ICC Champions Trophy hosts England are all set for a three-match T20 series against South Africa which begins on June 21 at the Rose Bowl in Southampton. England were impressive in the bilateral series against the Proteas, winning the three-match series 2-1. England continued their impressive show in the Champions Trophy as well, reaching the semifinals, but lost their way against Pakistan. South Africa on the other hand would look to pull up their socks and push themselves hard to win the three-match T20 series. They lost the one-day series against England 2-1, which was followed by a disappointing Champions Trophy campaign where they lost their group matches against India and Pakistan and got knocked out of the tournament.
England will be playing with a balanced squad and the focus will be on the swashbuckling opening pair of Jason Roy and Alex Hales who pose a major threat in the shorter format of the game. In home conditions, it will be a mammoth task for Morne Morkel, Imran Tahir and Andile Phehlukwayo to contain the England top order. England’s batting line-up is very deep and the middle order, with the likes of Eoin Morgan, Jonny Bairstow and Jos Buttler, gives them full license to hammer the opposition in any given situation. Morgan has been the highest scorer in T20 this year for England with 208 runs in four matches, followed by Alex Hales with 168.
England have rested Ben Stokes, Adil Rashid and Moeen Ali for the series and have included some new names in the squad– Dawid Malan, Tom Curran, Liam Livingstone and Craig Overton. On the other hand, South Africa will play a young side with many new names in the squad and it will be interesting to see how well will they be able to handle the pressure against the hosts. AB de Villiers and David Miller are the only two experienced batsmen who will lead the South African batting attack.
All big names including Hashim Amla, Quinton de Kock, David Miller, Faf Du Plessis and Kagiso Rabada have been rested for the series. Although, Amla and de Kock have been the highest scorers in T20 this year for South Africa. The young South African squad includes Reeza Hendricks, Dane Paterson, Mangaliso Mosehle, Tabraiz Shamsi.
England last played a T20 match against India in February, losing by 75 runs. Whereas, South Africa registered a 78-run victory in their last T20 match which they played against New Zealand in February.
England: Eoin Morgan (captain), Sam Billings, Dawid Malan, Mason Crane, Tom Curran, Liam Dawson, Jason Roy, Alex Hales, Chris Jordan, Liam Livingstone, Jonny Bairstow, Craig Overton, Liam Plunkett, Jos Buttler, David Willey, Mark Wood.
South Africa: AB de Villiers (captain), Reeza Hendricks, Dane Paterson, David Miller, Morne Morkel, Dwaine Pretorius, Chris Morris, Mangaliso Mosehle (wk), Wayne Parnell, Farhaan Behardien, Andile Phehlukwayo, Imran Tahir, Tabraiz Shamsi, Jon-Jon Smuts.