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England Vs South Africa Preview, ICC Cricket World Cup 2023, Match 20: Smarting From Shock Defeats, ENG And RSA Look To Turn The Tide

Reeling from upsets in their previous outings, a formidable South Africa will have an upper hand against a faltering England when the two teams meet in a World Cup match in Mumbai on Saturday

England Vs South Africa 2nd T20I
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Reeling from upsets in their previous outings, a formidable South Africa will have an upper hand against a faltering England when the two teams meet in a World Cup match on Saturday. (ENG Vs SA Scorecard | Full Coverage)

Having recorded the highest total of this competition (428/5) previously, South Africa crumbled against the Netherlands in a rain-truncated game in Dharamsala for their first loss in the competition.

Similarly, England too caved in to pressure when Afghanistan brought out their best with the ball in Delhi.

England may have a 4-3 record over South Africa in 50-over World Cup history but it is the Proteas who have had a better run in this edition.'

South Africa sizzled at the start of the tournament beating Australia and Sri Lanka by more than 100 runs but their second consecutive defeat in ICC events to the Netherlands showed the Proteas' vulnerability under pressure.

A defeat to the Dutch notwithstanding, South Africa will have enough confidence in their ranks to outgun England, who are struggling almost in all departments and are yet to put a collective effort on the field.

England have been largely rusty and inconsistent despite having a dangerous squad on paper. They are likely to have the services of their "spiritual leader" Ben Stokes for the game at Wankhede. Stokes missed the first three games due to a hip injury.

Jos Buttler’s men took a battering at the hands of New Zealand in the tournament-opener and despite bossing over a feeble Bangladesh, they were bludgeoned by Afghanistan in the World Cup’s first upset.

With scores of 43, 20 and 9 in three matches so far, Buttler has not made a mark on the tournament  in conditions he has extensive knowledge of.

If Buttler is a concern in the middle-order, Liam Livingstone’s returns of 20, 0 and 10 in three matches give England more headache in the lower order.

Joe Root and Dawid Malan have been England’s best batters with the former getting two fifties and the latter a century, but they would know more is needed from their batters collectively against a high quality South African bowling attack.

Reece Topley (five wickets) will be crucial for England with the ball as neither Mark Wood’s express pace (three wickets) nor Adil Rashid’s spin (four wickets) has helped their cause much.

England’s most successful bowler in the 2019 edition with 20 wickets, Jofra Archer, linked up with the squad in Mumbai on Thursday but he is only a travelling reserve with no set plan of making a comeback to top-flight cricket.  

Consistency is never a trait associated with Temba Bavuma the batter but the diminutive player has led his side admirably over the last year.

With back to back hundreds, Quinton de Kock has made it clear that he wants to leave an indelible mark in his last World Cup for South Africa. Aiden Markram and Rassie van der Dussen are also in-form and can do both — consolidate or accelerate -- depending on the situation.

South African bowlers have been collective in their efforts. Kagiso Rabada’s (seven wickets) brilliance and Marco Jansen’s (six wickets) variation can pose problems for the batters but more will be needed from Lungi Ngidi (four wickets). 

They will look to avoid bowling too many slower balls against the England lower-order after the ploy misfired badly against the Dutch.  

The World Cup jamboree finally arrives at the venue of the 2011 edition’s final, the Wankhede Stadium, where ball tends to do a bit but the flatness of the surface in general combined with shorter boundary lengths make it a batting paradise.

The outfield here was relaid here after it hosted the IPL earlier this year.

Squads:
England: Jos Buttler (c & wk), Moeen Ali, Gus Atkinson, Jonny Bairstow (wk), Sam Curran, Liam Livingstone, Dawid Malan, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Harry Brook, Ben Stokes, Reece Topley, David Willey, Mark Wood and Chris Woakes.

South Africa: Temba Bavuma (c), Gerald Coetzee, Quinton de Kock (wk), Reeza Hendricks, Marco Jansen, Heinrich Klaasen (wk), Keshav Maharaj, Aiden Markram, David Miller, Lungi Ngidi, Andile Phehlukwayo, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, Rassie van der Dussen and Lizaad Williams.

Match starts 2pm IST.

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