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ICC World Cup 2019: England vs South Africa Preview: Hosts look to begin with a bang

England face South Africa in the ICC World Cup 2019 opener

London, May 29: The ICC World Cup 2019, the showpiece event of cricket, will begin on Thursday (May 30) with hosts England taking on South Africa at the Kennington Oval here. The form and a bionic batting line-up suggest that England will be firm favourites but ruling the Proteas out of the contest will be naive. They still have a few classy and experienced players to make their outing count and England will do well not to slip into a complacent mood.

Here's MyKhel takes a look at England and South Africa to find out how these sides weigh up against each other. The preview of the opening fixture.

1. England - strength and weakness

1. England - strength and weakness

The batting line-up consisting Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler and Jason Roy can rip apart any bowling unit and we have seen that on more than one occasion in the recent past. Add to the mix captain Eoin Morgan, Joe Root, Moeen Ali and Ben Stokes, we have a frighteningly efficient batting unit. Their bowlers like Jofra Archer, Liam Plunkett and Mark Wood, who has been declared fit after an ankle niggle, can kick up a storm and if the conditions turn out to be in their favour, then the pace unit can present some real headache to the batsmen. On the paper, it is as complete an ODI unit as you would ever come across and the opponents would be hoping for that one bad day for them.

2. South Africa - strength and weakness

2. South Africa - strength and weakness

For once, South Africa are coming into the World Cup without being anybody's top favourite. And that could be a blessing in disguise for them. Of course, they have some experienced names like captain Faf du Plessis, Hashim Amla, Quinton de Kock, Aiden Markram in the batting and Imran Tahir, Lungi Ngidi and Kagiso Rabada in bowling. If they click as a unit, then it will be tough for England. However, the injury-enforced absence of Dale Steyn could trouble them. And they might be opting for Chris Morris because he can bat a bit too down the order. But challenge for Proteas will be to dish out a collective effort in all departments.

3. Players to watch out for - England

3. Players to watch out for - England

1. Eoin Morgan - Captain and batting mainstay in the middle-order. A player capable of anchoring and accelerating in equal measure.

2. Jofra Archer - He can bowl at 150 kmph and can be destructive down the order. England will be keen for him to do well after all that fast tracking.

Players to watch out for - South Africa

Players to watch out for - South Africa

1. Faf du Plessis - The captain has done well for Chennai in IPL 2019 and in the last 10 ODIs, he has made 427 runs at 71.16. He will be their lynch pin.

2. Kagiso Rabada - He has taken 13 wickets from last 9 ODIs and his economy is an impressive 4.8. With new ball and at death he will have to do a big role.

5. Where to watch

5. Where to watch

The match will be live on Star Sports channels from 3.00 PM and you can also follow updates in MyKhel Blog.

ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 Predictions
Match 33 - June 26 2019, 03:00 PM
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Pakistan
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Story first published: Wednesday, May 29, 2019, 16:14 [IST]
Other articles published on May 29, 2019
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