England would look to commence their South Africa tour on a winning note when the two sides face off in the first T20 International of the three-match series at Newlands, Cape Town on Friday (November 27). Eoin Morgan and Co. are the better side on paper but South Africa too have their fair share of match-winners.
HEAD TO HEAD
Overall: Matches – 18 | SA – 9 Wins | ENG – 8 Wins | NR 1
Last 5 T20Is: SA – 1 Win | ENG – 3 Wins | NR 1
While you could go for the above team, you also have the option of choosing your own team from cricket.com Fantasy Research Centre. Based on algorithms we come up with six different teams that could fetch crucial points.
The surface at Newlands is more favourable to the bowlers than Boland Park, Paarl, which is the only other venue that will be used in this series. Cape Town will host the first and third T20I, while the second match will be played in Paarl.
In T20s since 2019, the batsmen here have scored at a run-rate of 8 and an average of 23.4. Meanwhile, the bowlers have picked up a wicket every 17.6 deliveries, compared to 21.9 at Boland Park. The average first-innings score in the 11 T20s that this venue has hosted since 2019 is 165/6.
Spinners here have been more economical but it's the fast bowlers who have picked up the major chunk of wickets in the last year or two. While spinners have leaked runs at an economy of 7.2 and have a strike rate of 19.5, pacers have conceded at 8.3 but have picked up a wicket every 17.4 deliveries. Both South Africa and England have some outstanding pacers and it would be ideal to let them dominate your bowling line-up.
However, you also need to have one of Adil Rashid or Tabraiz Shamsi in your XI.
With Jason Roy and Jos Buttler opening the innings, Jonny Bairstow might bat at No. 3 or 4 and could come face to face against South Africa's premier spinner Shamsi against whom he has done well in the past.
The battle between Kagiso Rabada and Jason Roy is going to be fascinating considering both of them like to attack from the word go.
South Africa's premier batsman v England's ace paceman! The two have got the better of each other in the Indian Premier League, but this is the first time they will face off in a T20I.
Quinton de Kock: The wicketkeeper-batsman played a massive role for Mumbai Indians in the IPL 2020 and helped them win their fifth title. The left-handed opener scored 503 runs at an average of 35.93 and a strike rate of 140.5. No other South African batsman has scored more runs than de Kock in T20Is since 2019. He has only played nine games in this time period but has managed to slam 352 runs at an average of 44 and a strike rate of 160. South Africa will rely a lot on their skipper who will have to be at his best if they want to stop the England juggernaut.
Kagiso Rabada: The right-arm paceman won the Purple Cap in the recently-concluded IPL 2020, having picked up 30 wickets at a superb strike rate of 13.1 which helped Delhi Capitals reach the final for the first time in the tournament history. 20 of those wickets came in the final five overs and he could do something similar against England. The 25-year-old hardly goes wicketless, which means he would get you points even if he doesn't have a great day on the field.
Dawid Malan: The top-ranked T20I batsman averages almost 50 in this format and has gone past 50 in half of his 16 T20I innings, including a century against New Zealand. England have got amazing depth in their batting department but Malan is slowly starting to cement his place in the playing XI. With two T20 World Cups in the next two years, the left-hander would be eager to own this series, and could prove to be a safe bet when it comes to fantasy cricket.
Jofra Archer: The tearaway paceman has only played four T20Is but is one of the best bowlers going around in the T20 leagues across the globe. For the first time ever, the Most Valuable Player in an IPL season was from the team that finished at the bottom of the table and that tells you quite a lot about his calibre. Archer took 20 wickets in IPL 2020 at a strike rate of 16.7. The right-arm fast bowler is someone who could bowl at any stage of the innings and if needed, could also chip in with the bat lower down the order.