Home Sport Cricket Proteas want to ‘go for the kill’ against England

Proteas want to ‘go for the kill’ against England

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The ground across the road famously goes by the moniker “Theatre of Dreams”  – home of course to Premiership giants Manchester United – and the Proteas will be hoping their dreams too can be realised.

South Africa’s Anrich Nortjé says the Proteas will be going for the kill against England. Picture: Pradeep Dambarage, BackpagePix

Cape Town – The Proteas’ mission now is to repeat the trick at Old Trafford.

Belief may be with them but history is firmly in the other camp. Since returning to international cricket in 1991, the Proteas have never won a white-ball series in England.

If hearing that statistic may sound repetitive, then the objective has been achieved for it remains almost unbelievable that the United Kingdom remains the last frontier for the Proteas in limited-overs cricket.

Series’ have been won in much more demanding climates and conditions, dare we say it even against better opposition, such as Australia, India, West Indies, Pakistan, New Zealand and Bangladesh.

But three days after a magnificent opening victory that took the shine off Ben Stokes’ last One-Day International, they will now have the opportunity to straighten the record books in Lancashire.

The football ground across the road famously goes by the moniker “Theatre of Dreams” – home of course to Premiership giants Manchester United – and the Proteas will be hoping their dreams too can be realised.

Old Trafford has also been favourable to the Proteas in the past with the visitors holding the aces in the head-to-head record with England, having won two of three previous encounters, while the last visit was also an enjoyable experience when Faf du Plessis’s team bookended a rather disastrous 2019 World Cup campaign with a consolation victory over Australia.

The Proteas will hope that they have learnt their lessons from the preceding Indian T20 tour, whereafter storming into a 2-0 lead, they failed to land the knockout punch that allowed the hosts to get off the canvas and level the series at 2-2.

“We mentioned that in India that the third game was going to be sort of like a final for us. And then we didn’t get it done. The next one was also going to be like a final to us and we didn’t pull through, so definitely some learnings from that. We have to be on it,” Proteas fast bowler Anrich Nortjé said on Thursday.

“Obviously, England are going to come hard. They’ve got nothing to lose. They also want to level the series. We’ve only won one game now, but definitely every time we get close to that we want to try and pull through. We are aware of that, and we want to go for the win and for the kill. We don’t wanna drag it out even longer.”

They will have to finish the job without all-rounder Andile Phehlukwayo, though, after the all-rounder was ruled out of the remainder of the series due to the concussion suffered at Chester-le-Street.

It is likely that Dwaine Pretorius may slot into the line-up – like he did midway through England’s innings on Tuesday as a concussion substitute – but the timing of Phelukwayo’s withdrawal is unfortunate with the 26-year-old having seemingly rediscovered his form after a horrid 12 months that saw him lose his place across formats.

England will have to make one enforced change with local Lancashire lad Phil Salt likely having to fill the Stokes’ big shoes. The right-hander has had a taste of international cricket before and is very much in sync with England’s all-out attacking style.

“I’m sure they’ll be looking for someone who can sort of fill in that game role that they want, someone who can be quite attacking and aggressive,” Nortjé said.

“I’m not too sure who’s going to come in, we’ll have to wait and see, but I’m sure they will probably stick to what they’ve been trying to produce over the last few years and try to be quite aggressive.”

Likely teams for Old Trafford

England: Jason Roy, Jonny Bairstow, Joe Root, Phil Salt, Jos Buttler(w/c), Liam Livingstone, Moeen Ali, Sam Curran, Adil Rashid, Craig Overton, Reece Topley.

South Africa: Quinton de Kock(w), Janneman Malan, Rassie van der Dussen, Aiden Markram, Heinrich Klaasen, David Miller, Dwaine Pretorius, Keshav Maharaj(c), Anrich Nortje, Lungi Ngidi, Tabraiz Shamsi.

Start: 2pm (SA time), TV: SuperSport

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