Match :South Africa vs England (SA vs ENG), 1st Test
Thursday, December 26
SuperSport Park, Centurion
01.30 P.M (IST)
The Boxing Day Test is finally here and two teams which have not had a great run in Test cricket lock horns with each other on Thursday. The South African side is studded with a lot of new names but all of them are potential talents who have impressed a lot in the domestic circuit. R Van der Dussen, R Second, P Malan, D Paterson and Pretorius. The English side includes D Sibley, Z Crawley, P Brown, O Pope, all from the New Zealand tour. D Bess, C Overton, M Parkinson are the new additions for this tour. Both sides have dropped a lot of established players in this format with the WTC in mind which is a gutsy move. Root has found his lost touch which is a big bonus for the English team which missed his consistency with the bat in the Ashes and it dearly cost them the Urn. The English side looks a bit settled whereas the Proteas have to fix a lot of areas which are a concern with unstable middle order, backup for Ngidi. Van der Dussen and D Pretorius will make their debut tomorrow. Both the teams have the ability to counter lateral movement and swing and can bowl raw pace which could make this game a delight for Test cricket lovers.
The pitch has got a lot of grass cover on it and it looks like a batsman’s grave at first glance. Both the teams will look to go with three pacers and a spinner who can aid the team when the pitch gets dry on Days 4 and 5. The team winning the toss will look to bat first.
Weather Report :
The weather will fluctuate between 25-32 degrees and there are high chances of rain interrupting Day 2 and Day 3. But that will not affect this match from getting a result.
C Woakes and B Stokes are expected to miss this game.
Predicted XIs for SA vs ENG:
D Elgar, A Markram, R van der Dussen, F Du Plessis(c), Z Hamza, Q de Kock(wk), D Pretorius, K Maharaj, K Rabada, V Philander, D Paterson
D Sibley, R Burns, J Denly, J Root(c), O Pope, J Butler(wk), S Curran , J Leach, S Broad, J Anderson, J Archer
South Africa :
Elgar who is known for his grit under tough conditions will be a key player for the Proteas on this pitch. His patience and determination makes him a force with the bat at the top.
Faf Du Plessis has not had a good time with the bat in the longer format. The skipper will be wanting to turn things around as his form will be crucial.
Root is back to his favourite slot at 4 and scored a magnificent 200 against New Zealand. This knock should be enough to get him going in the four match test series.
Pope has had a fantastic County season with 8 hundreds @57 average. He scored a good 75 in the second test in New Zealand and a 100 in the practice game against South Africa.
Captaincy Options for SA vs ENG:
1. J Root
2. Q de Kock
3. V Philander
4. O Pope
Fantasy Team & Point Projections
Q de Kock, Grade A, Points:50-60
J Root, Grade A+, Points:120-130
D Elgar, Grade A, Points:90-100
R van der Dussen, Grade A, Points:60-70
O Pope, Grade A, Points:60-70
F Du Plessis, Grade A, Points:70-80
R Burns, Grade A, Points:70-80
V Philander, Grade A, Points:70-80
K Rabada, Grade A, Points:50-60
J Anderson, Grade B, Points:50-60
J Archer, Grade A, Points:50-60
The views expressed here are that of the author and not an actual reflection of the number of points that the player will earn.