They’ve played each other in test cricket, one-day internationals, and now they’re battling it out in a T20 series. It’s South Africa vs. England once again as the English look to conclude their tour of South Africa. They’ve been there since the start of the year, and it’s been a confidence boosting tour for everyone in the English set up. Now, with the world cup just around the corner, they’ll be looking for some much needed T20 practice. South Africa, too, will be aiming to use these two T20 matches as preparation for their world cup title challenge.
But, before we get into all of the world cup business, we should focus on the upcoming matches. Who will win, and what will the key battles be?
As we all know, T20 cricket is a completely different breed of cricket compare to test and 50 overs. Both teams are likely to chop and change teams from their one-day squads. They’ll be looking for batsmen that can smash the ball all around the ground. For South Africa, a lot of the pressure will fall on AB De Villiers. He’s known for being one of the most creative batsmen in the world, and loves to score runs. And, they also have Faf Du Plessis who’s ranked fourth in the world when it comes to T20 batsmen. There’s no doubt that they have a team that can score plenty of runs in just 20 overs.
However, England has a handy batting line up too. Alex Hales is the third best T20 batsman in the world and hits sixes for fun. If he’s in good form, England will be set up to do very well. It’s not just him, either, there are a few other stars in this team. The captain Eoin Morgan is something of a specialist at this form of the game. He’ll get you runs, and he’ll get them fast. Plus, there’s the undeniably talented Joss Buttler too. He may have lost his Test place, but his T20 skills are still revered around the globe.
When it comes to bowlers, both teams have lots of talent there too. All eyes will be on Dale Steyn to see if he’s fit enough to play for the Proteas. If not, Morne Morkel will lead the line, as he’s done in the past. Imran Tahir is one to watch too; his spin bowling can be a nuisance. England may call on Stuart Broad to bring his test bowling to the T20 stage. Along with him they have the talented Ben Stokes and Chris Jordan. Plus, Moeen Ali gives them a spin option too.
England are slight favourites and are in better form than South Africa. However, I expect it to be a close couple of matches between the too. As for the world cup, can either of these two do big things come March? I’d be surprised if one of them wins it, put it that way. My money on either Australia or India. The world cup is hosted in India, so it will be hard to beat them in their backyard.