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After a COVID-19 scare postponed the scheduled ODI, South Africa take on England in the first ODI of a 3-match series at Boland Park, Paarl on Sunday.

South Africa has fared better in the ODI format recently and have remained unbeaten in their last five series at home. They last played against England and Australia earlier this year and lost just one game out of six.

In this game, J Malan is expected to partner Q de Kock at the top followed by JJ Smuts, R Van Der Dussen, H Klassen, and D Miller in the middle order. A Pheklukwayo will be the seaming all-rounder in the team. With strike bowler K Rabada ruled out of the series because of injury, A Nortje and L Ngidi will share the new ball. George Linde, who impressed in the T20Is, will partner T Shamsi in the spin department.

England moved to the top of the T20I rankings by whitewashing South Africa 3-0. They are the no.1 team in the ODI format and are the current world champions. However, they will be playing without J Archer, B Stokes, S Curran, and C Jordan, who have been rested for this leg of the tour.

The team will be bolstered by the return of J Root and C Woakes. J Roy and J Bairstow will open the batting, with J Root, E Morgan, and J Buttler forming a destructive middle-order combination. S Billings might get a chance at no. 6, depending on their team combination. M Wood, C Woakes, and R Topley will form the pace bowling department. A Rashid is expected to shoulder the spin bowling responsibilities alongside M Ali.

With both sides aiming at gaining an advantage from the first match of the ODI series, it should make up for a pretty exciting contest.

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Match Details

  • Match: South Africa vs. England, 1st ODI
  • Venue: Boland Park, Paarl
  • Date & Time: Dec. 6, 2020, at 1.30 PM IST

Probable Playing XI

South Africa

Q de Kock (C & WK), J Malan, J Smuts, R van der Dussen, H Klaasen, D Miller, A Pheklukwayo, G Linde, L Ngidi, A Nortje, T Shamsi


J Bairstow, J Roy, J Root, E Morgan (C), J Buttler (WK), S Billings, M Ali, C Woakes, A Rashid, R Topley, M Wood

Weather and Pitch Report

The weather is expected to be sunny and clear for the first ODI in Paarl. The temperature will be around 33 degrees during the game.

As seen in the second T20I, the pitch at Boland Park is not easy to bat on. Although the pacers should find some movement with the new ball, spinners get the most help from the surface given it’s slow nature, The average first innings score in the last five ODIs on this ground has been 276 runs.

This is a day game. Captain winning the toss is expected to bat first with the pitch getting more difficult to bat on as the match progresses. A first innings score of around 270 should be a challenging target.

Key Players

  • Q de Kock came into the series on the back of a good form in the Indian T2o League. He got starts in all the three T20Is and is expected to score big runs here. In the series against England earlier in the year, he scored 107, 11 and 69 in the three matches.
  • H Klaasen scored 123*, 51 and 68* runs in his last 3 ODI innings against Australia earlier this year. Although he missed out in the T20I series, expect him to score runs in his favored format here.
  • In the absence of K Rabada, L Ngidi is the senior-most seamer on the team. In the four ODIs earlier this year, he picked up 12 wickets with the best figures of 6 for 58 runs. He also picked up 4 wickets in the T20I series. 
  • J Bairstow is a dangerous batsman at the top of the order. In the home series against Ireland and Australia, he had scores of 82, 84 and 112 runs. He scored a match-winning 86* runs in the first T20 against the hosts.
  • With J Roy and J Root struggling at the top, S Billings has made most of his opportunities down the order, scoring 67*, 46*, 118 and 57 runs in four of his last six ODI innings’. Expect him to come up with a vital contribution once again.
  • C Woakes is the second-highest active wicket taker for England in the ODIs. He is in good form in all forms of the game with both the bat and the ball. He picked up 6 wickets and scored 89 runs in the series against Australia a few months ago.

Howzat Dream Team

  • Wicketkeepers: Q de Kock, H Klassen, J Bairstow
  • Batsmen: R van der Dussen, E Morgan, S Billings 
  • All-rounders: G Linde, JJ Smuts 
  • Bowlers: C Woakes, A Rashid, L Ngidi
  • Captain: JJ Smuts/J Bairstow
  • Vice Captain: C Woakes/R Van der Dussen
Howzat Dream Team South Africa vs England

NOTE: The Howzat dream team above is just a suggestion. You can select your own fantasy 11, and play an online fantasy game. Also, don’t forget to make any necessary changes to your team once the actual playing 11 is announced by each team (30 minutes before the start of the match) as some players you have selected might not be part of the team suggested.

Get fantasy cricket tips on your favorite fantasy app and select your own team, Howzat!

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