ENG vs SA 2020: Probable XIs for England and South Africa ahead of first T20I

Sachin Sharma
·3-min read

South Africa v England - 1st T20 International
South Africa v England - 1st T20 International

England return to cricket action as they go up against South Africa in the first of their three-match T20I series on Friday. Both teams are stacked with top-level players who often shine in the shortest format of the game, and we could be in for quite a spectacle at the Newlands stadium.

Fans are eagerly anticipating the series, especially with the two sets of pace bowlers set to battle it out for supremacy. While South Africa have the exciting pace duo of Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje, England are well placed with Jofra Archer and Mark Wood leading the line.

Here we take a look at how the two teams could line-up for the first T20I on Friday.

South Africa

The Proteas face several questions about their line-up going into the series. They haven't played competitive cricket as a team since March, and it will be interesting to see if there are any rustiness or fitness issues among the players.

South Africa have a fairly settled bowling line-up, but their batting order does pose a few questions. Captain Quinton de Kock will no doubt open the innings for South Africa, and it will likely be Reeza Hendricks joining him at the top of the order on Friday.

Rassie van der Dussen is an obvious choice at number three following his impressive performances the last time South Africa faced England. Faf du Plessis will likely bat in the top order as well after impressing for the Chennai Super Kings in IPL 2020. David Miller will come in next, followed by wicket-keeper batsman Heinrich Klaasen. Andile Pheklukawayo's track record with both bat and ball will give him the edge at number seven for South Africa.

Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje will lead the bowling attack, with one of Lungi Ngidi or Beuran Hendricks joining them as the third seamer. The spin bowling option for South Africa will likely be provided by Tabraiz Shamsi.

Predicted XI: Quinton De Kock (WK), Reeza Hendricks, Rassie van der Dussen, Faf Du Plessis, Heinrich Klaasen, David Miller, Andile Pheklukawayo, Kagiso Rabada, Beuran Hendricks, Anrich Nortje, Tabraiz Shamsi

England

England have several decisions to make going into the series, but they have a very set line-up that they could continue with, especially for the first few games.

Jos Buttler will open the innings, despite him being used in the middle order in the IPL. Joining Buttler will be Jason Roy, who returns to the team after injury struggles over the English summer. Dawid Malan, the world's number one ranked T20I batsman, will bat at number three as he aims to continue his stellar run of form in the shortest format of the game.

The rest of England's batting order will likely be flexible, with Jonny Bairstow, Eoin Morgan, and Ben Stokes forming the middle-order.

England like to play with five frontline bowlers, which means one of the Curran brothers will take up the number seven spot. Form with the bat suggests it will be Sam Curran. Jofra Archer and Mark Wood will lead the bowling attack, with Chris Jordan and Tom Curran contending for the third bowler's spot. Adil Rashid will provide the spin bowling option for England, looking to build on his fine series against Australia.

Predicted XI: Jos Buttler (WK), Jason Roy, Dawid Malan, Jonny Bairstow, Eoin Morgan, Ben Stokes, Sam Curran, Tom Curran, Jofra Archer, Adil Rashid, Mark Wood