England, who are Evens to win on Sunday, will be trying to take the lead over South Africa for the first time in any format this summer in the fourth ODI between the two sides at Lord’s. Alastair Cook’s men claimed their first win over the Proteas at the Oval on Friday night with a comprehensive four-wicket victory, thanks to wickets from James Anderson and Jade Dernbach backed up by some solid batting from Jonathan Trott and one-day specialist Eoin Morgan. However, to think that the tide has turned would be naive. The tourists are one of the strongest sides in the world at the moment and their mentality is not one to be questioned. The clash at Lord’s is a mouth-watering one with the series evenly poised at 1-1 with just two games to play.
Relief for England. A first win of the summer against South Africa has been a long time coming and victory at The Oval would have been a tonic. It was ‘old faithful’ which inspired them: swing. James Anderson and Jade Dernbach claimed seven wickets between them. Eoin Morgan claimed the headlines for his unbeaten 73 but Jonathan Trott’s 71 made sure this was a team effort. No changes expected for England for this one having finally found a magic formula. Alastair Cook, newly installed as Test skipper, will be feeling good. And, after all, England reclaimed their No 1 ranking to reverse a horrible slump.
A look at South Africa’s card from the last time out leaves a feeling of what might have been. Five players got starts yet each of them failed to take their team to an imposing total. That could be fatigue, complacency, or, of course, smart England plans. The tourists may try to crowbar Ryan McLaren, the all-rounder, back into the side because of the worry that Wayne Parnell is too high at No 7. Prior to The Oval Hashim Amla had six scores of 50 or over in his last seven one-day internationals. Odd that he failed to add another seven to keep his improving record. AB de Villiers is warming up nicely and might be one to follow. For England to secure a second win both their batsmen and bowlers will have to be on top form, backed up by world-class fielding. But South Africa will not lie down easily.
Match Timings: Sept 02, 2012 (10:15 local | 09:15 GMT | 14:45 IST)
England (from) 1 Alastair Cook (capt), 2 Ian Bell, 3 Jonathan Trott, 4 Ravi Bopara, 5 Eoin Morgan, 6 Craig Kieswetter (wk), 7 Samit Patel, 8 James Tredwell, 9 James Anderson, 10 Steven Finn, 11 Jade Dernbach.
South Africa (from) 1 Graeme Smith, 2 Hashim Amla, 3 Dean Elgar, 4 AB de Villiers (capt & wk), 5 JP Duminy, 6 Faf du Plessis, 7 Ryan McLaren, 8 Wayne Parnell, 9 Robin Peterson, 10 Dale Steyn, 11 Morne Morkel.