After a dominant display and a 3-0 series win in the T20s, England’s focus now shifts to their three ODIs against South Africa.
It’s going to be interesting to see how they approach the longer white-ball format with some players likely keen to make the most of this opportunity ahead of next year’s T20 World Cup.
Rotation and resting
England named the same team for all three T20s, indicating they feel they’re closing in on a first-choice XI in that format, but the tourists look set to line up very differently over the next week or so.
With Jofra Archer, Sam Curran, Chris Jordan, Dawid Malan, and Ben Stokes all absent from the ODI squad clearly there will be some significant changes.
Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow seem likely to reform the world’s most-feared opening partnership at the top of the order, while Joe Root and Sam Billings should be back in the Three Lions to bolster the middle order.
It would be exciting to see Liam Livingstone given his debut as well, having turned heads with his performances in the T20 Blast and BBL previously.
With Bairstow and Billings in the squad, England could also look to rest Jos Buttler – who has played a lot of cricket this year.
Even without Archer, Curran and Jordan, England have an embarrassment of riches in the seam bowling department and it seems more than like there will be a fair amount of rotation.
Having missed the T20s, Mark Wood and Chris Woakes will no doubt be keen to impress ahead of next summer’s tournament, while the likes of Liam Gregory, Reece Topley, and Ollie Stone should see this as an excellent opportunity to impress.
South Africa’s bowling let them down at points in the T20 series and the absence of Kagiso Rabada, who is set to miss the ODIs due to a groin injury, means they’re now without their best seamer.
That’s a shame because not only is Rabada is a joy to watch but we want to see England’s batsmen tested against the world’s best and Morgan’s men pushed to their limits.
That’s not to say that the Proteas can’t beat England without him but their bowling, which struggled at times in the T20s, is significantly weakened without him.
The form of the batsman is a positive for South Africa heading into the ODIs, however, with both Faf du Plessis and Rassie van der Dussen in good nick and Quinton de Kock showing glimpses of his quality in the T20s.
After their dominance in the T20s, England are going to be high in confidence heading into the ODI series and you feel that should carry them to another victory.
The absence of Rabada is a big blow for South Africa and, with some of their batsmen showing some form, whether they can adequately replace him looks likely to be a key factor in their chances.
Ever the optimists, we’re going for another 3-0 England series win.
1st ODI: South Africa v England – Newlands, Cape Town on Friday 4th of December from 11am (UK)
2nd ODI: South Africa v England – Boland Park, Paarl on Sunday 6th of December from 8am (UK)
3rd ODI: South Africa v England – Newlands, Cape Town on Wednesday 9th of December from 11am (UK)