World Cup 2019: England vs South Africa - Key players and probable playing XI
- Previewing the first match of the ICC World Cup 2019, between England and South Africa.
England are clearly the hot favourites to win this World Cup. Their batting line-up is incredibly deep, and they have six to seven bowling options in the playing XI.
South Africa, on the other hand, are not in the favourites list this year, which is rare. They do have a solid team though, and their strength lies in the bowling - with the likes of Dale Steyn, Kagiso Rabada and Lungi Ngidi all being capable of destroying any lineup.
Jos Buttler will be the key player in the English batting lineup. He is destructive with the bat and can hit a boundary off practically any ball. He bats at the No. 6 position, which gives him the license to attack from the word go.
In the bowling department, Jofra Archer is the player to watch out for. England will be happy with his performances so far at the international stage, and they expect him to be the X-factor of their attack. Archer will likely open the bowling for the team.
For South Africa, skipper Faf du Plessis is in good form with the bat. He is expected to continue in the same vein and make strong contributions in the middle order.
In the bowling department, Kagiso Rabada holds the key for Proteas. He can extract pace and bounce from any track, and South Africa would hope for him to do wonders with the ball.
Mark Wood has been declared fit for the first match. But if England decide to give him some more rest, Liam Plunkett is likely to slot into the lineup instead.
Moeen Ali and Ben Stokes will be their all-rounders, with the batting unit pretty much selecting itself.
Probable XI: Jason Roy, Jonny Bairstow, Joe Root, Eoin Morgan (C), Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler (WK), Moeen Ali, Chris Woakes, Liam Plunkett / Mark Wood, Jofra Archer, Adil Rashid.
Either Aiden Markram or Rassie van der Dussen is expected to miss out from the playing XI. Andile Phehlukwayo will likely fill the all-rounder slot, and his contributions would be vital to the team's success.
It has also been confirmed that Dale Steyn will not play the first match, which means there's an opportunity for Chris Morris.
Probable XI: Hashim Amla, Quinton de Kock (WK), Aiden Markram / Rassie van der Dussen, Faf du Plessis (C), JP Duminy, David Miller, Andile Phehlukwayo, Chris Morris, Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi, Imran Tahir.
England: Eoin Morgan (C), Jason Roy, Johny Bairstow, Joe Root, Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler (WK), Moeen Ali, Chris Woakes, Liam Dawson, James Vince, Tom Curran, Liam Plunkett, Jofra Archer, Adil Rashid, Mark Wood.
South Africa: Faf du Plessis (C), Hashim Amla, Quinton de Kock (WK), Aiden Markram, Rassie van der Dussen, JP Duminy, David Miller, Andile Phehlukwayo, Dale Steyn, Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi, Tabraiz Shamsi, Dwaine Pretorius, Chris Morris, Imran Tahir.
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