Inexperienced England Still T20 Favourites

Cricket Preview: Inexperienced England Still T20 Favourites

2017-06-20
Preview of the three-match Twenty20 series between England and South Africa.  

England are the 4/6 favourites to win the three-match Twenty20 series against South Africa despite naming an inexperienced squad.

Both sides will head into Wednesday night's opener at the Ageas Bowl on the back of Champions Trophy disappointment and with several regulars being rested, several new faces will be looking to show their nous in the shortest form of the game.

Captain Eoin Morgan can call upon five uncapped players in Hampshire, with Liam Livingstone, Dawid Malan, Mason Crane, Tom Curran and Craig Overton all hoping for a chance to impress in the absence of more established names.

Asked for the one thing he was looking for in the series against the Proteas, Morgan replied: “I'd like to see some of the younger guys come in and take their chance.

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“Throughout the last couple of years we have had opportunities that have come up and we had some very good players take them.

“Jonny Bairstow is a great example of that and has always scored runs every time he has come in, and to grow even more strength in depth in the squad I think we need to see even more guys come in and take chances like that.”

While Morgan would not be drawn on which of his new talent would start the opener, he revealed the quintet will all be given their debuts over the course of the three matches.

Morgan also put all of his faith in Jason Roy and said the Surrey batsman and Alex Hales remain the best option for England at the top of the order.

Roy was dropped from the team during the Champions Trophy, missing the semi-final defeat to eventual winners Pakistan having hit just 68 runs in his last nine one-day international innings.

But he returned to form on Saturday with a knock of 92 as Surrey beat Worcestershire to reach the last four of the Royal London Cup and he is 7/2 to be England’s top scorer in the series, behind Hales at 11/4.

England are 6/4 to win the series 2-1 and 7/2 to enjoy a 3-0 whitewash, while South Africa can be backed at 6/5 to gain revenge for defeat in the 50-over format.