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ENG v SA, 2nd ODI Preview: Proteas aim to stay alive in the hunt against upbeat England

England lead the 3 match ODI series 1-0.

AB de Villiers of South Africa
AB de Villiers of South Africa. (Photo by Philip Brown/Getty Images)

Team England turned out to be the superior side when they faced South Africa in the first ODI of the 3-match series at Leeds. The hosts certainly turned the heat on the visitors and came up with a brilliant all-round show. They were masterfully led by their skipper Eoin Morgan in the batting department. In the bowling department, they had the services of Chris Woakes and Moeen Ali who were exceptional on the day.

Considering the way things fared up for the visitors, it was the batting that let down after the fall of Faf du Plessis. They looked pretty much in command of the run chase but lost the plot after the departure of Du Plessis in the middle-order. The finishers like Chris Morris and Wayne Parnell threw their wickets which certainly did not help the cause of the South Africa team.

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Coming into the second game of the series, England look firm favorites. They have recently whitewashed West Indies and Ireland in their last two ODI assignments. Now, they would want to complete the triple with a win result against Proteas. However, the number one ranked South African team cannot be taken lightly. They would have surely covered up their basics before the game and would want to come up with an improved show.

With the Champions Trophy round the corner, the bigger picture would want the two sides to get their permutations and combinations right ahead of the big event.

Toss: South Africa won the toss and opted to field

Playing XI:

South Africa: Hashim Amla, Quinton de Kock(w), Faf du Plessis, AB de Villiers(c), David Miller, Farhaan Behardien, Dwaine Pretorius, Chris Morris, Andile Phehlukwayo, Keshav Maharaj, Kagiso Rabada

England: Alex Hales, Jason Roy, Joe Root, Eoin Morgan(c), Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler(w), Moeen Ali, Adil Rashid, Liam Plunkett, Mark Wood, Jake Ball

Focus will be on

Jason Roy

Hard-hitting opening batsman Jason Roy has had a very dismal time in the last few innings. He is a renowned hitter of the cricket ball. However, a big score has eluded him for quite some time now. He did not get a big number in the Ireland series and largely failed in the previous ODI as well. Now, he will want to stamp his authority in the tournament with a big score to his name.

Jos Buttler

English wicket-keeper Jos Buttler arrived back in the frame of things for England for the series. He was with the Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League and had performed decently in the tournament. However, in the national colors, he will be seen playing in the middle-order unlike the case when he was playing the IPL. He needs to justify his spot in the lineup. Moreover, with an in-form Jonny Bairstow warming the benches, the pressure on Buttler is bound to rise.

Quinton de Kock

South African opener Quinton de Kock made his comeback to international cricket after a good long lay off due to a finger injury. Coming into the first ODI, he was in good form as he had hit a ton in the warm-up fixture against Susses. However, the second warm up against Nottinghamshire saw him get a duck. In the first ODI too, he failed to give his team the kind of start that the team needed and was out on a mistimed pull shot.

Team Combinations

England

The English side had a bit of selection conundrum and injury scare after the first ODI. Their star all-rounder Ben Stokes was doubtful for the second ODI. However, much to their relief, Stokes has passed the fitness teat. Considering the match as a preparatory ground for the Champions Trophy, expect Adil Rashid to be drafted in the lineup at the expense of a fast bowler. Barring that, the team looks set to go with the combinations they had in the first game. Jonny Bairstow might continue to be unlucky with no game to his name despite his supreme run of form.

South Africa

The way the Proteas side succumbed to an embarrassing defeat in the first ODI only makes it jsutifiable to have a few changes in the lineup. Morne Morkel deserves to get a go and it could be Andile Phehlukwayo making way for him in the team. Morkel could be a lethal weapon in the English conditions on a given day. Keshav Maharaj might also be tested but that remains under the cloud since Imran Tahir has been the seasoned campaigner for the South African team.

Stat Attack:

4 – Number of wickets needed by Ben Stokes and Moeen Ali to reach 50 ODI wickets.

8 – Number of times England have scored in excess of 350 runs in ODIs since the ICC World Cup 2015 – the most by any team.

47 – Number of runs needed by Hashim Amla to reach 7000 ODI runs.

334 – The average score of England in their last 10 ODIs.

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