- The Cricket World Cup 2019 starts tomorrow with a crucial opener between England and South Africa
- England go into the contest as favourites based on home ground advantage and form
- Dale Steyn will miss the opener as he continues to nurse a shoulder injury
With the cricket world cup 2019 less than 24 hours away, Briefly.co.za previews the opening match between England and South Africa.
The world cup has eluded the Proteas since readmission, with a number of cruel and embarrassing exits.
Unlike many other tournaments, they enter this one as dark horses, rather than favourites.
England will be confident going into the encounter – their magnificent form and home ground advantage makes them definite favourites for Thursday.
The Proteas have also been dealt a heavy blow as veteran fast bowler, Dale Steyn, will miss the opening fixture.
Steyn is still recovering from a shoulder injury and Chris Morris or Dwaine Pretorius could take his place.
This should bolster the batting line-up, but England big hitters, such as Jason Roy, will be licking their lips at the prospect of facing the weaker bowling attack.
Two key players for South Africa will be Quinton de Kock and Kagiso Rabada.
De Kock has often set the tone at the top of the innings and could be pivotal if England set a mammoth target.
Rabada was instrumental in the IPL and will be the leader of the bowling attack in Steyn’s absence.
The fast bowler combines pace with control and has the ability to use reverse swing – which comes in handy at the death when yorkers are required.
The two key performers for England are touted to be Jonny Bairstow and Jofra Archer.
Both men were brilliant in the IPL and enter the tournament full of confidence.
It’s been predicted that the Oval pitch will provide assistance to the spinners, so Imran Tahir and Adil Rashid could come into their own.
However, overhead conditions could be a factor as overcast weather should aid the swing bowlers.
The match is set to start at 11h30 and will be aired on Supersport 2 and SABC 3.
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