The long wait for the start of the ICC World Cup 2019 is over. The ten top teams of world cricket will fight across venues in England and Wales to be crowned the ICC World Cup 2019 Champion. First up will be hosts England taking on South Africa on Thursday evening.
England start as heavy favourites, not least because of their run in the warm-up games. Injuries remain a concern for the camp, but England are looking to start their campaign on a high. South Africa have been the silent performers in the warm-ups and will relish the chance of stretching the hosts.
The aggression that England brought to their game since the 2015 World Cup has meant that they have won over 75% of their ODIs in that time. They have been consistently scoring 350+ and talks of a first-ever 500 score are in the air.
Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow remain one of the most feared opening partnerships in this format. Eoin Morgan’s consistency and Jos Buttler’s versatility add to England’s strength. The arrival of Jofra Archer has strengthened their bowling attack too.
South Africa Preview
The Proteas may not have a great record in the knockouts of ICC competition, but South Africa remain a strong title contender. They bring a squad that has a great mix of experience and youth, making South Africa a tough side to face.
The improved form of Hashim Amla is great news from their warm-ups. With Quinton de Kock and Faf du Plessis providing good company, South Africa have all bases covered. Kagiso Rabada and Lungi Ngidi make their bowling unit a fearsome one.
Fantasy Players to Watch
Jason Roy is in great form coming into the World Cup. As he showed against Afghanistan, Roy can be destructive at the top. Watch out for his strike rate!
Hashim Amla is a class player when in full flow. His form from the warm-ups is excellent and South Africa will hope he will continue the same.
Lungi Ngidi remains one of the best young fast bowlers in this World Cup. His disconcerting pace and bounce could be a factor.
Mark Wood is declared fit, but England might decide to start with Liam Plunkett.
England: 1 Jason Roy 2 Jonny Bairstow 3 Joe Root 4 Eoin Morgan 5 Jos Buttler (C & WK) 6 Ben Stokes 7 Chris Woakes 8 Moeen Ali 9 Jofra Archer 10 Adil Rashid 11 Liam Plunkett
Dale Steyn is out injured, while Rassie van der Dussen could get the nod ahead of David Miller.
South Africa: 1 Hashim Amla 2 Quinton de Kock (WK) 3 Aiden Markram 4 Faf du Plessis 5 JP Duminy 6 Rassie van der Dussen 7 Andile Phehlukwayo 8 Chris Morris 9 Kagiso Rabada 10 Lungi Ngidi 11 Imran Tahir
Dream 11 Data Projections – England vs South Africa Cheat Sheets
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