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England vs South Africa Fantasy ODIs

November 20, 2009

One of the strongest squads England has put together in years will take on a formidable South African side in a five ODI series beginning today.

All of England’s batsmen have played substantial knocks in their past two series and the return of Kevin Pietersen adds to their strength. Anderson, Broad, Mahmood are the preferred first line up for the pacer’s slots with Bresnan and Onions being the replacements in that order of preference.

The loss of Broad and Swann to injuries for the first two ODIs weakens their bowling as well as lower order batting stocks. It also means that Bresnan and Adil Rashid will play the first two ODIs.

South Africa captain and opener Graeme Smith, who has been in superb form for two seasons now faces a choice between Amla and Kallis as his opening partner. Kallis will play even if he doesn’t open but if he does then Amla will sit out. Roelof is the guy who might be dropped out if Amla does play.

Among the bowlers, Charl Langeveldt is likely to make the team ahead of the promising but erratic Wayne Parnell as partner for Dale Steyn; also the selectors would want to be cautious about Parnell as he is coming off an injury induced break. Lonwabo Tsotsobe is a question mark, the side already has surplus pace arsenal thanks to its army of all rounders.

Kallis, Duminy, Morkel, Botha, McLaren and van der Merwe provide all rounder power to Smith and Boucher is ahandy wicketkeepre batsman. They compliment the few specialists they have like Smith and de Villiers.

England owed their victory in the first one to a bungle up by the South African batsmen and were roundly beaten in the second one. The return of Strauss at the helm should rally the team to compete harder and hopefully we’ll get some fierce competition in the series.

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