After what was an enthralling Test match, it now is time for some white-ball cricket action. The last time South Africa and England locked horns in a white-ball game was early this year in March when South Africa was handed a big 137-run defeat by England during the World Cup knockouts to seal a berth in the finals. Now with the start of the 3-match ODI series, there’s a chance for South Africa to treat their fresh wounds. Whereas, England will want to continue their dominance and carry on their momentum to great heights.
All of the One-day International (ODI) games since the 1st of June 2022 are part of the ICC Women’s Championship (IWC) 2022-25 cycle. The previous two cycles in 2014-16 and 2017-20 saw Australia win the crown and this time around there are two more joinings the mix in Ireland and Bangladesh as part of the IWC. Each team will play eight 3-match ODI series, 4 home and 4 away over the next three years. The end of the cycle in 2025 will see the top 5 teams and the host directly qualified for the World Cup while the rest of the team will fight it out for a spot in the qualifiers. England is yet to play their first ODI so they are yet to get on the table that South Africa and India with 6 points having won all their 3 games.
This will be England’s first game of the IWC 2022-25 cycle and will wish to get a win straight away. England with the service of Katherine Brunt for the white ball games does look like a very different side. With bat in hand, England is a side as good as any with the likes of Tammy Beaumont at the top and Heather Knight, Nat Sciver and Danni Wyatt in the middle order. England has struggled with their opening and the key slot has had a few players audition, Emma Lamb is the one England has heavily invested in and it’s time she repays the faith shown with consistent runs which have been a long due. England’s strong middle order only gets stronger with the presence of Sophie Dunkley and Amy Jones strengthening their batting lineup.
England with the ball in hand will continue to miss Anya Shrubsole, but to have Katherine Brunt is a massive plus and she’ll be bowling upfront alongside Kate Cross. Issy Wong was very impressive in the Women’s Big Bash League (W-BBL) and the recently concluded one-off Test match that should prove enough for the young and exciting Wong to get her ODI debut cap tomorrow. If there’s a bit of assistance for spinners then the exciting spin pair of Sophie Ecclestone and Charlie Dean will be back, if not a pacer more in Lauren Bell will be handed a debut or pace all-rounder Alice Davidson-Richards will be back in the ODI XI after a long disappearance.
South Africa a few days back had a huge blow come their way with the retirement news of Lizelle Lee who’s been a crucial part of their team since 2013. South Africa has got a fantastic opener in Laura Wolvaardt, but with a rookie in Andrie Steyn has had trouble with their opening like England does. The middle-order with Sune Luus, Marizaane Kapp, Lara Goodall, and Anneke Bosch is a good one but will need a lot more from individuals if Chloe Tryon and Trisha Chetty don’t make it to XI. South Africa will surely miss the services of Mignon du Preez who announced her retirement from ODI and Test cricket post the World Cup in April as she often hung in with the tail and bailed South Africa out of losing situations.
South Africa does have a really good bowling attack and it was about a few fitness concerns that restricted South Africa from playing their best bowling attack during the one-off Test, but if now can manage to bring forward their best attack they really can trouble the English batting lineup and create a good chance for themselves in the opening ODI. Marizanne Kapp alongside Shabnam Ismail and Ayabonga Khaka is simply a threat to any team when at even their slightest best. If Chloe Tryon does get match fit she’ll have a good spin in Tumi Sekhukhune to test the English batting lineup with some quality spin.
A lot of repair work is what lies ahead for South Africa and a lot of responsibility on the senior pros to deliver day in and out isn’t a good one for any team to have. England with strength in their batting will want it to go by the plan and the return of Katherine Brunt should prove enough for the bowling unit to be up and about. What can be expected is a cracker of an opening game at the County Ground, Northampton at 6:30 PM IST.
Schedule – South Africa Women’s tour of England 2022 (Limited-overs)
Loves all things female cricket