2019 Cricket World Cup, England vs South Africa: England Predicted XI - Morgan to go in with three pacers
England will put four years of planning to the test when they face South Africa in the opening match of the 2019 World Cup at the Oval on Thursday.
So embarrassing was England’s first-round exit at the 2015 edition in Australia and New Zealand it prompted a major rethink of their attitude to the white-ball game.
Also Read: Live Updates of England vs South Africa World Cup opener
The transformation has been remarkable, with Eoin Morgan’s men climbing to the top of the one-day international rankings and twice setting a new record for the highest one-day international total, which now stands at 481 for six.
Batting has been the basis of England’s ODI rejuvenation, with Jason Roy, Jonny Bairstow, Joe Root, Morgan and the dynamic Jos Buttler among a top seven who can all change the course of an innings in the blink of an eye.
“It’s an exciting feeling being in this team as you have world-class players all around you and the opposition might get 370, but there’s a belief in the dressing room we can chase it down,” said England leg-spinner Adil Rashid.
“There is no hesitation or someone going ‘I don’t know about this’. We all have that belief and confidence we can do it,” added Rashid, whose ability to take wickets at key stages has also been an important part of England’s white-ball revival.
Ahead of the tournament, Eoin Morgan had said that all 17 of England’s World Cup probables are good enough to be in the XI. Thankfully, he has to choose from 15 on Thursday.
He doesn’t have to think too much about the batting order. The same, however, cannot be said about England’s pace bowling attack.
Mark Wood is still working his way back to fitness, and most probably will sit out from the World Cup opener against South Africa. England’s X-factor (according to India captain Virat Kohli) Jofra Archer will share the new ball with Chris Woakes. Liam Plunkett is set to be the third seamer.
England Predicted XI vs South Africa: Jason Roy, Jonny Bairstow, Joe Root, Eoin Morgan, Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, Moeen Ali, Chris Woakes, Jofra Archer, Adil Rashid, Liam Plunkett
(With agency inputs)