England vs South Africa: A quadrennial tournament that keeps all the cricketing fans across the world on their toes. Countries send in their finest 15 to this mega event & the teams battle it out to lift the coveted trophy aloft. The Cricket World Cup is back. Clive Lloyd, Kapil Dev, Allan Border, Imran Khan, Arjuna Ranatunga, Steve Waugh, Ricky Ponting, MS Dhoni & Michael Clarke. Which captain will join this elite list? The twelfth edition of the cup will see 10 new skippers, attempt in earnest to be crowned world champions. Which team will etch their name in the annals of World Cup history?
48 matches, 46 days, 10 top teams & over 1.2 billion viewers. The World Cup is a spectacle indeed. This World Cup will be played in the round-robin format & all the ten teams will play each other. A win will fetch the teams 2 points while a tie/no-result or an abandoned game will result in a solitary point. The top 4 qualify for the semi-finals.
In case of a tie in the round-robin games, both teams get one point each. However, in the semi-finals, if both teams reach parity, then the match goes to the super over. The stage is set & the tournament’s opener will be played between England & South Africa. The English are ranked no.1 & at home are huge favourites. South Africa, on the other hand, aren’t the strongest side but under an inspired leader, the Proteas will fancy reaching the top 4.
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When: 30th May 2019
Where: Kennington Oval, London
Kick-Off Time: 3:00 PM IST
The teams have met 59 times in ODI cricket. South Africa have won 29 & England have managed 26 wins. In England, the home team has a far better record. They lead the H2H score by 15-8. The teams are tied at 3 games a piece in the World tournament. South Africa came out victorious in the only World Cup fixture played between the two sides in England. Lance Klusner was the player of the match on that occasion.
68 One-day Internationals have been played at the Kennington Oval, London. The teams batting first have won 26 games while the teams chasing have gone on to win 39 times.
The highest score at this venue in World Cup cricket: 322/6 by England vs New Zealand
The lowest total: 103 by England vs South Africa in the 1999 World Cup.
Dale Steyn has been sidelined for the tournament’s opener. The world-class pacer had suffered from a shoulder injury during his brief IPL stint & won’t be rushed to take the field.
Eoin Morgan will have to choose between Mark Wood & Liam Plunkett for the season’s opener. Mark Wood worries with the ankle will create a doubt in the English think tank. Also, considering that he’s bowled only 13 overs this season.
Watching Kagiso Rabada sprint to the bowling crease will be a sight to behold. The pacer has been in exceptional form this season & will be a player to watch out for. South Africa have also got attacking options in Imran Tahir, Lungi Ngidi & Chris Morris.
EXPECTED PLAYING XI
Jason Roy, Jonny Bairstow, Joe Root, Eoin Morgan(c), Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler(w), Moeen Ali, Chris Woakes, Liam Plunkett/Mark Wood, Jofra Archer, Adil Rashid.
Hashim Amla, Quinton de Kock(w), Faf du Plessis(c), Rassie van der Dussen, Jean-Paul Duminy, David Miller, Andile Phehlukwayo, Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi, Imran Tahir, Chris Morris
ENGLAND THE FAVOURITES TO WIN THE TITLE
England are the only teams to have featured in 3 World Cup finals & lost all 3. In 2015, the team didn’t make it to the knockouts & not many would have envisaged England to turn favourites for the 2019 World Cup. Well, things have changed for England & for good. Since 2015, there’s been no looking back for the originators of the game. The likes of Jonny Bairstow, Eoin Morgan, Joe Root, Jos Buttler, Alex Hales & Jason Roy have taken attacks to the opponents.
In the last 4 years, England have scored over 300 runs an astonishing 41 times. They’ve won 31 of those high-scoring games but the cynicism that was slowly forming a base was smashed out of the park.
Joe Root – 3802 runs in 89 matches at 55.10 which included 11 centuries.
Eoin Morgan – 3252 runs at 43.54 (6 hundreds)
Jason Roy – 2938 at 40.80 (8 hundreds)
The numbers are a testament to their good form. England have won the 2nd most game during this period. They’ve played 99 & won 62. Only India have done better with 63 wins during this period.
SOUTH AFRICA – DARK HORSES?
2015 was probably South Africa’s brightest chance to lift their 1st ever World title. Grant Elliott will go down in South Africa’s history books as the “man who killed a million hopes”.
From 2015-2019, the Proteas played 87 matches & have a winning percentage of 64.3. They’re placed 4th as far as wins are concerned during the period but at the World event & with teams heavily loaded with match winners, the Proteas have a daunting task ahead. South Africa were always contenders for the title & yet somehow managed to bottle every single opportunity. A positive this time must be the sylphlike pressure that might work in their favour.
Here’s another stat. South Africa have scored 300 or 300+ 24 times in the last 4 years & only once did they manage the game to slip away. All eyes will be on Kagiso Rabada & at the speed gun. The onus is massively placed on his young shoulders. The big question though, “Can he deliver at the mightiest stage?”.
FANTASY CRICKET TEAM FOR ENGLAND vs SOUTH AFRICA
TV – Star Sports 1, Star Sports 1 HD, Star Sports 1 Select HD
Live Streaming – Hotstar
Match Timings – 15:00 IST
Prediction: England favourites to win this contest.
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