England vs South Africa Preview: TSR presents Predicted Playing 11, Toss prediction and Weather report for Match 1 of Cricket World Cup 2019
The waiting days are over as the scintillating last day of the Warm-up matches concluded with an absolute run-fest. The ‘Battle of the Crowns’ finally commence tomorrow, May 30 at the Kennington Oval, London where Hosts England will lock horns against the formidable South Africans in the tournament opener.
The English side, or rather the most formidable English side of the lot to have ever partaken in a World Cup Tournament, will take a firm guard in the tournament opener as they will start their campaign as a rarest of the rare favourite. Perhaps it would be the first occasion, right since the 1975 World Cup, where the entire Cricketing fraternity is sticking out their necks to say out lout that this English side, under skipper Eoin Morgan will start as the ‘overwhelming favourites’ to lift the World Cup.
ALSO READ: 2019 Cricket World Cup Opening Ceremony
The South African side, on the other hand, is the most predicted side in the three-and-a-half decade long tournament history. They play as the most threatening side throughout each and every bilateral series (home or away), but look a completely different one when they compete during the World Cup, thereby infamously earning themselves a title/tag which shouldn’t be associated with a team of South Africa’s stature.
England vs South Africa Preview
The current England side, as mentioned above have apparently had all their bases covered, as we saw in their last Warm-up match against Afghanistan, where they annihilated the South Asian side by 9 wickets while chasing 160 with 32.3 overs still in the bank.
The Hosts become more powerful while playing in their Home conditions. They have lost just 4 of the 37 matches they have played at Home since 2016, and have won all their last 8 series in their own backyard.
Their openers have been in amazing touch with a strike rate of more than 100 on a consistent basis. What’s more dreadful for the teams is the fact that they apparently do not have a tail at all. Moreover, with Jofra Archer’s inclusion in the squad they have eliminated the tail altogether.
Their weak link apparently is in the bowling department. The England bowlers have had the worst economy rate- 5.98, amongst all the teams since January 2018. It has largely to do with the scores of 350+ consistently been scored on the relatively flat English decks, but if at all England can come under the scanner, it would be their bowling upon which that good teams like South Africa can pounce upon big time.
The Proteas, will kick off with a great blend of experience youth and experience in their side. With as many as 5 veterans, including skipper Faf Du Plessis, probably playing their last world cup, the young guns like Quinton De Kock, pacers Kagiso Rabada, and Lungi Ngidi are in sublime form off-late. Hashim Amla’s good couple of knocks durinf the Warm-up games will definitely come as a sigh o relied for the Proteas camp.
When a nation acts as one anything is possible. #ProteaFire is the bond that unites 15 Proteas who have the privilege to represent their country at 2019 ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup. #ItsMoreThanCricket pic.twitter.com/Db6sjinGWc
— Cricket South Africa (@OfficialCSA) May 29, 2019
The weak link perhaps, is their lower-middle order. David Miller has looked scratchy for quite some time now, while JP Duminy is back after being out of the South African set up for a long period. In fact he has played only 1 ODI for the Proteas this year so far.
The other cause of worry for them is that after a very long time, the Proteas have a really long tail. They have bowlers who are not known for their batting at all, possessing a similar situation akin the present Indian side. Teams will require players down the order who can bat decent enough especially in England, where even 500 runs in a single innings is expected to be on the cards.
England vs South Africa- Predicted Playing 11
England have had a string of injuries during their Warm-up fixtures. But the good news for the English fans is that, all of them were minor ones. Skipper Eoin Morgan, who had a fracture in his left index finger is apparently fit for the opening game. Pacer Mark Wood, who limped out of the field during the warm-up fixture against England, is too fit for tomorrow’s game. The track at The Oval has shown quite some assistance for the pacers with the new ball during the two Warm-up matches, with batting teams struggling to deal with the pace and swing up front.
— Cricket World Cup (@cricketworldcup) May 29, 2019
So, England might not play the newly inducted left-arm spinner- Liam Dawson, and is more likely go with the services of Adil Rashid and Moeen Ali only.
Considering South Africans as their opponent in the first game of the tournament itself, Morgan will field its strongest playing 11 to start the tournament on a high.
South Africa, on the other hand have been dealt with a serious blow with their veteran pacer- Dale Steyn being ruled out of the first game tomorrow. Although Rabada and Ngidi have shown some good form off-late, the experienced pacer’s presence would have certainly boosted the Proteas. Thus, all-rounder Chris Morris is expected to get a game for sure.
In the spin department, they have only two spinners in Imran Tahir and the Chinaman Tabraiz Shamsi. Although Shamsi has not impressed with his leg-breaks recently, he will be vital for South Africa’s success alongside Tahir during the middle overs. JP Duminy will fit into the side as well with his all-round abilities.
England Playing 11
Eoin Morgan (c),Jonny Bairstow, Jason Roy,Joe Root, Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, Adil Rashid, Moeen Ali, Jofra Archer, Liam Plunkett, and Tom Curran
South Africa Playing 11
Faf du Plessis (c), Hashim Amla, Quinton de Kock, JP Duminy, David Miller, Andile Phehlukwayo Chris Morris, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, Imran Tahir, Lungi Ngidi
South Africa vs Sri Lanka- Pitch and Weather Condition
There is a 40 per cent chance of rain at around 9 AM, which means that there could be a delayed start. The rain is not expected to play a spoilsport however, as there will quite some sunshine later along with a significant amount of cloud cover throughout the day.
The Pitch will assist the pacers up front for sure, as there was quite some grass on The Oval track in the two Warm-up games (unless of course the Hosts decide to make some amends). Thus, if teams see off the first fifteen overs, they might be able to score big. The track is likely to get better as the innings progresses, with an advantage to the team batting second.
Whoever, wins the toss might well look to bowl first owing to the aforementioned reasons. On top of it, both the teams boast of some good fast bowling options.
Where would the match telecast?
The clash between the two sides will be broadcast live on the Star Sports network and Hotstar, and will commence from 03:00 IST.