Mumbai, March 17 (IANS) Title contenders South Africa will aim to get their World Twenty20 campaign off to a winning start when they take on an inexperienced England side in a Group 1 clash at the Wankhede Stadium here on Friday.
It will be a must-win game for England, as they lost to West Indies by six wickets in their first match on Wednesday, thanks to Chris Gayle’s unbeaten 100.
A loss against South Africa might make it tough for the Englishmen to qualify for the semi-finals, while their opposition will look to beat a young English side and get their first win in the World T20 under their belt.
England, who came into the Windies match after wins over New Zealand and local side Mumbai in the warm-up matches, failed to impress with the ball as the young bowling line-up proved too costly against Gayle.
Coach Trevor Bayliss, who has considerable experience in the Indian Premier League (IPL), will hope to pass on as much advice as possible to his young side and must ensure they do their homework well before they take on a side that has quite a number of match winners.
The Bayliss-coached side will once again rely on openers Alex Hales and Jason Roy to give them a good start and with talented Joe Root, Jos Buttler, skipper Eoin Morgan and all-rounder Ben Stokes to follow, the line-up looks a competitive one.
Spinners Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid, who went for plenty of runs against the West Indies, alongside seamers David Willey and Reece Topley will have to make improvements before facing hard-hitters AB de Villiers, David Miller, Jean-Paul Duminy, skipper Faf du Plessis.
On the other hand, South Africa, after a convincing victory against local side Mumbai in their warm-up match, will aim to keep things simple.
As always, the side will depend on their deep batting line-up to do the job.
With the likes of Quinton de Kock and Hashim Amla at the top and De Villiers, Miller, Duminy, Du Plessis and all-rounders Chris Morris and David Wiese in the middle and lower order, that makes a destructive bating line-up on any given day.
Off-spinner Imran Tahir will aim to get the most out of the Wankhede pitch that will tend to be on the greener side like always. Young Kagiso Rabada and the experienced Dale Steyn will come handy in these conditions favouring pace and bounce.