Based on recent performances, overall impact, and credit points, we have opted for a fantasy cricket team.
Pitch Report for Today’s Match
The teams chasing have won the last four 4 T20Is at the Sophia Gardens in Cardiff. When England and Sri Lanka played consecutive games at the venue in 2021, the average first and second innings scores read 120 and 119 respectively. Unlike Bristol, the ground dimensions are quite big.
Time: 28 July, 11.00 PM IST
Probable XIs for England & South Africa
Probable XI for England: Jos Buttler (c & wk), Jason Roy/Phillip Salt, Dawid Malan, Jonny Bairstow, Moeen Ali, Liam Livingstone, Sam Curran, Chris Jordan, Adil Rashid, Richard Gleeson, Reece Topley
Playing XI for South Africa: Quinton de Kock (wk), Reeza Hendricks, Rilee Rossouw/Rassie van der Dussen, Heinrich Klaasen, David Miller (c), Tristan Stubbs, Andile Phehlukwayo, Kagiso Rabada, Keshav Maharaj, Lungi Ngidi, Tabraiz Shamsi/Dwaine Pretorius
Power Players for England vs South Africa, 2nd T20I Match
As other South African bowlers kept travelling across Bristol, Lungi Ngidi’s change of pace at regular intervals saw him finish with figures of 5 for 39. He has bagged 17 wickets against England in 7 T20Is.
With every passing game, the English summer keeps getting better for Jonny Bairstow. His breathtaking innings of 90 off 53 balls (3 fours and 8 sixes) saw England get past a total of 230. Given Jason Roy’s lean run, Bairstow might even be asked to open the batting.
Dawid Malan’s love affair with South Africa continued in Bristol as he compiled a fine 43 off 23. In 8 T20Is against them, he has collected 338 runs, including the highest score of 99*.
Moeen Ali created history at Bristol by slamming the fastest half-century by an Englishman in the format. It took him a mere 16 balls. Later in the game, he also got the all-important wicket of Reeza Hendricks.
Smart Picks for England vs South Africa, 2nd T20I Match
In only his third T20I, Tristan Stubbs made a huge difference in fantasy leagues by blasting 72 off 28 balls. His swashbuckling innings included 2 fours and 8 sixes. As we saw in Bristol, he also presents an extra bowling option for South Africa.
After the dismissals of Quinton de Kock and Rilee Rossouw in quick succession, Reeza Hendricks continued his attack (57 off 33) and kept South Africa in the hunt. His free-flowing approach at the top augurs well for his team.
Once again, Adil Rashid made his presence felt by taking 2 for 17. Taking the attack to him on the bigger grounds of Cardiff will not be easy. He has picked 4 wickets in the format in his last two visits to the venue.
Kagiso Rabada might have gone wicketless at Bristol, but South Africa will bank on him to rattle the England top order. He has 9 T20I wickets to his credit, including the best figures of 3 for 48 against them.
Like Rabada, Chris Jordan’s wickets column also remained empty. However, he is known for his ability to operate at the death. In the India series, he bagged 8 wickets. He is also a capable batter and a brilliant fielder.
Although Richard Gleeson was expensive at Bristol, he managed to pick 3 wickets. He has taken 19 wickets in his last 9 competitive T20 games.
David Miller doesn’t boast of great numbers against England (164 runs at 20) in the format. That said, he has the experience and form to turn it all around going forward.
Today’s Match Preview
The all-round firepower of England proved too hot to handle for South Africa at Bristol. A few big games were also missing from the South African camp, and with the series at stake, one would expect them to field their best XI. Meanwhile, England have never lost a single T20I at Cardiff in 8 visits and will be the favourites to seal the deal.