England, the ODI world champions, are all set to play their first game in the format after the global event. Hosts South Africa have not played an ODI themselves since their dismal run at the World Cup. While England have a lot of match-winners in their squad, South Africa have opted to give a look-in to a few youngsters.
England demolished South Africa in the Test series beating the hosts 3-1. The World Cup winners will look to carry forward their good form as the tour enters the white-ball phase, starting with a five-match ODI series.
South Africa and England have faced each other 60 times in the 50-over format. The hosts have the lead here having won 29 encounters while 27 have gone to England. Three encounters were abandoned while one match ended in a tie.
Weather and Pitch Conditions
There are clouds hovering around in Cape Town on matchday, but rain should stay away from the contest. The temperature is expected to hover around the 18-27 degree Celsius range on average.
Newlands has hosted six ODIs since the start of 2016. It has been the third highest scoring ground in South Africa from the venues that have hosted a minimum of five ODIs in this period. The batsmen have an average of 35.8 runs/wicket here while a wicket has fallen every 37.5 deliveries. Hence it is advisable to fill your squad with batsmen and all-rounders for this match.
On the bowling front, pacers have enjoyed this venue more than spinners. While spinners have picked up a wicket every 45.5 balls since January 2016 here, pacers have a strike rate of 37.3. Among the venues with minimum five ODIs since 2016, this is the second worst ground for spinners in South Africa.
Diving into the different bowler types, left-arm pacers and leg-spinners have been the most effective here. The duo have returned a wicket every 27.1 and 37.2 deliveries respectively in ODIs since the start of 2016. Right-arm pacers too have been excellent here with a strike-rate of 39.5. In the absence of Kagiso Rabada, Beuran Hendricks will take up the mantle to be South Africa’s pace spearhead. From England, leggies like Adil Rashid and Matt Parkinson can be good picks depending on who plays in the XI. Also, after an impressive Test series, Sam Curran might be given a chance in the ODIs and can be a good pick if selected in the XI.
A combination of six frontline batsmen including the wicket-keeper, two all-rounders and three bowlers could be the way to go for this game.
For the second straight white-ball series after the 2019 World Cup, Quinton de Kock has been appointed as the captain of South Africa. One of their best white-ball batsmen, de Kock was in sublime form in ODIs in 2019. Scoring 774 runs in 17 innings at an average of 48.4, de Kock is highly likely to fire again as South Africa plan to rebuild the team around him. Additionally, with the fantasy points he is likely to provide due to his dismissals as a wicket-keeper, he is an ideal candidate as the captain.
Our first x-factor, Jason Roy was the lynchpin of England’s batting during the triumphant World Cup campaign. A swashbuckling opener, Roy has scored 845 runs in 2019 at an average of 70.4 and a strike-rate of 118.2. Adept to play a long innings at the top of the order, Roy is capable of changing a match by himself.
Our second X-factor is Rassie van der Dussen. The middle-order batsman had the highest batting average for South Africa in 2019, the year in which he scored 664 runs at an average of 73.8. He was also the second highest run-getter for South Africa in the 2019 World Cup. From a depleted South Africa squad, van der Dussen is a must pick.
Based on current form, Tom Curran, our third x-factor should find a place in your fantasy XI. Playing for the Sydney Sixers, Curran was a star performer in the Big Bash League with contributions with both bat and bowl. In 14 BBL matches this season, Curran scalped 22 wickets and scored 133 crucial runs. Playing six ODIs in 2019, Curran scored 107 runs at an average of 35.7 and took nine wickets at 29.6 balls per wicket. He is highly likely to find a place in England’s XI and should find a place in your fantasy XI too.
Suggested Fantasy XI
Quinton de Kock (c), Jason Roy (vc), Rassie van der Dussen, Dawid Malan, Joe Root, Reeza Hendricks, Sam Curran, Chris Woakes, Tom Curran, Adil Rashid, Beuran Hendricks