South Africa will be up against host England in their ICC World Cup 2019 opener on May 28 (Thursday) at the Kennington Oval in London. The Proteas who have very few expectations to fulfil will look to surprise England in the very first game of the tournament.
South Africa to miss Steyn
Meanwhile, the Proteas will miss the service of Dale Steyn in this match with the shoulder injury. But Faf du Plessis can still call on Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi and Andile Phehlukwayo to lead the attack. He also has Imran Tahir, whose leg-spin was so influential in Chennai Super Kings’ run to the IPL final, to follow. However, the onus will be on their batting unit to get off to a flying start to back the bowlers. The management is likely to go on with out-of-form batsman David Miller as one knock from him can change the course of the match.
Here is the predicted playing XI of South Africa for their World Cup opener against England at the Kennington Oval in London:
Hashim Amla comes with a lot of experience and wisdom which will be handy for South Africa in this World Cup campaign. Amla will hope to provide a good start and post a steady opening partnership to set the tone for the batsmen to follow.
QUINTON DE KOCK
Quinton de Kock has been in good form as he played a significant role for Mumbai Indians in helping them winning the fourth title. The wicket-keeper batsman will be key to South Africa in getting a good start, and if de Kock gets going, it will be tough for the opponent bowlers to stop him.
Aiden Markram has been in good form in County Cricket for Hampshire. The right-handed batsman will hope to convert his four-day form to ODI format as he will play a crucial role for South Africa batting at the important position at 3.
FAF DU PLESSIS
Faf du Plessis has been in good touch with the bat and played some crucial knocks for Chennai Super Kings in the IPL. The South Africa skipper will look keep up his good job and lead his side from the front if they want to go further in the tournament.
JP Duminy has been in the centre stage for quite some time now. This will be his last World Cup, and the veteran all-rounder will be expecting to give his country the first World Cup. Besides his batting, Duminy’s slow off-breaks will come in handy for Faf du Plessis in the middle overs.
David Miller has been out of touch for quite some time now. He had a disastrous time in the IPL and will have to hit the strides soon. However, Miller needs only one knock to get back to form, and the South Africa management will want that knock to come against England.
Chris Morris was a last minute inclusion in the World Cup squad as he replaced Anrich Nortje in the team. Morris will look to make full use of the opportunity and repay the trust shown on him by the management.
Andile Phehlukwayo has done well within his limitations in all departments of the game. His addition will add depth in the batting order. The all-rounder who will be playing his first World Cup will look to play a significant part for his country.
Kagiso Rabada had an outstanding time in the IPL before an injury ruled him out of the business end. Meanwhile, he has recovered well in time, and it will be an exciting match-up between him and the best batters of the world.
Lungi Ngidi is coming back from an injury and will look to pick up exactly from where he left. The young fast bowler will replace Dale Steyn, who is yet to recover from injury. Ngidi will have a task in hand to stop the dangerous looking England batting line up.
Imran Tahir has been in scintillating form in the IPL returning as the highest wicket-taker in the tournament. The veteran leg-spinner who will be playing his last World Cup can turn out to be a match-winner for South Africa.