England vs South Africa 1st T20 Preview | 1st NatWest T20 | NatWest International T20 |
England has to play with South Africa in the 1st NatWest International T20 of the Three match series at Riverside Ground, Chester-le-Street on 8th September 2012, these sides played out a fairly dull One Day International series but with changes in personnel in each squad, there should be more entertainment in these three T20 contests. The first game starts at Durham tomorrow and with the World Cup in Sri Lanka less than two weeks away, both England and South Africa will be looking for form and momentum ahead of that.
England have also brought in their own T20 specialists, while some more familiar names return to the squad. Captain Stuart Broad and Graeme Swann return after being rested for the one-dayers, while James Anderson is set to make his first T20 international appearance since November 2009 as cover for Steven Finn, who is struggling with a back injury. There are plenty of other returning faces as Luke Wright gets a chance to impress after a brilliant season for Sussex in county cricket. Wright is top England batsman and it will be interesting to see if he gets a chance to open the batting with Alex Hales, who scored a brilliant 99 off 68 balls during a T20 against the West Indies in May. England’s openers batting order remains a concern though as Kevin Pietersen, who was so influential during England’s T20 World Cup win two years ago, remains out in the cold and his loss could have a massive effect on England’s defence of their trophy in Sri Lanka later this month.
For South Africa, the side will show fewer changes from the ODI line-up but it should include the destructive batting of Richard Levi, the T20 specialist who has recently been performing for Somerset in England’s domestic twenty over competition. The Proteas lie at number one in the world in this format of the game, again bringing into question quite how this ranking system works. Don’t get me wrong, it amounts to bragging right and I’ll take it. I’m also aware that they have the second best win/loss ratio in T20 World Cups. But the best team in the world? I’m not so sure. Regardless, AB De Villiers continues to captain the team in the shortest format, impressing so far with his flexible and inspired leadership. Hashim Amla strikes his usual imposing figure at the top of the order, and Richard Levi’s addition to the squad adds the necessary fire power. Robin Petersen impressed on the English wickets in the ODI series and after a shaky start to his international career, has now become one of South Africa’s most prized limited overs assets. The Proteas have also won three out of four this year in T20 cricket, and as has been the trend throughout this tour, the teams look evenly matched.
Venue: The Riverside Ground hosts the first of this three-match series and is one of England’s lesser established grounds. Sadly the only international T20 to be scheduled here was abandoned without a ball being bowled, ironically enough scheduled between the very same two teams. A small chance of morning showers is predicted, but let’s hope this doesn’t affect the game.
Teams for South Africa vs England 1st T20:
SCJ Broad*, JM Anderson, JM Bairstow, RS Bopara, TT Bresnan, DR Briggs, JC Buttler, JW Dernbach, ST Finn, AD Hales, C Kieswetter†, MJ Lumb, EJG Morgan, SR Patel, GP Swann, LJ Wright
South Africa Squad:
AB de Villiers*†, HM Amla, F Behardien, J Botha, JP Duminy, F du Plessis, JH Kallis, RE Levi, JA Morkel, M Morkel, JL Ontong, WD Parnell, RJ Peterson, DW Steyn, LL Tsotsobe
For more cricinfo: South Africa vs England 2012