South Africa - England World T20 Preview: Can England rescue their campaign?

England's second match of their World T20 campaign sees them take on South Africa in Mumbai, in what will be a crucial encounter for both side's campaigns.

South Africa - England World T20 Preview: Can England rescue their campaign?
England suffered defeat the last time they faced South Africa; can they get their revenge tomorrow? (Photo: AP)

South Africa will do battle with England tomorrow the World T20 Super 10 Stage. It is the Proteas' opening match in the competition and England's second match in Group 1. Without any rain delays, the game is scheduled to begin at 2:00 PM GMT at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.

England will be desperate to recover their faltering start to the tournament. After such a crushing defeat at the hands of the West Indies, and more specifically Chris Gayle, the team's confidence is likely to be rock bottom. A victory is exactly what England will need to reignite the excitement around this young side.

South Africa haven't had their chance to impress yet in this World T20 competition, but impressive victories in the build up against teams such as Australia and England means that their confidence is riding high. They are one of the notable absentees from the list of previous World T20 champions, but with this tournament they are the hot favourites to take the trophy home.

Three gun openers competing for just two spots and a mass of talent to form an explosive middle order, combined with an explosive bowling attack, should propel South Africa all the way to the final.

Previous Meetings

Matches against South Africa are quickly becoming as common as a net session for England, with the Proteas having been their most recent T20 series prior to this World T20. England will be hoping they can put the memories of that tour quickly behind them as they were embarrassed by the South Africans' far superior power hitting.

It is yet to be seen whether or not England have learnt from their hammering, although judging by the way the bowling attack collapsed in the face of Gayle, the prospects aren't great.

Key Players

There is much hype around England's new big hitters in the middle order, but Joe Root showed how valuable a class touch and technique can be in the modern game. He may not possess the sheer power of Ben Stokes or the ingenuity of Jos Buttler, but Root's sheer ability to find the gap is unrivalled. He may never be the man you want to face the last five overs of a contest, but he is the perfect man to anchor the innings.

De Villers shone during the previous T20 series, can he be the difference again? | Photo: getty
De Villiers shone during the previous T20 series, can he be the difference again? | Photo: Getty
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South Africa have a wealth of star quality, but one man is by far and away the star attraction. AB de Villiers is South Africa's equivalent of Chris Gayle, the explosive batsman has the ability to turn a game on its head in just one over. His powerful and inventive nature makes him a nightmare to bowl at.

Probable Team Lineups

South Africa: Hashim Amla, AB De Villiers (wk), Faf Du Plessis (c), JP Duminy, David Miller, Rilee Roussow, David Wiese, Chris Morris, Kagiso Rabada, Dale Steyn, Imran Tahir.

England: Jason Roy, Alex Hales, Joe Root, Jos Buttler (wk), Eoin Morgan (c), Ben Stokes, Moeen Ali, Adil Rashid, Chris Jordan, David Willey, Liam Plunkett.