Daijiworld Media Network
Manchester, Sep 10: Welcome to the 2nd T20I between England and South Africa from Old Trafford, Manchester. South Africa are leading the seres 1-0 after a clinical performance at Durham. England have a lot of hard work ahead of them if they are to defeat a Proteas side on top of their game. There could be a possibility that Hashim Amla could play in the RSA team today. Stay tuned for the toss and the team updates.
It looks like the match is going to start on time. Fingers crossed that there are no interruptions.
The covers have been slowly removed but there is still a spot of rain in the air.
Well, we may have to wait for the toss and the team updates. The rain has arrived bang on schedule and the covers are coming onto the main pitch.
England have won the toss and elected to field
South Africa (Playing XI): Richard Levi, Jacques Kallis, Hashim Amla, AB de Villiers(w/c), Jean-Paul Duminy, Albie Morkel, Justin Ontong, Johan Botha, Robin Peterson, Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel
England (Playing XI): Alex Hales, Craig Kieswetter(w), Luke Wright, Eoin Morgan, Jonathan Bairstow, Jos Buttler, Samit Patel, Stuart Broad(c), Graeme Swann, Steven Finn, Jade Dernbach
Match Preview :
South Africa are having a tour to cherish at the expense of the hosts. The main aim of Smith and his army when they set foot to England was to win the Test series and annex the No. 1 Test rank. They did so with minimum fuss and with a lot of authority. The visitors had their chances in the ODI series that followed and even spent a couple of days at the top of the charts before the hosts came storming back to make sure that at least one of their pole positions remained intact. The dominating start to the T20 matches show that South Africa are well on their way to finishing the tour on a winning note.
With the T20 cup just a few days away, the attention of every cricketing nation has turned towards the shortest format of the game. South Africa presents a different opposition altogether and Stuart Broad, the England T20 skipper was quick to acknowledge after a lame defeat in the 1st T20I at Chester-le-Street. England have been found wanting against quality spin and it was no surprise when questions were raised about their ability to counter spinner friendly surfaces in the T20 cup in Sri Lanka.
It was not just spin that did the damage at Chester-le-Street, Dale Steyn provided sharp and incisive bursts to keep the English batsmen under pressure. It was no surprise that the fiery fast bowler was named as the Man of the Match. The English batting was a huge let-down in the first match and left their bowlers with little chance to defend an under-par total.
South Africa seem to have covered all the bases, the bowlers were disciplined enough to keep the opponents down to a modest total and despite the initial hiccups, they managed to chase down the target with ease. A fit and firing line-up, South Africa's only concern will be the prolonged lack of form from Faf du Plessis. Faf struggled in the ODI series and came short in the 1st match as well, he would know that he needs a decent innings at Old Trafford especially if he wants to keep Hashim Amla on the bench.
England might be forced to ring in some changes after the debacle at Chester-le-Street. Ravi Bopara has failed to make use of the long rope provided and might cede his place to Luke Wright. England looked pace heavy at Durham, with Old Trafford having a history of supporting spin, it might result in Danny Briggs playing ahead of either Finn or Dernbach.
South Africa have no worries as such, but de Villiers has hinted that his team might experiment a bit as they seek the perfect team for the T20 cup.
Someone like Wrighty has played some really good knocks in domestic cricket in the past couple of weeks - Stuart Broad hints at Wright getting a game at Old Trafford.
We know what he is capable of and we are backing him to come right. We need to help him get his confidence back - AB de Villiers says that Faf du Plessis will be given time to rediscover his touch.