England finished as the runner-up in the 2018 T20 World Cup. Since then they have a great run in the shortest format of the game. They have played as many as 17 matches, which is the second most after Thailand. They thrashed India and Sri Lanka by 3-0 margins in March 2019 and also whitewashed Pakistan by 3-0 in December.
In between, they played against West Indies and defeated by 1-0 in a three-match series where two games were abandoned. Moreover, they went down to Australia by 1-2 in the T20Is in the Ashes. Despite having a win percentage of over 70 since the last T20 World Cup, their recent form can pose trouble. They recently lost by Australia and India in the tri-series and managed to win only one game out of four.
England team have been going through a change since the Ashes series where England head coach Mark Robinson stepped down. Some key players like Sarah Taylor, Laura Marsh and Jenny Gunn also hung up their boots. England meanwhile, gave chances to the young players like legbreak bowler Sarah Glenn, pacer Freya Davies and offspinner Mady Villiers. They have given some impressive performances to seal their spots in the World Cup squad as well.
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However, their top-order failed to do well in recent times with Amy Jones opening the innings. As a result, veteran Tammy Beaumont has moved down the order which became beneficial for England in a few games. However, their captain Heather Knight has been in a great form and the team mostly depend on her for her all-round ability.
With some of the key player’s presence, England are expected to do good in the series opener against South Africa.
On the other hand, South Africa recently faced a 1-3 defeat against New Zealand. Since the last T20 World Cup in 2018, they’ve won eight and lost as many games. Lizelle Lee and Mignon du Preez are constant with the bat while injury had left their captain Dane van Niekerk out of the game alongside vice-captain Chloe Tryon.
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However, some of their players were part of Women’s Big Bash League and that’ll certainly help them in the tournament. In the batting, the team is dependent heavily on Lee in the opening and du Preez in the middle. Most recently Dane van Niekerk and Chloe Tryon have also joined and they have been in good touch since then.
In the bowling, they bank on their pace attack – Marizanne Kapp and Shabnim Ismail. Alongside them, spinner Sune Luus has been in a great form with the ball. With the presence of all these key players, they are expected to make an upset in the series opener.
Amy Jones (WK), Danielle Wyatt, Fran Wilson, Tammy Beaumont, Lauren Winfield, Heather Knight (C), Katherine Brunt, Anya Shrubsole, Sophie Ecclestone, Sarah Glenn, Natalie Sciver, Georgia Elwiss, Kate Cross, Freya Davies, Mady Villiers
Lizelle Lee, Dane van Niekerk (C), Marizanne Kapp, Chloe Tryon, Mignon du Preez, Sune Luus, Laura Wolvaardt, Trisha Chetty (WK), Shabnim Ismail, Masabata Klaas, Ayabonga Khaka, Nadine de Klerk, Tumi Sekhukhune, Nondumiso Shangase, Nonkululeko Mlaba