About the Match
The ongoing 3 match ODI series between South Africa and England is being perceived as preparation for the ICC Champions Trophy to be also held in England in June. In the first game, England came on top with a convincing win and would now want to the seal the series in the second game itself. The 2nd match will be played at Southampton on 27th May and South Africa need to win here at all costs to keep the series alive and make the third game the decider.
The current fifth-ranked team in the ICC ODI team rankings, England, played some very good cricket in the first game and were able to defeat a better ranked South Africa. The current England side is a very dynamic ODI outfit and they have been making some steady and definitive progress under the leadership of Eoin Morgan in the last eighteen months.
Everything worked like a charm for England in the first game. Their batsmen, led by Captain Eoin Morgan and Moeen Ali, posted a handsome total, and then the bowlers defended the score with some good disciplined bowling. Chris Woakes bowled superbly and Moeen Ali chipped in with a couple of wickets to complete a great all-around effort for him in this game.
England had been in good ODI form even before this series. They had done well against Ireland recently, where they clean swept Ireland in a two-match ODI series. Ben Stokes, who was in sensational form with both bat and ball in the IPL, did not have a big impact in the first game, but he will have to play a major role for England in this game. However, England displayed quite well in the first game that they have other players as well who can be match-winners on their day.
England is entering this game with a well-balanced squad and the confidence and momentum of a win in the first game. Though how successful they will be in the second match, depends upon how well they are able to handle the pressure of expectation.
South Africa entered this series as the number one ranked ODI team in the world, but lost to England in the first match. They must be having high expectations of themselves and with the kind of personnel at their disposal, will be looking forward to doing well this series and enter the Champions Trophy with some momentum, and hence it is imperative for them to get a win in this game.
South African bowling fell flat in the first game, and as a result, they gave away a total which proved to be out of their reach. Though Hashim Amla and Faf du Plessis tried hard, and at one stage South Africa actually looked in control of the chase, but a heap of wickets, in the end, meant that South Africa could not get close to the English total.
South Africa is playing with a very well balanced squad in this series. AB de Villiers is back to lead them and he looked in decent touch in the first game. Quinton de Kock has returned from injury, and he had done well in the practice games, but could not make a major impact in the first game.
South Africa is a well-balanced team and has been in good ODI form of late. Though they lost the first game, this still can be a great chance for them to get a series win in England under their belt. They will just want to forget about the first game and focus on playing some good aggressive cricket.
Both England and South Africa are two good ODI sides, but England prevailed in the first game. England will also have the home advantage, but South Africa is not alien to bouncy conditions either. Both these sides have had success recently, but England will carry the confidence and momentum from their win in the first game, and this gives them an upper hand in this contest.