This will be the 14th encounter between England and South Africa in T20Is    Getty Images
This will be the 14th encounter between England and South Africa in T20Is Getty Images

Following a commendable nine-wicket win in the opening tie, hosts England get set to face off South Africa again in the second game of the three-match Twenty20 International (T20I) series at the County Ground in Taunton on Friday. England, who were certainly the better team in the opening T20I managed to put up an enthralling performance, both with the bat and the ball, as South Africa succumbed to a poor start to the series, as they still recover from the group stage exit of the just concluded ICC Champions Trophy 2017. Nevertheless, this tie would be an interesting one as well, with England looking to seal the series. It won t be a surprise though if the new-look South African side bounces back and level terms. Full Cricket Scorecard: ENG vs SA, 2nd T20I

Speaking of the opening T20I, South Africa managed to post only 142 for 3 in their stipulated 20 overs, courtesy AB de Villiers unbeaten 65, along with Farhaan Behardien s unbeaten 64.England bowlers David Willey and Mark Wood gave South Africa a scare in the opening five overs, reducing them to 3 wickets. For England, they were off to a steady start during the chase, with openers Alex Hales and Jason Roy putting up a quick 45 in their stand. However, it was Jonny Bairstow, whose unbeaten 60 paved the way for England to complete the chase.

Therefore, going by the scenario of the opening tie, South Africa certainly have some homework to be done. As for England, being on the driver s seat does give them the advantage of sticking to the same playing XI. However, England won t rule out a change or two either. Although they have hardly anything to change or shuffle in the batting order, Chris Jordan hasn t strengthened case with his wicket-less spell and for giving away 31 runs from four overs. Although he is likely to get another chance in the second T20I, if he faces the axe, he can be replaced by either of uncapped Tom Curran,orthe local boy Craig Overton, who knows the conditions best.

Also, this game will mark the return of Jos Buttler at Taunton, his place of birth. He is set to make his first appearance for England at this ground.

England likely XI: Alex Hales, Jason Roy, Jonny Bairstow, Eoin Morgan (c), Jos Buttler (wk), Sam Billings, Liam Dawson, Mason Crane, David Willey, Chris Jordan/Tom Curran, Mark Wood.

JJ Smut s golden duck hasn t helped his cause but he is likely to be persisted with. It was surprising to see no Chris Morris in the line-up at Ageas Bowl. South Africa will look immediately draft in their star all-rounder in place of Dwaine Pretorious.

South Africa likely XI: JJ Smuts, Reeza Hendricks, AB de Villiers (c), David Miller, Farhaan Behardien, Mangaliso Mosehle (wk), Chris Morris, Wayne Parnell,, Andile Phehlukwayo, Tabraiz Shamsi, Imran Tahir.

With the match being held at The Cooper Associates County Ground in Taunton, the pitch would be interesting to see how it behaves. Usually, it is a batting paradise. This would also be the first T20I at this venue. The only three international matches held at this venue were ODIs, with the last tie being played on May 26, 1999 between India and Sri Lanka, which was won by India comfortably. England have played just a match at this venue on June 11, 1983, which was the opening international match at this venue, against Sri Lanka, where they won by 47 runs. Although the venue is an active T20 venue for county club Somerset, which has produced greats like Marcus Trescothick, it would be interesting to see how things go in the first ever T20I tie at this venue.


England: Eoin Morgan (c), Jonny Bairstow, Sam Billings (wk), Jos Buttler (wk), Mason Crane, Tom Curran, Liam Dawson, Alex Hales, Chris Jordan, Liam Livingstone, Dawid Malan, Jason Roy, Craig Overton, Liam Plunkett, David Willey, Mark Wood.

South Africa: AB de Villiers (c), Farhaan Behardien, Reeza Hendricks, David Miller, MangalisoMosehle (wk), Chris Morris, Dane Paterson, JJ Smuts, Wayne Parnell, Andile Phehlukwayo, Imran Tahir, Dwaine Pretorius, Morne Morkel, JJ Smuts.

Time: 17:00 local | 16:00 GMT | 21:30 IST