Proteas face huge task in World Cup opener
Heading into the 2019 World Cup as one of the red-hot favourites to take out the elusive-title, England will be eager to get the job done against a Dale Steyn-less South Africa. News has just come through that Steyn will miss the Proteas World Cup opener; however the veteran-quick isn’t expected to miss a great deal of matches before returning to the side.
Both sides enjoyed reasonably-successful warm-up campaigns leading into the main even, although it wasn’t all smooth sailing for the hosts who had a number of injury scares. Thankfully England has come out unscathed and looks ready to make a statement in this year’s World Cup on home soil. Both teams possess very destructive batting line-ups, which could see the bowlers play the most pivotal part in the match in terms of restricting one another’s totals. It’s hard to see England losing this match, power-hitting opener Jason Roy is coming off an exceptional series with the bat against Pakistan and just recently posted an unbeaten 89 against Afghanistan, damaging is an understatement. X factors throughout their line-up include skipper Eoin Morgan, all-rounder Ben Stokes and the ridiculously-talented Jos Buttler featuring at No. 6.
The absence of Dale Steyn could really hurt the Proteas in this one, and despite Kagiso Rabada’s lethal seamers and veteran Imran Tahir’s bag of tricks, the hosts won’t be backing down whatsoever. Quinton de Kock and Faf du Plessis look as if they’ll have to do most of the heavy lifting, and rightfully so given their tremendous abilities with the willow. The expectation is that this tournament opener is going to be a beauty, but hidden in the mist of all this anticipation and excitement are a couple of selection dilemmas. Talented young right-hander Aiden Markram looks set to miss out for the Proteas given Hashim Amla’s sudden rise in form, while England find themselves in a spot of bother with a number of quick’s sticking their hand up for selection just days before the tournament gets underway.
Top 4 fantasy picks – England
- Jason Roy
- Joe Root
- Chris Woakes
- Ben Stokes
Wildcard pick – Moeen Ali
Top 4 fantasy picks – South Africa
- Faf du Plessis
- Kagiso Rabada
- Quinton de Kock
- Imran Tahir
Wildcard pick – Andile Phehlukwayo
Predicted Team XI’s
England (possible) – 1. Jason Roy 2. Jonny Bairstow 3. Joe Root 4. Eoin Morgan © 5. Ben Stokes 6. Jos Buttler (wk) 7. Moeen Ali 8. Chris Woakes 9. Liam Plunkett/Mark Wood/Tom Curran 10. Adil Rashid 11. Jofra Archer.
South Africa (possible) – 1. Hashim Amla 2. Quinton de Kock (wk) 3. Faf du Plessis © 4. Rassie van der Dussen 5. David Miller 6. JP Duminy 7. Andile Phehlukwayo 8. Chris Morris 9. Kagiso Rabada 10. Lungi Ngidi 11. Imran Tahir.
Zak Varik is an Australian columnist/writer who specializes in the sports category cricket. With over four years of experience covering all sorts of cricket tournaments around the world, Zak has gained extensive knowledge in International cricket as well as domestic.
“I’ve loved watching cricket since I was about 7 years old, my childhood hero was none other than Andrew “Roy” Symonds who probably enhanced my love of the game through the years”.
Zak is now an established writer for FCN (Fantasy Cricket News) and has also previously represented other Blogs during his time as a writer.