ENG vs SA, 1st Test: Preview, stats, and Fantasy XI
England and South Africa will battle it out in a three-match Test series with the first encounter starting tomorrow at Lord's. England have been on a joyous ride since Brendon McCullum was appointed head coach. Together with skipper Ben Stokes, England's aggressive brand of cricket saw them blank New Zealand before winning the rescheduled Test versus India. SA have a stiff task ahead.
The pitch at Lord's is well balanced and fans will be braced for competitive cricket. Pacers are likely to have their say and bowl in the right areas to trouble the batters. The average first innings score here is slightly above the 300-run mark. The match will start at 3:30 PM IST. One can watch live action on the Sony Ten Network.
England have won each of their last four Test matches at home. The batting, in particular, has improved largely with Joe Root leading from the front. Jonny Bairstow has made a huge difference as well. With the ball, James Anderson will continue to lead the line. The return of Ollie Robinson serves as an advantage. Matthew Potts has also been impressive since coming on.
SA are playing their fourth series of the ongoing ICC World Test Championship 2021-23. They lead the proceedings in the points table. However, the Proteas will need to be ready for a resurgent England. Batting wise, the onus will be on Dean Elgar and Rassie van der Dussen in the absence of skipper Temba Bavuma. Pacers Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje have important roles.
England probable XI: Alex Lees, Zak Crawley, Ollie Pope, Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow, Ben Stokes (c), Ben Foakes (wk), Stuart Broad, Matthew Potts, Jack Leach, James Anderson. SA probable XI: Dean Elgar (c), Sarel Erwee, Rassie van der Dussen, Aiden Markram, Ryan Rickelton, Kyle Verreynne (wk), Marco Jansen, Simon Harmer, Keshav Maharaj, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje.
Dream11 Fantasy option 1: Jonny Bairstow, Dean Elgar (vc), Rassie van der Dussen, Ollie Pope, Joe Root (c), Ben Stokes, Keshav Maharaj, James Anderson, Matthew Potts, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje. Dream11 Fantasy option 2: Jonny Bairstow (c), Dean Elgar, Rassie van der Dussen, Aiden Markram, Joe Root (vc), Ben Stokes, Keshav Maharaj, James Anderson, Matthew Potts, Kagiso Rabada, James Anderson.
Root has scored 10,458 runs in Tests at 50.76. He needs 42 runs to reach a mark of 10,500. Bairstow has 5,415 runs and can get past former New Zealand cricketer Martin Crowe (5,444). Elgar (4,864) is 136 shy of the 5,000-run mark. Anderson has 657 wickets at 26.36. Rabada (243) needs seven wickets to get to a mark of 250.