BLOEMFONTEIN - The Proteas will be eager to rectify the wrongs that cost them the Test series against England when the two sides meet in Bloemfontein on Wednesday for the first of five One-Day International matches.

South Africa suffered a 2-1 series defeat to England in what turned out to be the team’s poorest Test showing in nearly a decade. Proteas coach Russel Domingo said that his charges would approach this series as they would any other, but knows his men will be under more pressure following their recent failure. “There are no soft series or less important series, they are all important, particularly coming off a Test series loss,” said Domingo.

Match starts at 4:30 Pm

South Africa and England enter the series having had good results in the 50-over format following the disappointments of the ICC World Cup 2015 in Australia and New Zealand. South Africa was patchy during the World Cup but managed to reach the semifinals, but Domingo’s men had since gone on to win a series against New Zealand at home and an away series in India.

England was dismal at the World Cup, failing to reach the knockout stage after losing all its matches against other Test-playing nations. But since then, the road to recovery has been tremendous, Eoin Morgan’s boys beat New Zealand 3-2 in a home series, lost by the same margin against Australia and went on to beat Pakistan 3-1 in the United Arab Emirates.

England will be bolstered by the arrival of Morgan, opener Jason Roy and Jos Buttler, the wicketkeeper-batsman who did not play in the Test series. Buttler recently hit England’s fastest one-day century, off 46 balls, in the series decider against Pakistan in Dubai. The English bowling arsenal will also get a boost with the presence of pacemen Reece Topley, Chris Jordan and David Willey, as well as leg-spinner Adil Rashid, who all had some success in the comfortable win in a warm-up match against South Africa A in Kimberley on Saturday

South Africa’s one-day specialists include David Miller and Rilee Rossouw, the hard-hitting left-hand batsmen, allrounder Farhaan Behardien and leggie Imran Tahir, who was left out of the Test squad. AB de Villiers, the South African captain and the world’s No. 1-ranked ODI batsman, will hope to make a quick return to form after making three ducks in his last three Test innings.

South Africa has also added fast bowler Marchant de Lange to its squad following the unavailability of Dale Steyn, who had missed the last three Tests and also Kyle Abbott, who is set to miss the first ODI due to a hamstring injury picked up during the last Test. “Marchant gives us more options with our fast bowlers because there is no Steyn, no (Vernon) Philander, no Kyle Abbott,” said Domingo, who has expressed concern over the increasing workload on Morne Morkel and Kagiso Rabada, the rising star. “The big concern is the fact that Rabada and Morkel have played a lot of cricket of late and have bowled so many overs, we need to manage them over the next few days.” David Wiese was also called up to the squad on Monday to bolster the Proteas’ all-rounder options.


SOUTH AFRICA: AB de Villiers (captain), Kyle Abbott, Hashim Amla, Farhaan Behardien, Quinton de Kock (wkt), Marchant de Lange, JP Duminy, Faf du Plessis, Imran Tahir, David Miller, Morne Morkel, Chris Morris, Kagiso Rabada, Rilee Rossouw, David Wiese.

ENGLAND: Eoin Morgan (captain), Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Stuart Broad, Jos Buttler (wkt), Alex Hales, Chris Jordan, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, James Taylor, Reece Topley, David Willey, Chris Woakes.