Clash Of Titans On Boxing Day: England’s Tour Of South Africa

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South Africa vs England, 4th Test

South Africa vs England

Date: 26th to 30th December 2015
Start Time: 1000AM (local time), 0800AM (GMT)
Series Info: Four Match Test Series
Venue: Durban

England have arrived in South Africa with lots of hopes and aspirations. Odds are against them but England Captain Alastair Cook has left no stone unturned in his quest to take the bull by its horns. The Bull, i.e. South Africa, will be wary of this fact and will be in no mood to spare anybody who challenges them in their backyard. Can England pull down the No. 1 Test team in the world?

In the two month long series, England will play South Africa in the four match Test series before moving on to the five match ODI series and then to two match T20i series.

TEAM ANALYSIS
South Africa
South Africa have fared well in the post-Smith and Kallis era, but their recent beating at the hands of India is cause of concern for the management. They have not won a single of their last five Tests, and lost three of them. They are certainly not at their best of form. The problem with South Africa is that they are still in the limited overs mode. We saw that in India. Their batting may revolve around master blaster Hashim Amla, but others would also have to fill in eventually. AB de Villiers and Dale Steyn will continue to play key roles in the team but there’s nothing to get worried as for now.
Last Results: Lost, Lost, Won, Drawn, Lost, Drawn
England
Before leaving for South Africa, Captain Alastair Cook emphasized on the ‘opportunity’ which the team would like to take. With an embarrassing 0-2 thrashing at the hands of Pakistan in UAE, the England team has lots of thinking up to do. England will miss the services of James Anderson but Alex Hales will be the surprise package. Hales would be the eight opening partner for Alastair Cook since the retirement of Andrew Strauss.
Last Results: Lost, Lost, Drawn, Lost, Won

PREDICTION
With the Durban pitch suited for the South African team, the first Test seems to be poised towards the home team more than the visitors. England have played remarkably well in their tour match, scoring an innings victory at Pietermaritzburg, but this will be an altogether different battle. Last time they beat South Africa was about eleven years back under the leadership of Michael Vaughan. To re-create that will be a big task for Alastair Cook and his team mates. South Africa should be able to tame the visitors, provided they stick to their basics

Photo: [South Africa vs England] | ©espncricinfo.com

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