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South Africa vs England, T20I series: Best XIs and batting order in focus

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South Africa and England face off in a limited-overs series amidst pandemonium in the South African cricket board with political interference. While there's confusion in the board, a good chunk of the players from South Africa come off the back of a speculator T20 season in the Indian T20 League.

England, meanwhile, have one of the strongest limited-overs sides going around but have a problem of plenty at the top of the order and identifying their best batting order ahead of the T20 World Cup in India next year will be pertinent. Their bowling too has come under scrutiny in recent times and with Jofra Archer or Sam Curran in great form, they will hope to be polished on this front.

South Africa vs England Recent record

England and South Africa are among the better T20I teams going around in world cricket at the moment. While England have won 15 of their 27 T20Is since 2018, boasting of a win-loss ratio of 1.50, South Africa have won 11 of their 21 while losing nine, giving them a win-loss ratio of 1.22.

While the overall picture is rosy, South Africa come into the series on the back of four losses in their last six T20Is. They coped series losses against Australia and England themselves at home in 2020.

England, on the other hand, have lost five of their last eight games with one match ending in no result. They beat Australia 2-1 recently and drew 1-1 with Pakistan, both after the pandemic break. Earlier in the year in South Africa itself, they won the bilateral 2-1. 

Context

The context for all sides at the moment is the T20 World Cup in India in 2021. Both teams have holes to plug and would be eyeing this series as a starting point for their preparations for the multi-nation event next year in India.

While England have rested key players for the ODI series following the T20Is, they have a full-strength T20I team to take on the Proteas. Chris Jordan and Dawid Malan are the T20I specialists in the squad while as many as five players are there to play just the ODIs.

South Africa have focused on their fast bowling reserves with Glenton Stuurman, a domestic performer, and Junior Dala named in the squad. They already have the pace trio of Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje and Beuran Hendricks in the setup. 

The Proteas squad is also underlined by some excellent all-round options, and they will want to identify their best multi-talented cricketers in the T20 setup to create better balance in the squad, something they have struggled with in the recent past.

South Africa vs England head to head records

England and South Africa have played 18 T20Is against each other with England winning eight and South Africa winning nine. The results show how these teams have been pretty competitive in this format of the game. That said, the record also says that England have won five of their last seven T20Is against South Africa, showing a slight tilt in the balance.

South Africa vs England probable XI

England: Jonny Bairstow, Ben Stokes, Dawid Malan, Moeen Ali, Jos Buttler, Eoin Morgan, Sam Curran, Jofra Archer, Chris Jordan, Adil Rashid, Mark Wood.

South Africa: Quinton de Kock, Temba Bavuma, Faf du Plessis, Rassie van der Dussen, Kyle Verreynne, Heinrich Klaasen, Andile Phehlukwayo, Lutho Sipamla, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, Anrich Nortje.

Upcoming milestones and stats

  • Dawid Malan, the no.1 ranked T20I batsman, has made less than 10 only once in his T20I career!
  • Chris Jordan needs 3 wickets to go past Broad as England’s highest T20I wicket-taker.
  • Jonny Bairstow vs SA in T20Is:

248 runs 

41.33 average

154.03 SR

2 fifties

  • Eoin Morgan and Dawid Malan have 480 partnership runs in T20Is at an average of 68.57 and a run-rate of 11.47 with two century stands and one half-century stand. 
  • David Miller has 57 catches in T20Is, the most by a fielder other than wicket-keeper.

Feature image courtesy: AFP / Anesh Debiky

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