Morgan hails Crane ahead of T20 campaign against South Africa

England captain Eoin Morgan has spoken highly of the uncapped Mason Crane ahead of his side's first T20 against South Africa on Wednesday.

The Hampshire leg spinner, who's first First Class wicket was that of Kumar Sangakkara, looks set for his international bow on his home ground against the Proteas.

“He is still very young but we want to see what he’s about and the earlier he gets into his apprenticeship the better," Morgan said ahead of the game. “You would want him playing as much cricket as he can, a bit like Adil (Rashid) did and get around the world and play as well.

“I’ve played against Mason a little bit last year and seen a lot of footage from the North v South games. He did offer a bit and he was very impressive."

Alongside Crane, Liam Livingston, Dawid Malan, Tom Curran and Craig Overton are all gunning for their international debuts, but Morgan has admitted everyone in the squad will get a chance in the three-match series.

Roy returns for England

The squad still contains some experienced faces, with Jason Roy coming back into the side to partner Alex Hales at the top of the order.

Morgan said: "He has been working tremendously hard. In international cricket, if you are striking the ball well or are in good form it doesn't mean you will score runs.

"He came back for his county and scored runs and the proof is in the pudding. He looked good in the nets and did all the right things but couldn't seem to score runs."

Joe Root, Jake Ball, Ben Stokes and Adil Rashid have all been rested after a disappointing Champions Trophy exit.

South Africa without key names

South Africa, on the other hand, led by AB De Villiers whilst Faf Du Plessis is awaiting the birth of his first child, are without Hashim Amla, Kagiso Rabada and JP Duminy.

Instead, Andile Phehlukwayo, Mangaliso Mosehle, Jon-Jon Smuts, Dane Paterson and the highly-rated Dwaine Pretorius could all come in.

Recent form

South Africa come into the series off the back of a Champions Trophy campaign that saw them exit the competition at the group stage.

They won their last T20I in a one off against New Zealand, but were beaten 2-1 in a three-match series by Sri Lanka.

England also lost their last T20I series, a 2-1 defeat to India earlier this year.