England cricketers are at the top of their game in South Africa, and they are well on course to win the five-match ODI series. England can clinch the series with two matches to spare, if they defeat South Africa in the third ODI at SuperSport Park in Centurion on Tuesday.
With South Africa in dire straits, they have to clinch victory in the third one-dayer if they are to have any chance of winning the series at home. They will be more than eager to give all that they have got in Centurion, as they suffered a series loss in the Tests as well.
Make no mistake, South Africa have not played poor cricket in the last two ODIs. With South Africa chasing a mammoth 400 to win in the first ODI, Quinton de Kock took them to a decent position -- 255/4 in 33.3 overs -- with a century, but the heavens opened up and the match was decided via the D/L method. Had the match gone the entire 50 overs, anything could have happened with De Kock unbeaten on 138 from 96 balls.
England defeated South Africa by five wickets and 22 balls remaining, chasing down the target of 262 runs, in the second ODI.
Though South Africa might have been decent so far, England have been the better team. England have played some quality cricket in the series with both the bat and ball. Jos Buttler has been their star player, scoring 105 and 48 runs in the last two innings, while the bowlers, especially Reece Topley, have done well as well.
But, South Africa have no excuses, they have to register their first win in the fifty-over format in Centurion. South Africa, to a certain extent depend on opener Hashim Amla to deliver the goods. Because when Amla gives them a good start, it allows the middle order to go hammer and tongs in the second half of the innings.
However Amla has failed so far, scoring just 10 runs in 2 matches. He needs to shoulder the batting responsibility at the top and provide solid support to De Kock.
"It's important that I get runs every game. We are a team that has had seven batters for a long time and it's been very important for those seven batters to take responsibility and score the runs for the team and not leave it for No.8, 9, 10 and 11," Amla was quoted as saying by ESPNCricinfo.
England do not have any such problems, with all the batsmen contributing. Along with Buttler, Alex Hales and Joe Root have been consistent in the series. If these batsmen once again get their act together, South Africa may suffer a series loss in the ODIs as well.
This England team is enjoying the leadership of Eion Morgan, who has led his team really well in the series. With the visitors 2-0 up in the series, England are favourites for another win in Centurion.
Where to watch live
South Africa vs England 3rd ODI is scheduled for 1:30 local time (5pm IST, 11:30am GMT) start with Live TV coverage in India on Ten Cricket while all the South Africa vs England 3rd ODI action can also be watched via live streaming online on Ten Sports live.
Viewers in South Africa and Sub Saharan Africa can watch the South Africa vs England 3rd ODI live on SuperSport; live streaming onSuperSport Live Video.
Viewers in the US can watch the match live on Willow TV, with live streaming on Willow TV Online.