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World Cup 2019: England vs South Africa - 3 Key Battles Which Could Decide The Outcome Of The Match

Gautam Kapoor
ANALYST
Feature
291   //    30 May 2019, 10:00 IST

South Africa
South Africa

For over two months now, everything that has been partaken in the international world of cricket was to build up to only one thing. The fervent wait for the much anticipated ICC ODI Cricket World Cup is set to come to an end with the advent of the opening encounter on 30th May, Thursday. And there perhaps couldn’t be a better fixture to begin proceedings than the encounter between England and South Africa, two true heavyweights in the cricketing fraternity.

It’s a match which is going to exhilarate us and have us by the hinges throughout the 100 overs, such is the effervescent quality that both these units posses in their artillery. Having played in 59 matches till date, England slightly manage to edge South Africa with 29 wins as opposed to the visiting side’s 26 with the one draw and 3 abandoned matches.

Ahead of the tantalizing encounter, we take a look at the 3 key pivotal battles beckoning our way. They will ultimately set the tone of the match and shape out who emerges as the winning side from the clash.

Key Battles

Jofra Archer Vs Faf du Plessis

Two awe-inducing players who have been highly billed up owing to the momentous performances they delivered in the Indian Premier League, Archer and du Plessis will hope to replicate those showings in the warm-up encounters as well, traversing past sides effortlessly with their unique skillset.

And we couldn’t have a more important battle from the match than this one. Mainstays of their side, the role they occupy are gigantic and when facing off against each other, both will be looking to be in complete control. In a pace battery that has still to impress, Archer was brought in as the surprise element and the hosts will be wishing he can fulfill the hefty expectations accorded from him.

He won’t find it easy against Faf du Plessis though, someone who is known to remain unperturbed by the moving ball or pace. Archer’s ability to work the ball up at an extreme trajectory could prove to be futile if he can’t hit the right lines and lengths and Faf’s time spent in the game could just see him winning this clash.

Quinton de Kock Vs Moeen Ali

8 innings, 463 runs against England, numbers are enough to bespeak how much Quinton de Kock likes playing against England. Taking on a paper-thin pace attack, the batsman might yet again turn out to play an integral role against the home nation on a pitch that promises very little for the bowlers.

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That’s precisely where Moeen Ali steps in. Although he’s hated bowling to Quinton, having picked up his wicket just once in the 7 matches the two have met in. Although, spin is something de Kock has problems against. The skidding ball coming into him will work him up and if Moeen can manage to hit the right areas, Quinton is all too susceptible to turn as he showed in the IPL.

Jonny Bairstow Vs Kagiso Rabada

What 2019 has given us are two of the finest exponents of the bat and ball in the cricketing arena at the moment. Test cricket’s number one bowler against a batsman who has scored a basket full of runs - it’s a battle which is just too irresistible to skip.

Establishing himself as the mainstay at the top of England’s order, Bairstow’s ability to fearless take on any bowler and settle into his grove right from ball one has turned out to be his unnerving go-to approach. It won’t be easy for him against Rabada though, a bowler who has acquired a tremendous skill set, one that is packed with persistent yorkers that go onto smash and sting into the pads.

With Steyn missing out due to an injury and the weather set to be cloudy, these are conditions under which Rabada will thrive. If he can send Bairstow packing early on, SA have a massive wicket in their bag, something England could find hard to recover from.

Probable XI

England

Eoin Morgan (captain), Moeen Ali, Jofra Archer, Jonny Bairstow (wicket-keeper), Jos Buttler (wicket-keeper), Tom Curran, Liam Plunkett, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes

South Africa

Faf du Plessis (captain), Hashim Amla, Quinton de Kock (wicket-keeper), JP Duminy, Aiden Markram, David Miller, Chris Morris, Lungi Ngidi, Kagiso Rabada, Imran Tahir, Rassie van der Dussen

Squads

England

Eoin Morgan (captain), Moeen Ali, Jofra Archer, Jonny Bairstow (wicket-keeper), Jos Buttler (wicket-keeper), Tom Curran, Liam Dawson, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, James Vince, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood

South Africa

Faf du Plessis (captain), Hashim Amla, Quinton de Kock (wicket-keeper), JP Duminy, Aiden Markram, David Miller, Chris Morris, Lungi Ngidi, Andile Phehlukwayo, Dwaine Pretorius, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, Dale Steyn, Imran Tahir, Rassie van der Dussen

 Match Details

ICC ODI Cricket World Cup, England Vs South Africa

Date And Time: 30th May, Thursday- 3:00 pm IST

Venue: The Kennington Oval, London

Television: Star Sports 1, 2 Select HD1, Hindi/HD Oval, London

Television: Star Sports 1, 2 Select HD1, Hindi/HD

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