South Africa will aim to begin series with a win vs England © AFP
South Africa will aim to begin series with a win vs England © AFP

After having a debacle during the Freedom Trophy against India, South Africa will look to overturn their fortunes in the Basil D’Oliveira Trophy 2015-16. South Africa will embrace on a four-match Test series against England at home, with the first Test beginning on Boxing Day at Durban. Captain Hashim Amla will want his batsmen to perform up to the standards that they have set for themselves if they want a shot at Basil D’Oliveira Trophy. Vishal Mehra takes a look on who South Africa might field come December 26 from the squad selected for the first two Tests. FULL SCORECARD: South Africa vs England, 1st Test at Durban

Top Order: Dean Elgar and Temba Bavuma are most likely to keep their spots as openers in the team as they have been playing at the international level. Both had their moments in the recently concluded series against India but were very inconsistent in their performances. The series against England might give them another chance to show their talent as the home environment might make them more comfortable. Amla, who has been having a horrible year so far with the bat in Tests, will want to spend as much time in the middle to get back his form before the Australians tour the safari nation. Amla will also gain confidence in knowing that England go into the first Test missing their most lethal bowler, James Anderson.

Middle Order: South Africa’s most prolific and dependent batsman AB de Villiers looks to settle beautifully in the middle order, with most of the team’s batting revolving around him. De Villiers who was recently adjured ICC ODI Cricketer of the Year will want to continue his form against England. Faf Du Plessis who was also conferred by ICC as T20 Cricketer of the Year, will desperately want to do well with the bat in the Test format as well. He looked out of sorts against India on turning pitches but will hope that bouncy and fast pitches at home will only help his cause. JP Duminy, who himself is having a mixed bag kind of season with the bat, will look to make it clear that he is more a batsman in the team than a bowler who can bat as well. Duminy would also want to have his home record corrected where he has averages only 27.10 in 12 Tests. READ: Joe Root’s biggest challenge in Tests awaits him during England tour of South Africa 2015-16

Lower Order: Coming in next would most likely be Rilee Rossouw, who if played will be making his debut for South Africa. Rossouw given his domestic record will only add to the batting line-up as he can also be used as a floater if need be. Dale Steyn who is declared fit could make a comeback into the team, his tally against England is an impressive 45 wickets. Steyn will cherish bowling against the likes of Alastair Cook, Joe Root and James Taylor. Dane Piedt will be the only spinner in the African attack after Imran Tahir was left out from the squad. Piedt bowled well in India with pitches helping spin bowling.

Morne Morkel and Kagiso Rabada will complete the pace attack for South Africa. Morkel who bowled his heart out in dry and dusty tracks dished to him in India, will be relieved to see a bit of bounce and pace on home turf. Rabada who didn’t have many wickets to show his extraordinary bowling against India in the whites, will be content with himself after being one of Africa’s most economical bowlers. Rabada had a brilliant tour of India and will only add to his prowess against England.

South Africa likely XI (batting order):Dean Elgar, Temba Bavuma, Hashim Amla(c), AB de Villiers (wk), Faf Du Plessis, JP Duminy, Rilee Rossouw, Dale Steyn, Dane Piedt, Morne Morkel, Kagiso Rabada

(Vishal Mehra is a reporter at CricketCountry, who enjoys his weekly dose of anime as refreshment and plays cricket once a white moon. His twitter handle is @vishal_oxyjinn.)