England in South Africa | Bowlers likely to hold the key
Fast bowlers and spinners could play a significant role in a three-match Twenty20 series between South Africa and England, starting at Newlands on Friday.
South African pacers Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje were a successful combination for IPL runner-up Delhi Capitals, while England’s Jofra Archer was outstanding for Rajasthan Royals.
Mark Wood played in all the matches in England’s 2-1 win over Australia 2-1 in September.
All four fast men have the ability to bowl at around 150 kmph with Nortje clocking a tournament record of 156.2 kmph during the IPL.
England may have an edge in spin bowling, with leg-spinner Adil Rashid a consistent threat in white-ball cricket.
Long-time stalwart Imran Tahir is no longer in the South African team but left-arm unorthodox spinner Tabraiz Shamsi has the ability to be a worthy successor.
Early season pitches in South Africa tend to give some help to both pace and spin, so it is possible that the matches could provide a reasonable contest between bat and ball instead of providing feasts of attacking batting.
South African captain Quinton de Kock and Faf du Plessis had a good stint with the bat in the IPL, while England skipper Eoin Morgan, Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes, Jonny Bairstow and Sam Curran also played well .
The squads (from):
South Africa: Quinton de Kock (capt.), Temba Bavuma, Junior Dala, Faf du Plessis, Bjorn Fortuin, Beuran Hendricks, Reeza Hendricks, Heinrich Klaasen, George Linde, Keshav Maharaj, Janneman Malan, David Miller, Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje, Andile Phehlukwayo, Dwaine Pretorius, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, Lutho Sipamla, Jon-Jon Smuts, Glenton Stuurman, Pite van Biljon, Rassie van der Dussen, and Kyle Verreynne.
England: Eoin Morgan (capt.), Moeen Ali, Jofra Archer, Jonny Bairstow, Sam Billings, Jos Buttler, Sam Curran, Tom Curran, Chris Jordan, Dawid Malan, Adil Rashid, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, Reece Topley, and Mark Wood.
T20I fixtures: Nov. 27 (Cape Town), Nov. 29 (Paarl), Dec. 1 (Cape Town).