England displayed their nous to defeat South Africa for the second time in 2020 in their T20I series.Eoin Morgan’s men were put under pressure twice in the opening two matches of the series.
However, brilliance from Jonny Bairstow in Cape Town and David Malan in Paarl allowed England to secure the victory with a game to spare.
The Proteas had decent opportunities, but their inability to cope with pressure was once again on display.
Quinton de Kock’s side now need to turn the page to force a result in the ODI series, although the world champions England are a formidable opponent.
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England were excellent in the T20 series to defeat the Proteas. Eoin Morgan and his men rediscovered the swagger that they appeared to have lost at times during the summer.
Australia’s performances against India and the Three Lions have given rise to thoughts that they could challenge England’s dominance. Morgan and his team will be desperate to re-affirm their standing as the best 50-over outfit in the world.
The previous series between the sides was a close affair. England needed a victory in the final ODI at Johannesburg to salvage a draw and got over the line by the skin of their teeth.
De Kock has proved himself to be a top-class operator opening the innings and was on form in the T20I series. However, the series will be a test of the rest of the players in the squad to determine whether they can be consistent alongside their skipper.
The Proteas are unbeaten in bilateral series since 2017 when they were defeated by India on the road and before the pandemic, they produced an excellent performance to whitewash Australia. On home soil in 50-over matches, De Kock and his team are a threat to any side.
England were off the boil in the summer in 50-over matches, although they were operating with a number of different players. They dropped one game in their series against Ireland and were beaten for the first time in a bilateral series at home in five years by Australia. As a result, Morgan and his team have a point to prove to re-establish their dominant reputation.
1st ODI: 4th December 2020 – South Africa v England – Newlands Cricket Ground, Cape Town
2nd ODI: 6th December 2020 – South Africa v England – Boland Park, Paarl
3rd ODI: 9th December 2020 – South Africa v England – Newlands Cricket Ground, Cape Town
South Africa have named the same squad of 24 players for the ODI series as they did for the T20I series. There have been good performances in isolation, although the team itself is not firing on all cylinders.
De Kock is an excellent leader and his displays will dictate whether the Proteas will be able to maintain their unbeaten record. Faf du Plessis was on point during the Indian Premier League and flashed his ability with an impressive knock of 58 in the opening T20I.
However, South Africa’s hierarchy will be desperate to see players other than De Kock an Du Plessis rack up the runs. Heinrich Klaasen played well against England and Australia earlier in the year, recording a brilliant century against the Baggy Greens.
Janneman Malan will open the innings alongside De Kock after making his breakthrough in the series win over Australia, scoring a match-winning ton. If they can support the senior players in the ranks then South Africa will be in business in the series.
The bowling attack speaks for itself with Anrich Nortje and Lungi Ngidi alongside spinners Keshav Maharaj and Tabraiz Shamsi. However, losing Kagiso Rabada could be a major factor considering that he has been impressive against England in the 50-over format in the past.
Nortje will have to be the man to step up for the home side. He has impressed in his fledgling career with 14 wickets in seven matches to date at an average of 20.21. Look for him to be the Proteas’ key man.
Anrich Nortje To Be South Africa’s Top Bowler – 3.75 bet365
England have rotated their options for the ODI series, resting Ben Stokes, Jofra Archer and Sam Curran. All three players were involved in the Indian Premier League, but the Three Lions will miss the balance that Stokes provides. His absence loomed large in the defeat to Australia. There’s no replacing the talismanic all-rounder and his presence on the pitch.
Mark Wood and Chris Woakes have come into the fold to replace Curran and Archer and it highlights the depth that England have at their disposal. They’re able to rest talented players and bring other proven stars into the fold.
Woakes is perhaps England’s best bowler across all formats and has improved a great deal with the bat in the lower order. After a slow start to his international career, the 31-year-old is as dependable as they come for Morgan.
Joe Root returns to the side after losing his place in the T20I outfit and his record is formidable, averaging 50.13 in 149 ODI matches. He struggled against Australia during the summer, but he has excellent history against the Proteas.
Root is too good of a player to be out of touch for long so expect him to enjoy a good series to lead the way for Morgan’s men. He offers good value in the cricket odds to top score for England, and we tip him to do so.
Joe Root To Be England’s Top Batsman – 3.50 bet365
South Africa and England played out a 1-1 draw in their last series earlier in the year. The Three Lions defeated the Proteas in their World Cup group clash in 2019 by a comfortable margin in the opening game of the tournament.
Morgan’s men also edged out South Africa in 2017 by a 2-1 scoreline on the Proteas’ last visit to England for a bilateral series. In the 63 ODIs played between the two sides, South Africa have won 30 compared to England’s 28 and we expect another close series over the course of the next week.
England’s experience was on full display in the T20I series, and they have the momentum to take into the ODIs. Morgan has good options with both bat and ball to challenge the Proteas.
However, if South Africa’s squad players are able to fire then the balance could swing in their favour. Expect a close series, but the Three Lions are our cricket tip to close out a narrow win overseas.
England To Beat South Africa ODI Series – 1.28 bet365