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Toss Winner - England won the toss and chose to bowl first
New-look South Africa aim to spring a surprise against England at Centurion!
Expect South Africa to prevail in this Boxing Day Test!
Tournament: South Africa vs England 2019 | Format: TEST | Venue: SuperSport Park, Centurion, South Africa | Toss: To BowlBet Now
Host South Africa will be looking to get off to a good start when they take on England in the opening game of the four-match Test series at SuperSport Park in Centurion on Thursday.
The home side will be looking to overturn their fortune against England side, who hasn’t enjoyed a good time in Test cricket so far this season.
Last time when the two teams faced each other in a bilateral series, Joe Root’s side beat South Africa 3-1.
South Africa have included six uncapped players for the home series against England. Rudi Second, Beauran Hendricks, Dwaine Pretorius, Andile Phehlukwayo, Pieter Malan and Rassie van der Dussen have earned their maiden call-up to the Test squad.
On the other hand, Joe Root will be hoping that the side can well in this four-match Test series. The side performed reasonably well in the warm-up games played at Benoni.
With Graeme Smith named Director of Cricket by Cricket South Africa and Mark Boucher named new coach for the national side. With so many changes to the setup, South Africa will be keen to turn thing around in Test cricket.
Led by captain Faf du Plessis, the home side will be looking to field their best combination for this game. Temba Bavuma has suffered an injury and will miss the Boxing Day Test against England. Uncapped Rassie van der Dussen is all set to make his debut for South Africa.
In the batting department, the side will be relying on the likes of Faf du Plessis, Quinton de Kock and Aiden Markram to deliver the bulk of the runs. Surprisingly, wicket-keeper batsman Quinton de Kock has topped the batting charts for South Africa in Test cricket. Left-hander has accumulated 584 runs in 7 Test matches at an average of 44.92, which includes two centuries and four half-centuries to his name.
Captain Faf du Plessis will need to lead from the front and deliver a big score in this Boxing Test against England. The 35-year old has been a bankable performer for the side in Test cricket. For the current year, du Plessis has scored 448 runs in 6 Test matches at an average of 44.80 with one century to his name.
Dean Elgar and Zubayr Hamza will be looking to make contributions for the side in this Test.
In the bowling department, the side will be relying on the likes of Kagiso Rabada, Vernon Philander and Anrich Nortje to make crucial breakthroughs.
Dean Elgar, Faf du Plessis (captain), Aiden Markram, Zubayr Hamza, Rassie van der Dussen, Quinton de Kock (wk), Vernon Philander, Keshav Maharaj, Anrich Nortje, Kagiso Rabada, Dwaine Pretorius
Zubayr Hamza, Faf du Plessis, Anrich Nortje, Quinton de Kock, Aiden Markram, Dean Elgar, Dwaine Pretorius, Kagiso Rabada, Keshav Maharaj, Vernon Philander, Rassie van der Dussen
The visitors have adjusted well to the conditions and will be keen to deliver a strong bat and ball against South Africa.
In the batting department, the side will be relying on Joe Root, Ben Stokes, and Rory Burns to deliver the bulk of the runs. In 11 Test matches, Root has accumulated 774 runs at an average of 36.85 with two centuries to his name. All-rounder Ben Stokes has been a consistent performer for England in Test cricket. Left-hander has so far scored 772 runs at an average of 48.25 with two centuries.
Joe Root will be hoping that his team can continue their good form and take advantage early on in the series. In the batting department, Jonny Bairstow could come in place of Ollie Pope. Opening batsman Rory Burns, Ollie Pope, and Joe Denly scored runs for the side in the warm-up matches played at Benoni.
In the bowling department, the side will be looking towards the likes of Stuart Broad, Jofra Archer, and James Anderson to provide crucial breakthroughs. Pacer Stuart Broad has topped the bowling charts for England so far this season. In 10 matches, Broad claimed 38 wickets at an average of 25.78.
James Anderson, Joe Denly, Jos Buttler (wk), Jonny Bairstow, Rory Burns, Ben Stokes, Jofra Archer, Joe Root (c), Dominic Sibley, Stuart Broad, Zak Crawley
Jonny Bairstow, Joe Root, Jofra Chioke Archer, Stuart Broad, Jos Buttler, Sam Curran, James Anderson, Ben Stokes, Dominic Sibley, Joe Denly, Rory Burns
Looking at the pitch conditions, it is more than likely that South Africa will go in with for seamers and just one spinner, which means only one of Dwaine Pretorius or Dane Paterson, can cement their spot in the final eleven. There might be some thunderstorm on the opening day of the Boxing Day Test at Centurion.
SuperSport Park in Centurion is going to host the opening game of the series between South Africa and England. South Africa will take heart from the fact that they have never lost a Test match at Centurion since 2000.
The side that wins the toss would be looking to bowl first and exploit fresh pitch conditions. The pitch is expected to have nice carry and bounce for quick bowlers.
Despite all the changes to the cricket setup, South Africa will be favorites to win this opening game against England. Captain Faf du Plessis, Aiden Markram, Dean Elgar and Kagiso Rabada will be determined to deliver the goods with bat and ball for South Africa.
On the other hand, England will need to post competitive scores on the board to put pressure back on South Africans.
Expect South Africa to prevail in this Boxing Day Test!
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