In a rather rushed 3-match ODI series, South Africa host the new No.1 ODI side England from January 27th 2023 in a series rescheduled from 2020 due to COVID-19. The series is part of the 2020-23 Cricket World Cup Super League and has 10 points at stake in every match. The last time the teams met in an ODI series it ended 1-1 in England in 2022.
This is an important series for South Africa as they are yet to book their place at the 2023 ODI World Cup (29 points behind West Indies, who occupy the final automatic qualifying spot). The Proteas are also in a transition period introducing separate coaches for Tests and white ball cricket recently – Shukri Conrad and Rob Walter respectively. While the coaches take charge on February 1, the England tour will be handled by Conrad while Walter wraps up his commitments with the Central Stags in New Zealand.
Temba Bavuma who isn’t a part of the SA20 will captain a side rife with seasoned campaigners like Quinton de Kock, Rassie van der Dussen, SA20 leading run-scorer Heinrich Klaaasen, David Miller, Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi, Keshav Maharaj, Tabraiz Shamsi, Marco Jansen and Wayne Parnell. They will be joined by the current 3rd-highest SA20 wicket-taker and leading wicket-taker in this season’s domestic one-day cup – fast bowler Sisanda Magala making a comeback after a year.
For those wondering about the missing name – Faf du Plessis, there’s good news because Walter has already begun to talk about having him rejoin the ODI setup. The newly appointed white-ball coach acknowledged that South Africa needs players of Du Plessis’ calibre to rebound from recent setbacks.
There’s good news for English cricket fans as well – Jofra Archer is set to make his long-awaited return to international cricket after being side-lined for almost 2 years due to a stress fracture to his back and elbow problems. He recently returned to competitive action with MI Cape Town in the SA20. Reece Topley makes a comeback as well after missing the T20 World Cup due to injury. Topley has been playing in the SA20 along with Archer.
While World Champs England, led by Jos Buttler go to into the series missing much of their established line-up including Joe Root (preparing for the upcoming New Zealand Test series), Jonny Bairstow and Liam Livingstone (both injured), Harry Brook is set to make his ODI debut after scoring big in the Pakistan Test series (468 runs at 93.60 with 3 hundreds) and Ben Duckett makes a comeback to ODIs for the first time since 2016 after his heroics in Pakistan as well (357 runs at 71.40).
The ODI series, played over six days, coincides with South Africa’s T20 franchise competition, the SA20, and England’s Test team play a two-match series in New Zealand starting the following week. To accommodate the series, SA20 will take a week off.
Total – 66
South Africa – 31
England – 29
1st ODI – Friday, January 27 – Mangaung Oval, Bloemfontein
2nd ODI – Sunday, January 29 – Mangaung Oval, Bloemfontein
3rd ODI – Wednesday, February 1 – Kimberley Oval, Kimberley
South Africa: Temba Bavuma (c), Quinton de Kock, Reeza Hendricks, Marco Jansen, Heinrich Klaasen, Sisanda Magala, Keshav Maharaj, Janneman Malan, Aiden Markram, David Miller, Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje, Wayne Parnell, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, Rassie van der Dussen
England: Jos Buttler (c), Moeen Ali, Jofra Archer, Harry Brook, Sam Curran, Ben Duckett, Dawid Malan, Adil Rashid, Jason Roy, Phil Salt, Olly Stone, Reece Topley, David Willey, Chris Woakes