England tour to South Africa 2019 [Preview]
England is all set to tour New Zealand in the month of November to play five T20Is and two Test-matches. The visitors will kick-start their tour with two warm-up T20 matches that will be played on 27th and 30th October at Bert Sutcliffe Oval in Lincoln.
Eoin Morgan will lead England for the upcoming five-match T20I series that will begin from 1st November at Hagley Oval in Christchurch.
The second T20I game of the series will be played on 3rd November at Wellington. The third game of the series will be played at Nelson on 5th November. The fourth game of the T20I series will be played on 8th November at McLean Park in Napier. The fifth and final game of the series will be played on 10th November at Eden Park in Auckland.
ECB has decided to rest premier players like Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler and Jofra Archer for the T20I series. The selectors have picked four uncapped players for the five-match T20I series. Opening batsman Tom Banton, Lewis Gregory, Saqib Mahmood and Matthew Parkinson have earned their maiden call-ups to the T20 squad after performing exceedingly well in the Vitality T20 Blast competition.
Medium pacer Pat Brown is another player who has selected for this T20I series. James Vince, Dawid Malan, Jonny Bairstow and Joe Denly are experienced players in the batting department.
Chris Jordan, Tom Curran and Pat Brown are prominent options in the pace bowling department. Adil Rashid and Matthew Parkinson are spin options for England for the five-match series.
For the two-match Test series, the selectors have decided to make wholesale changes after failing to regain the Ashes in home conditions. Opening batsman Jason Roy and wicket-keeper batsman Jonny Bairstow have been dropped due to lack of runs in the Ashes series played against Australia.
Dominic Sibley and Zak Crawley have earned their maiden call-ups to the Test squad for New Zealand series. Sibley has scored heavily for Warwickshire in the 2018 English County Championship and richly deserves his selection for the New Zealand tour.
Joe Denly managed to produce crucial scores for England in the recently concluded Ashes series against England. The 33-year old will be keen to produce big runs in this two-match Test series.
England Captain Joe Root will certainly need to lead from the front and produce big runs in this two-match Test series. Since October 2017, Root has struggled to produce three-digit scores on a regular basis. Since last two years, he has accumulated 1720 runs in 26 Test matches at an average of 35.83, which includes three centuries and thirteen half-centuries.
Jos Buttler will be first-choice wicket-keeper for England for the upcoming two-match Test series. It will be interesting to see how Buttler fares behind the stumps in this series. Buttler has been a consistent performer for the side with the bat. Since October 2017, he has scored 1185 runs in 18 matches at an average of 35.90. During this period, he has scored one century and nine half-centuries for England in red-ball cricket.
All-rounder Ben Stokes is the premier player in the England setup in red-ball cricket. Since his return to the side, Stokes has performed exceedingly well with the bat and help them win games of cricket.
His bowling has not been that effective since the last 12 months. Left-hander was the standout performer for England in the Ashes series played at home this season. He topped the batting charts for England and scored 441 runs in 5 Test matches at an average of 55.12. Stokes also smashed a scintillating 135 not out to help England level the Ashes series at Headingley Cricket Ground in Leeds.
England will be hoping that he can deliver credible performances with bat and ball in this two-match Test series.
In the bowling department, Stuart Broad, Jofra Archer and Chris Woakes are prominent options for England for the Test series. Leg-spinner Matthew Parkinson and pace bowler Saqib Mahmood are uncapped players picked for this two-match series.
Left-arm orthodox spinner Jack Leach is the first-choice spinner for England for this series. Joe Root-led unit will begin their campaign with two-day warm-up game against New Zealand XI at Cobham Oval in Whangarei on 12th November.
The side will play their second warm-up game against New Zealand XI at Cobham Oval in Whangarei from 15th to 17th November.
The opening game of the Test series will be played at Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui from 21st November. The second and final game of the series will be played at Seddon Park in Hamilton on 29th November.
On the other hand, New Zealand have not announced their squad for the two-match Test series. Kane Williamson and co. have done exceedingly well in red-ball cricket in the last couple of years and would be formidable opponents in their home conditions.
It will certainly be riveting contest as England take on New Zealand in the upcoming two-match Test series.