Anurag Dasgupta ∙ Jan 26 2023, 11:30 AM

SA vs ENG, 1st ODI: Preview, Prediction, Probable XI

image-ldcv4y4oSA-ENG series set to go underway [Twitter]

With SA20 taking a break, it is time for international cricket to return to South Africa, as the hosts battle it out against a formidable looking England side at the beautiful Mangaung Oval, Bloemfontein.

It has been a turbulent time for South Africa in all three formats. Mark Boucher stepped down as the head coach following the Proteas' shock exit at the hands of Netherlands in the T20 World Cup. 

With Rob Walter appointed as the new coach, the less established member of the squad will be eager to showcase their worth to the new coach. The series is of utmost importance for the home team, considering the fact that they are competing with Ireland, Sri Lanka, and West Indies for the automatic qualification to the 50-over World Cup, set to take place this year.

South Africa need to whitewash England and defeat the Netherlands in March and April if they are to directly qualify for the mega event scheduled in India.

On the other hand, England lost their recent ODI series against Australia, and looked toothless for the majority of the series. Yes, the Australia series was scheduled just four days after their World Cup triumph, and fringe players were given a chance to prove their worth, but Jos Buttler will be gutted with how things panned out for the World Champions.

With only 13 ODIs remaining for England between now and the World Cup in October, now is the time for Matthew Mott and Buttler to shape the ODI squad.

Match Details

Date and Time: January 27, 4:30 PM IST

Venue: Mangaung Oval, Bloemfontein.

Live Streaming/Telecast: Star Sports Network, Hotstar and Fancode

Players to keep an eye on

Jofra Archer: He is finally back in the England squad after a long injury delay. Jofra looks fit and is raring to go. He is already used to the South African conditions after playing in the ongoing SA20 competition, and it'll be interesting to see how the England superstar performs on his international return.

Temba Bavuma: He is most likely to open alongside QDK, but the South African skipper has been under immense pressure as of late. Runs have dried up and experts have called the management to replace him. The series provides a great opportunity for Bavuma to regain the lost confidence.

Pitch Report

The Mangaung Oval, in Bloemfontein has a balanced surface. It provides assistance to both batters and bowlers, and the ball will come onto the bat nicely. With the hard pitch, and typical South African bounce, seamers will get the help early in the innings, so first half an hour will be crucial for the team batting first.

Probable XI

South Africa: 1. Quinton de Kock, 2. Temba Bavuma (C), 3. Rassie van der Dussen, 4. Aiden Markram, 5. Heinrich Klaasen, 6. David Miller, 7. Marco Jansen, 8. Wayne Parnell, 9. Keshav Maharaj, 10. Kagiso Rabada, 11. Anrich Nortje

England: 1. Phil Salt, 2. Jason Roy, 3. Dawid Malan, 4. Harry Brook, 5. Jos Buttler, 6. Moeen Ali, 7. Chris Woakes, 8. Sam Curran, 9. Adil Rashid, 10. Jofra Archer, 11. Reece Topley


Despite missing quite a few players in their ranks, England are a notch above everyone else in the ODIs. South Africa do have a good bowling attack, but their assurance in the batting department might cost them the game. England firm favourites for this one.

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