia (in the absence of Smith and Warner) and one against a relatively stronger Pakistan.
England have also been good in their last 5 ODI series with them winning four of them. While the one against Westindies ended at 2-2, the team has beaten opponents like India, Sri Lanka, West Indies, Ireland and Pakistan.
Apart from their usual top four, Jonny Bairstow, Jason Roy, Joe Root and Eoin Morgan, Joe Denly is likely to play ahead of Tom Banton at number 5. Tom Curran, Chris Woakes and Chris Jordan are expected to be their three pacers while Adil Rashid, Matt Parkinson and Moeen Ali will provide them with the spin options.
Janneman Malan is likely to pair with skipper Quinton de Kock as the opener ahead of Reeza Hendricks. Lungi Ngidi is back to full fitness and will be the leader of South African pace attack in the absence of Kagiso Rabada. With Imran Tahir having retired, Tabraiz Shamsi will be the the Proteas' leading spinner.
Let's have a look at the probable playing XI of both teams:
South Africa - Janneman Malan, Quinton de Kock (c, wk), Rassie van der Dussen, Temba Bavuma, David Miller, Kyle Verreynne, Andile Phehlukwayo, Lungi Ngidi, Lutho Sipamla/Beuran Hendricks, Tabraiz Shamsi, Bjorn Fortuin
England - Jonny Bairstow (wk), Jason Roy, Joe Root, Eoin Morgan (c), Joe Denly, Moeen Ali, Tom Curran, Chris Woakes, Chris Jordan, Adil Rashid, Matt Parkinson
Who will win the toss? - England
Who will win? – South Africa
Top Batsman (Runs Scored) – Jonny Bairstow (England), Quinton de Kock (South Africa)
Top Bowler (Wickets taken) – Chris Woakes (England), Lungi Ngidi (South Africa)
Most Sixes – Jason Roy (England), Quinton de Kock (South Africa)
Player of the Match – Quinton de Kock
Team Scores Batting first – England 270+, South Africa 280+
Match Handicap South Africa
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*NB these predictions may be changed nearer the start of the match once the final starting teams have been announced and we will be running ‘In–Play’ features, so stay tuned.
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