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South Africa vs England, 2nd T20I, Preview – Eoin Morgan and Co seek to draw level after batting capitulation in East London

As much as the Three Lions possessed the depth and steam in their batting, they lacked the composure on Wednesday to finish the first T20I.

South Africa
South Africa. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

Forget New Zealand’s recent collapses in the T20s for now, England, on Wednesday, followed their footsteps to spark a slump of their own of epic proportions. If there’s a loss in coloured clothing that significantly hurt England since the one against Sri Lanka in the 2019 World Cup, it was this. And it was their high-octane batting line-up that often acted as an ambassador for nailing the run-chases with aplomb, betrayed them in a bid to secure seven runs off the last over to fall short by one.

But the brunt of the defeat begins with their inconsistent bowling before pulling back South Africa at the death to 177. England’s bowlers bowled erratically in the powerplay overs to concede 68 for only one wicket. Even as the fast bowlers shared five wickets between them, their economy rate stood at 13.66 by Tom Curran, 10.66 by Mark Wood, 9.33 from Chris Jordan, and 8.00 from Ben Stokes.

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As much as the Three Lions possessed the depth and steam in their batting, they lacked the composure on Wednesday to finish the game. The likes of Eoin Morgan, Tom Curran, and Moeen Ali all went for glory shots to get dismissed when nudging the ball to scamper for ones and twos could have done it. But even as the tourists whittled in the closing stages of the game, skipper Morgan refused to take unnecessary pressure and chose to focus on the positives instead.

Amid their shattering defeat, England should be optimistic. To start with, they have capable men in their ranks to help them bounce back in Durban from this loss and even win the series in Centurion. Furthermore, as Morgan pointed out, such experiences help them better, leading up to the grandest stage. And the Brits have opportunities aplenty lining up to experiment and calibrate their best combination.

As mentioned before the first match, South Africa are indeed moving in the correct direction under their supposedly new leader. The victory from the jaws of defeat affirmed the belief and De Kock conceded that would continue to remain ruthless. Nevertheless, the Proteas have little room for complacency and instead more for improvement, especially in their batting.

Even as the total of 177 proved to be just mainly enough due to their death bowling, the hosts may have kicked themselves due to their failure to post more than that after a blazing powerplay. The contest between the number three and the number five side had to go down to the wire and the stakes could go further high in the upcoming games.

Playing Combinations:

South Africa:

South Africa are unlikely to tinker with the combination that beat England in East London. JJ Smuts was the only weak link in their bowling during their victory and the Proteas could instead use Dwaine Pretorious, who surprisingly didn’t bowl even one over. On the other hand, the hosts also have the option to leave out Pretorious and hand a debut to Pite van Biljon to bolster their batting a bit.

Probable XI: Temba Bavuma, Quinton De Kock (c & wk), Rassie van der Dussen, David Miller, JJ Smuts, Dwaine Pretorious/Pite van Biljon, Andile Phehlukwayo, Beuran Hendricks, Dale Steyn, Lungi Ngidi, Tabraiz Shamsi.

England:

The visitors should look to draft in Dawid Malan for Joe Denly. While Denly provides the advantage to bowl as well over Malan, England may not require him with able frontline bowlers already present. Hence, they might as well include a specialist batsman for him. Apart from that, Sam Curran or Saqib Mahmood could come in for Tom Curran, who conceded 41 runs in three overs for a wicket in their loss.

Probable XI: Jos Buttler(wk), Jason Roy, Jonny Bairstow, Dawid Malan, Eoin Morgan(c), Ben Stokes, Moeen Ali, Tom Curran/Sam Curran, Chris Jordan, Adil Rashid, Mark Wood.

Focus will be on:

Tabraiz Shamsi (South Africa)

The selectors have stalled the inclusion of Imran Tahir for a while now to give Tabraiz Shamsi a longer run in the national side. And since the beginning of the home season, Shamsi has posed some tough questions for the English batsmen and they have struggled to read him. On Wednesday, even though he couldn’t pick up a wicket, he was the most economical of all the bowlers. Hence, he remains a vital part of Proteas’ outfit leading up to the event in Australia.

Jos Buttler (England)

Jos Buttler has produced fireworks every time he walks out to the bat for England, especially while opening the batting for England in T20s. At the Buffalo Park, the keeper-batsman carted three boundaries before mistiming one to mid-off to David Miller. That gave the hosts a tiny sniff from where they managed to peg England back step by step. Hence, Buttler has to remain level-headed in his onslaught against the likes of Dale Steyn and Lungi Ngidi with the new ball.

Head to Head:

Played – 16 | Won by South Africa – 9 | Won by England – 6 | No result – 1

Stat Attack:

0- South Africa and England have never played in a T20 against each other at the Kingsmead in Durban till date.

18 – David Miller needs 18 runs more to go past Faf Du Plessis‘ tally of 1301 T20I runs.

Broadcast details:

TV – Sony Six, Sony Six HD

Live streaming – Sony LIV

Match Timings – 4:00 PM (local), 9:30 PM (IST)

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