No one would dare declare themselves as favourites, but enough of
“They don’t have a weakness,”
Coming from one of the foremost leaders in the game, that is some statement.
On Wednesday, they didn’t even require their talisman, the hulking Ben Stokes, to break a sweat. Jason Roy, another livewire, never got going. They were not needed.
Given the facts, and some of the fiction that is now spouting about the English, you’d swear that the trophy already has their name on it. Of course,
The problem with the Proteas on Wednesday is that they didn’t complete an innings, with bat or ball. They operated at 75 percent, and they were stung for their folly.
The stakes are that high, the margins that miniscule.
Today (12pm start SA time), the visitors will look to square the series and change some opinions at the Rose Bowl in
AB de Villiers and his men took their medicine, sensibly marked Kagiso Rabada’s 22nd birthday on Thursday, then resolved to go again.
It ought to be a lot closer in
The Champions Trophy promises to be one of the most open tournaments in years, with at least four teams in with a fair shout.
England: Jason Roy, Alex Hales, Joe Root, Eoin Morgan (captain), Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes, Moeen Ali, Chris Woakes, Adil Rashid, Liam Plunkett, Mark Wood.
South Africa: Hashim Amla, Quinton de Kock, Faf du Plessis, AB de Villiers (captain), JP Duminy, David Miller, Chris Morris, Wayne Parnell, Kagiso Rabada, Morné Morkel, Imran Tahir.