South Africa vs England 2nd T20I Preview: Can Proteas opt for fearless approach against strong England
After Jonny Bairstow's 48-ball 86-run blitz has handed England the advantage, the Eoin Morgan-led side has every opportunity to take an unassailable lead in the series in the second T20I in Boland Park, Paarl.
England's out of the box team selection
England made a couple of surprise picks in the first T20I. To begin with, the team management decided to go in with all four of Jason Roy, Jos Buttler, Dawid Malan and Jonny Bairstow when only three of them were expected to make the cut. Sam Billings must have felt hard done after not being part of the playing XI despite having done all that was asked of him in the role of the finisher in the last few games.
Jonny Bairstow did not allow the media to question Morgan's move as batting at number 4, he creamed 86 stylish runs. Had it not been for Bairstow's innings, England could have found themselves in trouble, struggling at 34/3 initially. His knock means that England can go in with the same batting line-up for a few more matches.
Another move which was questionable and did not pay off was Morgan going with both the Curran brothers over Mark Wood. There was always room for only one but Morgan seemed to experiment with this one.
Perhaps, he did not want to leave Tom Curran out in the first match of the series after the medium pace bowler was in possession of the spot the last time England played. At the same time, Sam Curran's form for Chennai Super Kings in the IPL was too tempting to leave the all-rounder out. He was probably picked as much for his batting ability as his bowling but the way he delivered, he could have easily played as a pure bowler.
With Tom Curran conceding runs at 13.80 RPO from his 4 overs, will Morgan bring in Wood for the next game or will he want to give Tom another go?
South Africa's trouble with non-white quota
South Africa brought in George Linde for the opening T20I of the series which was a brilliant move when looked at in vacuum. Linde has been delivering in domestic cricket for a long time now and has looked good in Test cricket as well in the limited opportunities that he has got.
The all-rounder delivered with figures of 4-0-20-2 but playing him did not allow South Africa room for Anrich Nortje. When you come to think of it, it was almost criminal to drop Nortje, given the bowling form he was in for Delhi Capitals in the IPL.
To compensate for picking up George Linde, due to the non-white quota, South Africa had to go for Beuran Hendricks and they paid for it as the the left-arm fast medium bowler conceded 56 runs from his four overs, including the 28-run over which turned the match on its head.
Can Nortje fit in?
In the ideal world, Anrich Nortje has got to play in the second T20I. South Africa have the option of playing a non-white batsman in place of Henrich Klaasen and dropping Beuran Hendricks. If they can't go down that route, they have the options of Andile Phehlukwayo, Junior Dala and Lutho Sipamla to replace Hendricks.
De Kock's best best - see the ball and hit it
Many would have not been impressed by the approach of Quinton de Kock. He scored just 30 off 23 deliveries which is very uncharacteristic of him. Given the fireworks that he displayed for Mumbai Indians in the recently-concluded IPL, he was expected to play with a lot more freedom, but perhaps with the added responsibility of captainy, he became a bit more cautious.
On the other hand, Faf du Plessis did a great job, batting at number 3, and scored a 40-ball 58 - making a statement that he still has a lot of cricket left in him.
Here's the probable playing XI of both teams:
England - Jos Buttler(wk), Jason Roy, Dawid Malan, Jonny Bairstow, Ben Stokes, Eoin Morgan(c), Sam Curran, Tom Curran/Mark Wood, Jofra Archer, Chris Jordan, Adil Rashid
South Africa - Temba Bavuma, Quinton de Kock(c & wk), Faf du Plessis, Rassie van der Dussen, Heinrich Klaasen, Pite van Biljon, George Linde, Andile Phehlukwayo/Junior Dala/Lutho Sipamla, Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi, Tabraiz Shamsi
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