Team Combination

South Africa enters the Champions Trophy with a
strong squad on the back of a good run in ODI
cricket. Their main selection dilemma was whether
to pick the experienced but out-of-favour Morne
Morkel - who has been plagued with injuries - but
alongside Rabada, Morkel's pace will be key. The
batting department looks as potent as ever, with
the flamboyant Quinton de Kock and the classy
Hashim Amla seeking to forge one of the best ODI
opening partnerships in history.

They will be backed up by the dependable AB de
Villiers and Faf Du Plessis, while their lower
middle order will feature David Miller, JP Duminy
& Chris Morris. A lot will depend on talisman AB
de Villiers, who had an inconsistent IPL and is
still on the comeback trail from injury. Imran Tahir
will spearhead the spin attack and depending on the
conditions he will be supported by Keshav Maharaj
and all-rounder Duminy.

Opponents and Key Tactics


South Africa open their campaign against Sri Lanka
followed by games against Pakistan and India.

Sri Lanka – Sri Lanka are one of the weaker sides in
the tournament and South Africa should look to take
the attack to their bowling, with their strong batting
lineup. However, the return of Lasith Malinga may also
give Sri Lanka some much needed help. South Africa will
benefit from the English conditions where the swing will
help Morkel, Rabada and Morris. With no stand-out top order
batsman in this young Sri Lankan team, this could be one of
the easier games for South Africa.

Pakistan – Pakistan have a quality fast bowling attack,
but their inconsistent batting line up may prove too
weak against South Africa’s quick bowlers. With Morkel's
pace and Rabada’s accuracy, Pakistan's batsmen could be
in real trouble, which would then allow Tahir to tighten
the pressure. Although Pakistan have a strong bowling attack,
South Africa’s batsmen should be able to deal with it. South
Africa should look to make Pakistan chase under pressure,
especially if they put up a strong total. If South Africa can
get rid of Babar Azam early then the pressure of scoring fast
may cause Pakistan problems, a lot will bank on the experience
of Malik and Hafeez.India – Arguably South Africa’s hardest game
of the group stages, holders India will be one of the favourites
to win the tournament. However, a never-ending home season
followed by the IPL may cause fatigue among the Indians.
Not to mention the absence of KL Rahul and the questionable
recent form of Sharma, Kohli and Dhawan. India’s superstar
batsman and captain Virat Kohli had a dreadful time the last
time he was in England, failing to register a single half-century
in Tests and ODIs. If South Africa’s quicks can get rid of the top
three early and put pressure on Dhoni and Yuvraj, anything
can happen. The moving ball from South Africa’s pacers may
cause problems, but if South Africa’s batsmen get going
against India then the game couldbe theirs. Quinton de Kock
will be the one to watch, as his record against
the Indians is very impressive.

Recent ODI performances


South Africa are coming into the tournament on the back
ff some impressive ODI results. They have won their last
four ODI series beating Ireland, Australia, Sri Lanka and
New Zealand. In fact, the last time South Africa lost a
bilateral series was away against Bangladesh in July 2015.
Their most notable ODI series victories were beating India
and New Zealand away from home. It seems that they have
the right formula for success with a perfect balance between
bat & ball.

South Africa’s last ODI series in England was the Natwest
Series way back in 2012 which ended up drawn at 2-2. Their
next appearance in England was the 2013 Champions Trophy
which produced a mixed bag of results having played 3 they
won 1, lost 1 and tied 1 by DL method.

Predicted Outcome –
This has been said before but this could be South Africa’s
tournament.With other teams having inconsistent ODI results
or out-of-form star players, it may just be the perfect time
for South Africa to win the Champions Trophy for the second
time in their history. An aggressive bowling attack with a
balanced batting attack backed up by some useful all-rounders,
this could be the Proteas'tournament.

Probable XI:

1.De Kock
2.Amla
3.Du Plessis
4.Villiers
5.Duminy
6.Miller
7.Morris
8.Tahir
9.Morkel
10.Rabada
11.Phehlukwayo/Maharaja

Team Combination
South Africa enters the Champions Trophy with a strong squad on the back of a good run in ODI cricket. Their main selection dilemma was whether to pick the experienced but out-of-favour Morne Morkel - who has been plagued with injuries - but alongside Rabada, Morkel's pace will be key. The batting department looks as potent as ever, with the flamboyant Quinton de Kock and the classy Hashim Amla seeking to forge one of the best ODI opening partnerships in history.

They will be backed up by the dependable AB de Villiers and Faf Du Plessis, while their lower middle order will feature David Miller, JP Duminy & Chris Morris. A lot will depend on talisman AB de Villiers, who had an inconsistent IPL and is still on the comeback trail from injury. Imran Tahir will spearhead the spin attack and depending on the conditions he will be supported by Keshav Maharaj and all-rounder Duminy.

Opponents and Key Tactics
South Africa open their campaign against Sri Lanka followed by games against Pakistan and India.

Sri Lanka – Sri Lanka are one of the weaker sides in the tournament and South Africa should look to take the attack to their bowling, with their strong batting lineup. However, the return of Lasith Malinga may also give Sri Lanka some much needed help. South Africa will benefit from the English conditions where the swing will help Morkel, Rabada and Morris. With no stand-out top order batsman in this young Sri Lankan team, this could be one of the easier games for South Africa.

Pakistan – Pakistan have a quality fast bowling attack, but their inconsistent batting line up may prove too weak against South Africa’s quick bowlers. With Morkel's pace and Rabada’s accuracy, Pakistan's batsmen could be in real trouble, which would then allow Tahir to tighten the pressure. Although Pakistan have a strong bowling attack, South Africa’s batsmen should be able to deal with it. South Africa should look to make Pakistan chase under pressure, especially if they put up a strong total. If South Africa can get rid of Babar Azam early then the pressure of scoring fast may cause Pakistan problems, a lot will bank on the experience of Malik and Hafeez. India – Arguably South Africa’s hardest game of the group stages, holders India will be one of the favourites to win the tournament. However, a never-ending home season followed by the IPL may cause fatigue among the Indians. Not to mention the absence of KL Rahul and the questionable recent form of Sharma, Kohli and Dhawan. India’s superstar batsman and captain Virat Kohli had a dreadful time the last time he was in England, failing to register a single half-century in Tests and ODIs. If South Africa’s quicks can get rid of the top three early and put pressure on Dhoni and Yuvraj, anything can happen. The moving ball from South Africa’s pacers may cause problems, but if South Africa’s batsmen get going against India then the game could be theirs. Quinton de Kock will be the one to watch, as his record against the Indians is very impressive.

Recent ODI performances
South Africa are coming into the tournament on the back ff some impressive ODI results. They have won their last four ODI series beating Ireland, Australia, Sri Lanka and New Zealand. In fact, the last time South Africa lost a bilateral series was away against Bangladesh in July 2015. Their most notable ODI series victories were beating India and New Zealand away from home. It seems that they have the right formula for success with a perfect balance between bat & ball.

South Africa’s last ODI series in England was the Natwest Series way back in 2012 which ended up drawn at 2-2. Their next appearance in England was the 2013 Champions Trophy which produced a mixed bag of results having played 3 they won 1, lost 1 and tied 1 by DL method.

Predicted Outcome – This has been said before but this could be South Africa’s tournament. With other teams having inconsistent ODI results or out-of-form star players, it may just be the perfect time for South Africa to win the Champions Trophy for the second time in their history. An aggressive bowling attack with a balanced batting attack backed up by some useful all-rounders, this could be the Proteas' tournament.

Probable XI:
1.De Kock
2.Amla
3.Du Plessis
4.Villiers
5.Duminy
6.Miller
7.Morris
8.Tahir
9.Morkel
10.Rabada
11.Phehlukwayo/Maharaja