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WC preview: England launch title bid against South Africa


LONDON: England will put four years of making plans to the check when they face South Africa within the opening match of the 2019 World Cup at the Oval on Thursday.


ICC World Cup 2019: Full Schedule

So embarrassing was once England's first-round exit at the 2015 version in Australia and New Zealand it precipitated a big rethink in their angle to the white-ball recreation.

The transformation has been outstanding, with Eoin Morgan's males mountaineering to the top of the one-day world scores and twice atmosphere a new file for the best one-day world general, which now stands at 481 for 6.

Batting has been the root of England's ODI rejuvenation, with Jason Roy, Jonny Bairstow, Joe Root, Morgan and the dynamic Jos Buttler amongst a most sensible seven who can all trade the course of an innings within the blink of a watch.

"It's an exciting feeling being in this team as you have world-class players all around you and the opposition might get 370, but there's a belief in the dressing room we can chase it down," said England leg-spinner Adil Rashid.

"There is no hesitation or someone going 'I don't know about this'. We all have that belief and confidence we can do it," added Rashid, whose talent to take wickets at key levels has additionally been a very powerful part of England's white-ball revival.

"We will hopefully stick to what we've been doing the past four years and hopefully the World Cup will work out well for us."

- South Africa ache -

South Africa have suffered quite a few World Cup heartache but having been losing semi-finalists four years there is a sense the Proteas are going under the radar this time round.

South Africa trainer Ottis Gibson is satisfied the power is all at the event hosts and cited feedback through England quicks Stuart Broad and James Anderson -- either one of whom not play ODI cricket -- as an example.

"I heard somewhere that my two very good friends Broad and Anderson have said that England will have to do something really bad not to win this World Cup," recalled Gibson, who knows the pair smartly from his time as England bowling trainer.

"As far as they are concerned England have won it already."

Former West Indies speedy bowler Gibson added: "To play the hosts, the #1 team, is the easiest way to start, as it offers us an actual sense of the place we're and what we wish to do going forward.


"But you shouldn't have to be number one to win the event and occasionally you can win the event and you do not even go to number one."


South Africa, captained through Faf du Plessis, are with out retired star batsman AB de Villiers but their most sensible order contains the proficient Quinton de Kock.


They shall be with out Dale Steyn on Thursday as the outstanding speedy bowler nurses a shoulder injury but South Africa have grow to be used to his absence in recent years.


Of arguably higher importance for Thursday's match is that Kagiso Rabada, arguably the leading paceman in global cricket these days, has been handed are compatible following a again injury.


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