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World Cup preview: England launch title bid against South Africa


LONDON: England will put 4 years of making plans to the check once they face South Africa in the opening fit of the 2019 World Cup on the Oval on Thursday.


ICC World Cup 2019: Full Schedule

So embarrassing used to be England's first-round exit on the 2015 edition in Australia and New Zealand it precipitated a big rethink of their perspective to the white-ball game.

The transformation has been exceptional, with Eoin Morgan's males mountain climbing to the highest of the one-day world scores and twice surroundings a brand new record for the perfect one-day world general, which now stands at 481 for 6.

Batting has been the foundation of England's ODI rejuvenation, with Jason Roy, Jonny Bairstow, Joe Root, Morgan and the dynamic Jos Buttler amongst a top seven who can all exchange the process an innings in the blink of an eye.

"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 ability to take wickets at key levels has also 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 a lot of World Cup heartache but having been shedding semi-finalists 4 years there's a sense the Proteas are going below the radar this time around.

South Africa trainer Ottis Gibson is satisfied the drive is all on the event hosts and cited feedback through England quicks Stuart Broad and James Anderson -- both of whom now 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 well from his time as England bowling trainer.

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

Former West Indies rapid bowler Gibson added: "To play the hosts, the #1 team, is one of the best ways to start, because it gives us an actual sense of the place we're and what we need to do going ahead.


"But you do not need to be number one to win the event and occasionally you'll win the event and you don't even pass to number one."


South Africa, captained through Faf du Plessis, are with out retired famous person batsman AB de Villiers but their top order contains the gifted Quinton de Kock.


They will probably be with out Dale Steyn on Thursday as the phenomenal rapid bowler nurses a shoulder harm but South Africa have become used to his absence lately.


Of arguably larger importance for Thursday's fit is that Kagiso Rabada, arguably the main paceman in world cricket lately, has been handed are compatible following a again harm.


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