ICC World Cup 2019: England vs South Africa, Match 1 - Big Player Battles
As England and South Africa get ready to lock horns in the opening match of the 2019 ICC World Cup, we take a look at the possible battles that could shape the result of the match.Updated: May 30, 2019 13:27 IST
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.
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.
South Africa have suffered plenty of World Cup heartache but they have been losing semi-finalists on four occasions.
Here’s a look at the top five player battles to watch out for in the match between England and South Africa.
Jason Roy vs Kagiso Rabada
The hard-hitting opening batsman Jason Roy will have to be careful when he is up against Kagiso Rabada in the World Cup opener. The English batter has scored just 31 runs off 50 balls against the pacer in ODIs and Rabada has dismissed Roy three times. The South African fast bowler will be surely looking to send Roy packing early on in his innings.
Joe Root vs Imran Tahir
Joe Root will be fancying his chances against Imran Tahir as he has a good record against the leg-spinner. The anchor in the English line-up has scored 82 runs off 84 balls against Tahir, while he has been dismissed once by the South African in ODIs.
Eoin Morgan vs Andile Phehlukwayo
England skipper Eoin Morgan will be looking forward to face Andile Phehlukwayo, since he has had success against the fast bowler in ODIs. The batter has scored 55 runs off 46 balls and hasn’t been dismissed by Phehlukwayo. The South African pacer will be hoping to improve his record against Morgan in their next match.
Faf du Plessis vs Adil Rashid
Faf du Plessis will be wary of leg-spinner Adil Rashid during the World Cup opener. Du Plessis has managed just 38 runs off 50 balls and has been dismissed once by Rashid in ODIs. It will be interesting to see if the South African captain decides to take the aggressive approach or will he look to play out Rashid’s overs cautiously.
Hashim Amla vs Chris Woakes
Hashim Amla and Chris Woakes have had an interesting battle in ODIs so far. Woakes hasn’t dismissed Amla, but the South African hasn’t been at ease against the fast bowler either. Amla has scored 37 runs off 47 balls at a strike-rate of 78.7. Both the players will be surely hoping to be the better cricketer in their mini contest in the World Cup opener.
(With inputs from agencies)