South Africa - England 1st T20 Preview: Teams look to gain form ahead of upcoming World T20

South Africa and England meet on Friday in Cape Town, in the first of two T20 internationals which will bring an end to the tour

South Africa - England 1st T20 Preview: Teams look to gain form ahead of upcoming World T20
James Vince will be hoping to continue the impressive form he showed against Pakistan last year (photo: Getty Images)

After England prevailed in the Test series, and South Africa came from behind to claim victory in the ODI series, the two sides now meet in a pair of T20 internationals. 

The first of the T20's takes place on Friday in Cape Town as preparation for the upcoming T20 World Cup takes centre stage. 

The two squads are similar to those seen in the recent ODI series, with a couple of alterations in either camp. Eoin Morgan remains as England captain for all one-day matches, whilst Faf du Plessis takes lead of the South Africans for the T20 format. 

England looking to get back on track

Having gone 2-0 up in the best-of-five ODI series before losing 3-2, Trevor Bayliss will certainly be hoping that his side can claim victory in the first of two T20's on Friday. 

When disecting the ODI series defeat, Bayliss mentioned England's lacklustre fielding as one of the reasons they fell short. The catching in particular was not good enough, with a trio of drops in the fourth ODI letting their hosts off the hook as they grabbed a one wicket victory

Alex Hales hits out in England's warm-up game against South Africa A (image via: Getty)

In a warm-up game against a strong South Africa 'A' side on Wednesday evening, England claimed victory by 44 runs thanks to 78 from the in-form Alex Hales, and quickfire runs from Jos Buttler (29 from 18) and Morgan (42* from 13). Reece Topley flashed his wicket taking ability once more with three more scalps during chase, with Adil Rashid adding a pair of top-order wickets. 

Following the warm-up game at Paarl, Morgan said that he expects England to play their first choice XI for the two T20s, with a world competition just around the corner. "Nobody will be rested over the next two games," he said. "They are games we really want to win."

Proteas hoping to carry forward ODI momentum

Having beaten England in their last three encounters, it's fair to say South Africa will feel confident they can keep the winning run going against the tourists. 

AB de Villiers found form in the final ODI with a brilliant hundred, whilst the likes of Hashim Amla and Quinton de Kock looked immovable at times. Kagiso Rabada only added to his potential stardom with crucial wickets towards the latter end of the series, while Kyle Abbott was an under-the-radar success with the new ball. 

The South African's have added a new coach to their setup, with the appointment of Neil McKenzie. The former international has joined the Proteas as batting coach for the England T20 series, as well as the World T20 competition in India. 

These two sides will meet eachother during the group stages of the T20 World Cup, and head coach Russell Domingo is hoping his side can lay down a marker in the two upcoming fixtures. "It will help us understand their strengths and weaknesses and any mental advantage we can get over them will be very important for us.