Cricket: South Africa vs England
1st T20 International
Newlands Cricket Ground: – 27th November 2020
Top level T20 international cricket returns with a bang as South Africa host England at Newlands. Both sides have been out of action for a while, with their respective domestic seasons coming to an end, meaning it should be an intriguing battle. The Proteas and the Lions have had plenty of their biggest name players plying their trade in the IPL – meaning there could be fireworks in this series and the first game at Newlands presents both sides with a real chance to get off the mark. With three games within the series before attention turns to ODI cricket and the test matches, there looks to be plenty more than ICC Ranking Points to play for.
The Proteas have been an international side in transition for the past few years but in T20 cricket, they look to be coming very much into their own. Quinton de Kock leads the side with aplomb and his big hitting at the top of the innings tends to take the game away from the opposition.
Additional strength in the South African set up comes through their potent bowling attack with Kagiso Rabada integral to their plans with ball in hand. Accompanied by Lungi Ngidi and Anrich Nortje, they possess one of the most dangerous white ball pace attacks in world cricket.
Eoin Morgan will once again lead his troops on the road as they look to build towards next year’s T20 World Cup in Australia. The likes of Ben Stokes and Jason Roy will be a huge part of their batting plans at the top of the order whilst in Dawid Malan they have one of the best T20 batsmen in world cricket in their ranks currently.
Adil Rashid and Moeen Ali are as prolific as it gets in world T20 cricket and they will be looking to put the squeeze on as much as possible for England whilst Tom Curran and Jofra Archer look set to be given chances to impress with the ball in hand.
South Africa vs England Best Bets
Despite being relatively unfancied for years, Dawid Malan has forced his way into the England T20 set up – to the extent that he is now a huge part of the side. His consistent performances have enabled England to move to the next level in T20 cricket and he could have a point to prove here.
The Proteas heavily rely on Quinton de Kock for runs and the wicket-keeper batsmen comes into this series off the back of a hugely impressive IPL campaign. As captain, he could step up to the plate here and get stuck into the England bowling attack.
England have been heavily reliant on Adil Rashid in limited overs cricket for the past few years and the Yorkshireman is prolific all over the world. Newlands isn’t the most notoriously spin friendly pitch, but the South African batsmen could have a hard time picking him here.
As a series opener, this should be a thrilling contest between two excellent sides. South Africa are very good in home conditions and will relish being able to introduce some new blood into their side against England. Eoin Morgan’s men are a very resolute side though and if they hit their straps, they could be very tough to beat from the off here at Newlands.