After postponing the last 24 hours of play and Friday’s opening ODI. It was confirmed that the South African squad returned a full batch of negative COVID-19 test results on Saturday morning, which was no less relieved. A positive test may have forced the cancellation of the tour. As it is, the news was good rather than bad and the hygienic bill of health means the series can go on, which will begin in Paarl on Sunday.
The modified timetable will currently observe groups playing the initial two matches consecutive. With Mondays game occurring at Newlands, before the third ODI on Wednesday, its unique date. This is not an ideal situation from a performance standpoint, but life in such a COVID world. As we have all figured out over the past nine months. The best laid plans are likely to go useless compared to the way forward.
Given a change in schedule, a good start is more important than usual. England may miss Ben Stokes, Joffra Archer and Sam Curran, but for this they have more white ball depth. Five years ago, if England had rested three of their first-choice side for the ODI trip. They would have been pumped. Now, they barely even notice. South Africa are also missing several players of first choice. But the caliber of their replacement cannot match the England match.
Even though the next year’s T20 World Cup has taken ODI cricket to the bottom of the team’s priority list. For the players who get a chance in this series, it is still riding heavily. This is always the case in international cricket, it does not matter. There is consistently a player or two who have something to demonstrate, something to pick up or something to lose. Then there are the Cricket World Cup Super League proposals, of course.
For England, Mark Wood will be looking to remind him of all his credentials after being out in the T20 series. While the likes of Moeen Ali, Liam Dawson and Matt Parkinson could do so with a spurt to move on. Sam Billings will get a chance to consolidate his position as England’s first reserve batsman.
For the hosts, Janemon Malan would most likely make a century against Australia earlier this year, and Kyle Verein made his ODI debut.
The absence of Kagiso Rabada and Faf du Plessis clearly undermines the hosts. But they will probably return to the last ODI to be played at Boland Park in February for rest. South Africa beat Australia in a big way without Rabada or du Plessis, dismissing Aaron Finch’s team for 217 runs. Nine wickets were shared by the bowlers with the possibility of playing on Sunday. After a difficult week of T20 cricket and COVID issues. A repeat of that performance would make them really feel great.
When: Sunday, December 5, 2020. 10:00 am local time
Where: Boland Park, Paral
A week ago the surface batting paradise for T20 at this ground was not what was expected. This was more difficult than the truth. But this game will be played on a different kind of pitch, which, if changed according to the common types of Boland Park, will favor the batsmen. It is a scorched set in Paral, with temperatures forecast to go above 30 degrees.
South Africa are resting without Faf du Plessis and Kagiso Rabada are injured. However, at least they are set to return after missing the pair of David Miller and Andile Phehlukwe from the T20I series. The host team is set to include two spinners alongside George Linde. Who is so influential in the T20s, that he joined Tabrez Shamsi. This will be Linde’s one-day debut.
Possible XI: Quinton de Kock, Jamman Malan, John-John Smuts, Rasi van der Dussen, Kyle Verrin, David Miller, Andile Fehlukwe, George Linde, Lungi Ngidi, Enrich Narje, Tabrez Shamsi
With two matches in the coming two days, England can customize their side more and more, but are ready to start the series with their strongest available team. Joe Root and Chris Woakes, the two main stars of the ODI team, return after missing the T20s, while Moin Ali may be given his first run from the tour. Sam Billings intrigued throughout the mid year and will play in the middle order.
Possible XI: Jason Roy, Johnny Bairstow, Joe Root, Eoin Morgan, Jose Butler, Sam Billings, Moeen Ali, Chris Woakes, Tom Curren, Mark Wood, Adil Rashid