England certainly got the better of South Africa in their recent Test series, which ended in a three-one win for the tourists. The home side would like to avenge this defeat, to an extent, during these ODIs. For England, it's an opportunity to remind the opposition about who won the World Cup last year.
It's also a chance for the English to show that they are just as good under the captaincy of Eoin Morgan as they are within the leadership of Joe Root. South Africa have also split their Test and ODI captaincy lately, with Quinton de Kock the new man in charge for this series and future ODIs.
South Africa vs England ODI Schedule
The have played four Tests and now the teams will play three ODIs in six days before starting a three-match T20I series.
1st ODI: Tuesday, 4 February 2020
Venue: Newlands, Cape Town
Start time: 16:30 (IST) and 11:00 (GMT)
2nd ODI: Friday, 7 February 2020
Venue: Kingsmead, Durban
Start time: 16:30 (IST) and 11:00 (GMT)
3rd ODI: Sunday, 9 February 2020
Venue: Wanderers, Johannesburg
Start time: 13:30 (IST) and 08:00 (GMT)
South Africa vs England 2020 – ODI Squads
The hosts have certainly made a good few changes for this series, bringing in a handful of new caps to navigate a future that won't have Hashim Amla, JP Duminy and others around. The Proteas have always been big on blooding new caps through T20I cricket – and this time the pipeline has been extended to ODI cricket.
Wicketkeeper-batsman Kyle Verreynne is a hot talent, as witnessed for the Paarl Rocks in the Mzansi Super League and Cape Cobras in South African domestic cricket. Then there is seamer Sisanda Magala, who bowls with good pace and athleticism despite a hefty frame.
The inclusion of T20I batsman Janneman Malan in the ODI squad is a promising move. He has all the credentials to be a genuine prospect in international cricket – and a trio of matches against a challenging England seam attack will really put him to the Test.
For England, Tom Banton‘s inclusion is big news. He has burst onto the global cricket calendar, most recently with the Brisbane Heat in Australia's Big Bash League. England expect big things of him, so are throwing him straight into the thick of it against South Africa. He's talent will be on display during the Indian Premier League later this year as well.
Matt Parkinson is in the squad, but is going to find it tough to get into the first-choice XI. He toured with the Test squad recently – and didn't get a match. This time, he has another leg-spinner in Adil Rashid in the ODI squad. Joe Denly, too, can bowl a bit of leg-spin. And with Moeen Ali back to turn the ball away from the right-handers, Parkinson might end up being a passenger again.
The Proteas will be properly challenged by England's explosive batting, even if Ben Stokes is not around for this series. From Morgan and Banton to Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow, there's a hefty test awaiting the host attack. This is a big opportunity for Bairstow to remain relevant in the limited-overs scene, as he has fallen from favour in Test cricket.
South Africa vs England ODI Squads
|Quinton de Kock (captain)
|Eoin Morgan (captain)
|Rassie van der Dussen
South Africa vs England 2020 – ODI Series Preview, Latest Odds and Predictions
Unibet have South Africa and England priced at 2.35 and 1.60, respectively, to win the series. Even if they are not the form team, betting on the South Africans to win at home at these odds is a good choice. The fresh blood they've brought in against a some wary England Test cricketers should make for a good contest.
The last 30 ODIs between the two teams have seen England win 16. Overall, the record is just as tight – 29 wins to England, 27 wins to South Africa, one tie and three no-results. Their last ODI series in South Africa was in 2015-16, when the hosts won a massively competitive affair three-two. England were up two-nil, but then fell to three successive defeats.
That man Banton is offered at 4.75 to be England's top batsman. A cheeky punt at 12.00 for Moeen to top England's run-scoring charts isn't a bad idea for those keen on some longer odds.