Stand-in captain Keshav Maharaj says the Proteas will be aiming to improve on their recent One-Day International (ODI) form when they take on England in their series-opener at the Riverside in Durham on Tuesday (July 19). South Africa face the world champions in three 50-over matches as they get the business end of their two-month long tour to the United Kingdom under way.
The tourists mixed an impressive 3-0 series win over India over the past 12 months with defeats to Sri Lanka and Bangladesh either side, but they have also introduced several new players to their squad in that period as they build towards the World Cup in India next year. “We haven’t done relatively well in the ODI format, but we’ve tried various formats and combinations, so hopefully we’ve found that rhythm to our game now when we can start off on a positive note come this England series,” Maharaj told the media on Monday.
“Obviously England have come off quite a bit of cricket and they’re pretty much a more settled team. But having put in the hard work over the past 12 months, I think it’s about time we see some good results come this series and moving forward.”
South Africa last played an ODI in March when they faced Bangladesh in Centurion. Maharaj, who is leading the Proteas in the absence of injured captain Temba Bavuma, says they are looking ahead to ODI cricket again.
“The boys are really excited, it’s been a while since we’ve played our last ODI game and it’s been a substantial and lengthy build-up to the game, so the boys are ready to get onto the park, so come tomorrow and hit the ball running,” he said. “Results haven’t really gone our way, but it’s a nice way to build that confidence and filter in towards ODI cricket up until the World Cup next year.”
England vs South Africa, 1st ODI
Venue: Riverside ground, Chester-le-Street
Date & Time: July 19 at 5.30 PM IST
Live Streaming and TV details: Sony Six Network and SonyLiv website and app
ENG vs SA Dream 11 Prediction
Wicketkeeper: Jos Buttler, Heinrich Klaasen
Batters: Joe Root, Jason Roy, Rassie van der Dussen, Aiden Markram, Janneman Malan
All-rounders: Dwaine Pretorius
Bowlers: Adil Rashid, Reece Topley, Anrich Nortje
Captain: Jos Buttler
Vice-Captain: Dwaine Pretorius
ENG vs SA Probable Playing XI
England: Jason Roy, Jonny Bairstow, Joe Root, Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler (c & wk), Liam Livingstone, Moeen Ali, Craig Overton/Sam Curran, David Willey, Adil Rashid, Reece Topley
South Africa: Quinton de Kock (wk), Reeza Hendricks, Janneman Malan, Rassie van der Dussen, Heinrich Klaasen, David Miller, Dwaine Pretorius, Marco Jansen, Keshav Maharaj (c), Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje