England v South Africa 1st ODI Live and Preview
After displacing England from the top of ICC Test Rankings, South Africa will look to continue their surge in the one-day format as well with the five-match ODI series set to begin on Friday. The first match will be played in Cardiff.
It has been a troublesome past month for England, both on the field as well as off it. In the test matches, they were beaten 0-2 as the hosts suffered from several shocking news.
Off the field, much of the talk was over Kevin Pietersen’s derogatory text messages that he sent to the South African players.
Such was the criticality of the matter that Pietersen, despite withdrawing his retirement from limited overs cricket, was not selected in the ODI squad.
There are no major surprises in the squad with the only notable name missing is that of Stuart Broad.
Broad, although finished as the highest wicket-taker for England in the Test series, was lacking pace and has been rested ahead of the T20 assignments against Proteas as well as the World T20 title defence in Sri Lanka next month.
The team will be led by Alastair Cook who masterminded the 4-0 whitewash against Australia earlier this summer.
The opponents, South Africa, are in no mood to let the opportunity go by.
They are almost level on rating points with England and a series win will see them topple England in the ODIs as well.
Dean Elgar, the uncapped all-rounder, will take his place in the 15-man squad. In some of the notable changes to the squad, Imran Tahir makes a comeback since playing his last ODI in the 2011 World Cup.
Similarly, pacer Ryan McLaren returns after a two-year hiatus. Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel will lead the pace attack.
The two teams will meet in Cardiff, where their match on the last tour was washed out by rain after just a solitary over.
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