South Africa v England, 1st T20I
27/11/20, 4pm (GMT), Cape Town
England return to South Africa nine months after their last trip, which concluded with the tourists claiming a 2-1 win in the three-match T20 series.
The two teams face each other in a repeat of that series, with South Africa at the significant disadvantage of not having played international cricket since the pandemic brought a halt to the calendar shortly after the last series – although several players have appeared in the IPL.
England will be at full strength but have struggled with the bat in their warm-up matches, though their firepower is enough to make any bowler weak at the knees and they all have a point to prove as they battle for a place in the World Cup XI.
The Proteas may be under-prepared – having struggled even for warm-up matches – but with an in-form Quinton de Kock and Kagiso Rabada will pose a real threat to an England side looking for their best combinations.
Jos Buttler to top score for England – 3/1
Provided Buttler returns to the top of the order – after a brief spell in the middle in the IPL – for England, expect him to make a statement.
He currently averages 51 at the top of the order for England in T20 cricket and will be out to secure that berth ahead of the World Cup.
England to win 2-1 – 6/4
We expect England’s battle-hardened players to hit the ground running against South Africa, even if there are stodgy wickets that are unlikely to suit the touring batsmen.
Eoin Morgan’s side have developed a habit of winning games from unlikely positions and while we do not expect them to completely outplay South Africa, they should be able to record a series win over a team in something of a transition.