England v South Africa, 1st NatWest ODI, Cardiff August 23, 2012

Another No.1 battle commences

53

Match Facts

August 24, Cardiff
Start time 10.15am (0915GMT)

The Big Picture

International cricket does not stand still. Four days after the Test mace changed hands the contest now turns to 50-over cricket and, again, the top prize is on offer. England are now ranked No. 1 in ODIs, but will lose that ranking after just one match if they are defeated in this opening game in Cardiff. Top in any format is like a hot potato at the moment.

England have been on a fantastic run in one-dayers this year, beginning with a 4-0 whitewash against Pakistan before beating West Indies 2-0 and another 4-0 against Australia. Alastair Cook is moulding the side under his style, and further pushing his claim to be England's Test captain sooner rather than later, and his leadership is gaining in confidence all the time.

As a batsman, too, he is leading from the front which is where Andrew Strauss has struggled in Tests. Back-to-back hundreds against Pakistan were followed by another against West Indies and useful contributions elsewhere. Ian Bell, meanwhile, has proven a more-than-able replacement for Kevin Pietersen.

It is often quite hard to know how the post-Test series one-dayers will develop, especially when one side, in this case South Africa, have achieved something so momentous. The Test players would have dearly liked more time to soak in their success and it would be understandable if minds were elsewhere. However, AB de Villiers, who captains the limited-overs team, will be keen that his squad sees this as a new challenge.

Form guide

(Most recent first, completed matches)

England WWWWW
South Africa WWWLL

Watch out for...

Matt Prior could not have done much more to stake his claim for a limited-overs recall with his recent performances for England and Sussex but, for now, Craig Kieswetter retains his place as the gloveman and middle-order batsman. Kieswetter has done nothing wrong since the one-dayers against Australia, so it would have been mighty tough to drop him, and he scored a hundred for England Lions against Australia A. But, despite a couple of handy innings, he is still to fully convince in his new role although his keeping is much more consistent.

He spent quite a bit of the Test series prowling the covers but now we will get a chance to see all the sides of Faf du Plessis. He is a dynamic cricketer, whether with the bat or in the field, while his rolling legspin can be a useful addition if de Villiers needs to fill in some overs. He had a successful IPL opening the batting, but will probably be used in the middle order in the longer format. Those who have watched him in county cricket for Lancashire will know how destructive he can be.

Team news

Ravi Bopara is back in the England set-up after his personal problems and is likely to retain the No. 4 slot after his successful series against Australia despite his lack of recent time in the middle. His bowling brings added value. Earlier in the summer Cook was keen to play frontline bowlers wherever possible, but the absence of Stuart Broad may lead to a rethink and a role for Samit Patel.

England (possible) 1 Alastair Cook (capt), 2 Ian Bell, 3 Jonathan Trott, 4 Ravi Bopara, 5 Eoin Morgan, 6 Craig Kieswetter (wk), 7 Samit Patel, 8 Tim Bresnan, 9 Graeme Swann, 10 James Anderson, 11 Steven Finn

Jacques Kallis has been rested for this series ahead of the World Twenty20, while there is no Vernon Philander in 50-over cricket, and a number of one-day specialists have been drafted into the squad, after preparing with South Africa A in Ireland, although the core group of players remains the same. Albie Morkel suffered a recurrence of his ankle injury against Gloucestershire although did bat later in the game.

South Africa (possible) 1 Graeme Smith, 2 Hashim Amla, 3 Dean Elgar, 4 AB de Villiers (capt & wk), 5 JP Duminy, 6 Faf du Plessis, 7 Ryan McLaren, 8 Robin Petersen, 9 Dale Steyn, 10 Morne Morkel, 11 Lonwabo Tsotsobe

Pitch and conditions

Pitches in Cardiff tend to be on the slow side and can help the spinners, but the short straight boundaries also encourage big hitting as Virat Kohli and Jonny Bairstow showed last year. The weather forecast is not great, with the chance of some rain during the day.

Stats and trivia

  • In 2008, after South Africa won the Test series 2-1, England took the one-day leg of the tour 4-0. The final match, at Cardiff, was washed out after three overs.

  • If South Africa win this match they will become the first team to hold the No. 1 position in all three formats

  • Graeme Swann needs four wickets to reach 100 in ODIs

  • South Africa have not played an ODI since March 3 when they completed a 3-0 series win against New Zealand

Quotes

"For me personally it's obviously a sad situation but as a side we need to put it to one side. We played some really good cricket at Lord's even though we didn't get the result; and to be fair he hasn't been around the one-day squad for a while."
Alastair Cook does not what to be distracted by the ongoing off-field issues

"We want to play attacking, good cricket. I'd like to think of us as a team that has done fairly well under pressure so when we are put under pressure this series we will be looking to attack that's for sure."
AB de Villiers says that South Africa will play bold cricket

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • JG2704 on August 24, 2012, 13:12 GMT

    @daddapc on (August 24 2012, 09:01 AM GMT) I'm not sure how they work it out. As I said before , I'm not sure how we are down as the ICC number 1 ODI side but then again I don't know how we are suddenly dislodged from our T20 number 1 position either. I'd say Australia deserve the number 1 position still as up to the defeat to England I think they were unbeaten for aquite a while. I've not done the stats but I wonder how other ODI sides away records look and how their home records look too.

  • on August 24, 2012, 11:43 GMT

    @JG: absolutely. We're top-heavy with accumulators in the top four. What marks out Trott from the other three, however, is that he seems totally unable (or, perhaps, unwilling) to accelerate. By his own admission, he bats within a Boycott-like bubble: while, for obvious reasons, this is very rarely a problem in Tests (in fact, more often than not it's a virtue), in ODIs it often defines the difference between winning & losing.

  • JG2704 on August 24, 2012, 9:23 GMT

    @Si Baker on (August 24 2012, 08:34 AM GMT) We think too much alike. I said Jonny or Jos for Trott. Trott seemed to have slowed in the last ODI series and one thing I noticed about Jonny (in the tests) which also applies to Jos is that he is not only a decent hitter but also a far better runner than Trott - plus they are both better in the field.

  • 158notout on August 24, 2012, 9:17 GMT

    As an England fan I must say I don't think many of us really believe we are no.1 but then whoa re no.1 other than SA? We just tonked Australia and Pakistan. India couldn't make the finals of the CB trophy with Aus and SL and got whitewashed by England at home last year, although they returned the favour at home which is why England fans probably doubt their own worthiness. All that said I think it means that these are the top two teams because no one else is actually doing very good. So England are top two by default.

    I think England play a batsman light, they need someone who can bowl like Colly used to and bat in the top 6, otherwise they play five bowlers and hope the batsmen keep it going. I guess if KP comes back then Bopara and KP can take care of the fifth bowler duties. Patel is unlucky but should play a part during the series. Surprised they couldn't fit Bairstow in today but again he will come in as well.

    Funniest comment of the day award goes to #AnujKu.

  • daddapc on August 24, 2012, 9:01 GMT

    @SteveColeman - you haven't read my comment carefully - I specifically mentioned "away" series - does not include neutral matches (like the WC for instance) - well anyway, let me grant you your argument and include neutral matches and let's leave the small matter of 0-5, 1-6 drubbings in India and Australia aside - even after that the record of "the world's best one day side" in the past 2 years outside home :- P- 21, L- 13, W -7, T-1. Win percentage outside home : 33.33 % - lol

  • Selassie-I on August 24, 2012, 8:59 GMT

    I'm actually looking forward to this! I think it will be interesting, We're shaping up to be a half decent one day side these days, especially witht he introduction of 2 new balls and the next WCs being in Aus and Eng. Eng, I believe, have won about 3 times as many as they've lost in the last year or so(15 won, 6 lost) that even includes away matches in Asian condituions! For all those who just think India should be the No1 odi side, I would have a look into your record in the last year, it appears that you've been beaten twice by Bangladesh, didn't get through to the tri-series final with Aus and SL, in Aus and that was before the two new balls. I don't think that playing all your cricket in India for the next 2 years is going to help you prepare for the WC either... I would find it very suprising if you don't loose the WC crown.

  • PrasPunter on August 24, 2012, 8:56 GMT

    seconding greg22lol - tendulkar is the most overrated - scored a lot of easy centuries unlike Kallis or Ponting.

  • StaalBurgher on August 24, 2012, 8:55 GMT

    I can't believe SA are no.1 in T20s. That said I actively boycott watching T20s so maybe it is not surprising I didn't know that.

  • on August 24, 2012, 8:34 GMT

    To my mind, England's astonishing 10-match ODI winning streak provides yet more justification (if any were needed) for Cook to replace Strauss as Test captain forthwith. That aside, my only reservation about the current ODI line-up lies in the makeup of the top four. Granted, they've all been admirable in our recent rise to the top, but how would they fare chasing 350 on a flat pitch at Calcutta, Bombay or Colombo? We need a KP-like power hitter to mix it up a little at the top, so I'd favour trying Jonny Bairstow at three in place of the one-paced Trott, switching Morgan & Bopara around at four & five, &, under overcast skies at Cardiff, giving Chris Woakes a go at seven in place of Patel. I very much doubt this'll happen, as Andy Flower's only Achilles Heel, his rigidity in team selection, will no doubt win the day yet again, but we can always hope. As for South Africa: while it's no doubt a good move to save Kallis for the T20 World Cup, where on earth are Philander & Petersen?

  • the_blue_android on August 24, 2012, 8:19 GMT

    @ hammond - I understand your frustration and lack of interest in ODIs. It takes a certain type of skill to perform well in ODIs which the English team lacks which is very evident from no world cup wins. Every format needs different set of skills. I can totally understand why you may be not interested in ODIs as you guys have empty shelfs yearning for some silverware even though you have played ODIs for 40 years.

  • JG2704 on August 24, 2012, 13:12 GMT

    @daddapc on (August 24 2012, 09:01 AM GMT) I'm not sure how they work it out. As I said before , I'm not sure how we are down as the ICC number 1 ODI side but then again I don't know how we are suddenly dislodged from our T20 number 1 position either. I'd say Australia deserve the number 1 position still as up to the defeat to England I think they were unbeaten for aquite a while. I've not done the stats but I wonder how other ODI sides away records look and how their home records look too.

  • on August 24, 2012, 11:43 GMT

    @JG: absolutely. We're top-heavy with accumulators in the top four. What marks out Trott from the other three, however, is that he seems totally unable (or, perhaps, unwilling) to accelerate. By his own admission, he bats within a Boycott-like bubble: while, for obvious reasons, this is very rarely a problem in Tests (in fact, more often than not it's a virtue), in ODIs it often defines the difference between winning & losing.

  • JG2704 on August 24, 2012, 9:23 GMT

    @Si Baker on (August 24 2012, 08:34 AM GMT) We think too much alike. I said Jonny or Jos for Trott. Trott seemed to have slowed in the last ODI series and one thing I noticed about Jonny (in the tests) which also applies to Jos is that he is not only a decent hitter but also a far better runner than Trott - plus they are both better in the field.

  • 158notout on August 24, 2012, 9:17 GMT

    As an England fan I must say I don't think many of us really believe we are no.1 but then whoa re no.1 other than SA? We just tonked Australia and Pakistan. India couldn't make the finals of the CB trophy with Aus and SL and got whitewashed by England at home last year, although they returned the favour at home which is why England fans probably doubt their own worthiness. All that said I think it means that these are the top two teams because no one else is actually doing very good. So England are top two by default.

    I think England play a batsman light, they need someone who can bowl like Colly used to and bat in the top 6, otherwise they play five bowlers and hope the batsmen keep it going. I guess if KP comes back then Bopara and KP can take care of the fifth bowler duties. Patel is unlucky but should play a part during the series. Surprised they couldn't fit Bairstow in today but again he will come in as well.

    Funniest comment of the day award goes to #AnujKu.

  • daddapc on August 24, 2012, 9:01 GMT

    @SteveColeman - you haven't read my comment carefully - I specifically mentioned "away" series - does not include neutral matches (like the WC for instance) - well anyway, let me grant you your argument and include neutral matches and let's leave the small matter of 0-5, 1-6 drubbings in India and Australia aside - even after that the record of "the world's best one day side" in the past 2 years outside home :- P- 21, L- 13, W -7, T-1. Win percentage outside home : 33.33 % - lol

  • Selassie-I on August 24, 2012, 8:59 GMT

    I'm actually looking forward to this! I think it will be interesting, We're shaping up to be a half decent one day side these days, especially witht he introduction of 2 new balls and the next WCs being in Aus and Eng. Eng, I believe, have won about 3 times as many as they've lost in the last year or so(15 won, 6 lost) that even includes away matches in Asian condituions! For all those who just think India should be the No1 odi side, I would have a look into your record in the last year, it appears that you've been beaten twice by Bangladesh, didn't get through to the tri-series final with Aus and SL, in Aus and that was before the two new balls. I don't think that playing all your cricket in India for the next 2 years is going to help you prepare for the WC either... I would find it very suprising if you don't loose the WC crown.

  • PrasPunter on August 24, 2012, 8:56 GMT

    seconding greg22lol - tendulkar is the most overrated - scored a lot of easy centuries unlike Kallis or Ponting.

  • StaalBurgher on August 24, 2012, 8:55 GMT

    I can't believe SA are no.1 in T20s. That said I actively boycott watching T20s so maybe it is not surprising I didn't know that.

  • on August 24, 2012, 8:34 GMT

    To my mind, England's astonishing 10-match ODI winning streak provides yet more justification (if any were needed) for Cook to replace Strauss as Test captain forthwith. That aside, my only reservation about the current ODI line-up lies in the makeup of the top four. Granted, they've all been admirable in our recent rise to the top, but how would they fare chasing 350 on a flat pitch at Calcutta, Bombay or Colombo? We need a KP-like power hitter to mix it up a little at the top, so I'd favour trying Jonny Bairstow at three in place of the one-paced Trott, switching Morgan & Bopara around at four & five, &, under overcast skies at Cardiff, giving Chris Woakes a go at seven in place of Patel. I very much doubt this'll happen, as Andy Flower's only Achilles Heel, his rigidity in team selection, will no doubt win the day yet again, but we can always hope. As for South Africa: while it's no doubt a good move to save Kallis for the T20 World Cup, where on earth are Philander & Petersen?

  • the_blue_android on August 24, 2012, 8:19 GMT

    @ hammond - I understand your frustration and lack of interest in ODIs. It takes a certain type of skill to perform well in ODIs which the English team lacks which is very evident from no world cup wins. Every format needs different set of skills. I can totally understand why you may be not interested in ODIs as you guys have empty shelfs yearning for some silverware even though you have played ODIs for 40 years.

  • Supa_SAFFA on August 24, 2012, 8:05 GMT

    I would love to see my team come short without actually choking and going to the World T20 still a little hungry. Perhaps the weather gods and Alistair Cook can conspire for drawn ODI and/or T20 campaigns where SA just briefly flirts with the no1 position but Eng ultimately retain top spot. The no. 1 test ranking is worth aspiring to, but in limited overs an ICC trophy must mean more to SA than the ranking. For now.

  • SteveColeman on August 24, 2012, 7:40 GMT

    @daddapc - You have basically made that stat up havent you? England have only won one away ODI in the last year. If you ignore the Pakistan series. And the World Cup.

    I think even England will admit that they are far from the finished article. They are poor in the sub-continent for example. But does that actually matter? The next two World Cups are in Australia and England, where the current makeup of their side is best suited.

  • the_blue_android on August 24, 2012, 7:32 GMT

    Cook, Trott and Bell coming in at 1,2 and 3. lol.Watching these guys would be almost as fun as watching paint dry!

  • the_blue_android on August 24, 2012, 7:28 GMT

    The title should be changed to "how another # 1 spot was lost".

  • Hammond on August 24, 2012, 7:08 GMT

    I think England will lose this series (not that I particularly care much, it's only clown cricket). But the confidence will be pretty low at the moment. I may be wrong but I am predicting 3-2 South Africas way.

  • the_blue_android on August 24, 2012, 7:02 GMT

    The English ODI team minus KP will be fun to watch. I'd actually pay to see the power hitting of Trott, Cook and Ian Bell.

  • TheCricketEmpireStrikesBack on August 24, 2012, 7:01 GMT

    Thanks for the Kevin film titles. @surlyCynic's "We Need To Talk About Kevin" is winning at this stage. We need a prize. Maybe ESPN could provide an autographed copy of Kevin's interviews. Somebody here has just suggested "Life of Kevin aka He's Not The Messiah, He's A Very Naughty Boy"

  • Sachin_the_god_forever on August 24, 2012, 6:18 GMT

    @greg22 lol..tendulkar is overrated?..are you blind?..the one who scored 100 international centuries is a overrated cricketer? have you ever seen cricket for the past 23 years?...

  • on August 24, 2012, 6:10 GMT

    frndzz....wat do u think who 'll win

  • daddapc on August 24, 2012, 5:59 GMT

    Just to put things in perspective - in the last 24 months the World's # 1 ODI team has played 15 away matches - lost 13, tied 1 and won 1. The only series of not won by the "world's best one day side" is the recent one against Pakistan in UAE.

  • vrn59 on August 24, 2012, 5:53 GMT

    It'll be interesting to see how the teams can settle into limited-overs mode.

    My SAF XI: Amla, Smith, du Plessis, de Villiers (C&wk), Duminy, Ontong, Elgar, Peterson, Steyn, M Morkel, Tsotsobe

    My ENG XI: Cook (C), Bell, Trott, Bopara, Morgan, Kieswetter (wk), Patel, Bresnan, Swann, Anderson, Finn

  • PrasPunter on August 24, 2012, 5:30 GMT

    should we really bother about ODIs and t20s after a test-series is won ? Ind beat Aus 2-1 in 2001 but lost 2-3 in the odi . But the test-series win has been the talk of the town - same goes with england ashes victories in 09 and 10 where they lost 1-6 in the odi series that followed. So i think SA has done the job. Doesnt matter really matter on who wins this one !! Congrats SA ! Well played !!

  • on August 24, 2012, 5:03 GMT

    EXPECTING 4-1 IN FAVOR OF PROTEAS.....GO PROTEAS....WUD LOVE TO C SA CRUSHING ENG IN FRONT OF THEIR SPECTATORS...

  • jmcilhinney on August 24, 2012, 4:55 GMT

    For those mentioning Bairstow, he is in the squad and the team listed in this preview is just the author's take on a possible playing XI. Like many, I'd like to see Bairstow in the team and I think he deserves it after a fine performance under pressure in the third Test. Unlike Bopara, he has already proven something against the SA attack, albeit a different one than will likely play in this game.

  • landl47 on August 24, 2012, 4:47 GMT

    Both sides look light on batting. It would be nice to have seen Bopara score some runs after his personal problems, to show that he is over whatever it was. England need Morgan and Kieswetter to play well, SA need runs from the lower order- McLaren's not much more than a tailender at #7. I would have liked to see Woakes instead of Bresnan; Woakes is an equally economical bowler and a much better bat. Looks a pretty even match.

  • Fast_Track_Bully on August 24, 2012, 4:23 GMT

    The only advantage for England is the home conditions. If the pitch is good for spin, that too will test SA's ability.

  • Paulk on August 24, 2012, 4:00 GMT

    Non-inclusion of Vernon Philander should not last very long. He can bat, be economical with the ball and take wickets. What more do you need ? The guy is 10 Tests old and already seems like a seasoned campaigner.

  • shawshank on August 24, 2012, 3:29 GMT

    @ surlycynic that title is epic bro! LOL!

  • Gregg22 on August 24, 2012, 2:23 GMT

    Why is India even mentioned here?! Get a life! Tendulkar is the most overrated cricketer i've ever seen. YES I SAID IT! Gimme Kallis any day.

  • jmcilhinney on August 24, 2012, 2:08 GMT

    Obviously they'll be looking to avoid it but it's hard to see SA not easing off a bit after gaining the #1 Test ranking in an away series against the incumbent. England have been relatively good in ODIs recently and they will definitely be looking to regain a bit of confidence after a disappointing Test series. I'm sure that the #1 ranking being on the line again will add some extra incentive but I doubt that either team consider it nearly as important as the one that just changed hands. Interested to see whether Bairstow can carry his good work forward into the shorter format.

  • segga-express on August 24, 2012, 1:26 GMT

    @Gnash. Too many, not too much

  • Cpt.Meanster on August 23, 2012, 23:54 GMT

    I think England have a very decent ODI team. Playing in home conditions, they are nearly world beaters. SA shouldn't take them lightly and I am sure they won't. The team looks good. BUT, I can't believe Jonny Bairstow is not playing.... *looks sad*. He would be such a fine player instead of Bopara. Come on England... let one my boys play !!!

  • on August 23, 2012, 22:21 GMT

    Kinda surprised that Bairstow wasn't given a run in the ODIs.

  • SurlyCynic on August 23, 2012, 22:02 GMT

    Gnash - how about 'We need to talk about Kevin'?

  • MattyP1979 on August 23, 2012, 21:21 GMT

    Still cannot believe Eng are rated as highly as they are in this format. On paper they look a very decent outfit as do SA so it should be a good series. I agree with some that Eng need to start giving Woakes some games. The lad is really turning out to be a fine player. Anyways one dayers good fun but I have never taken them too seriously, always see it as a chance to see the up and comings. On a seperate note there doesnt seem to be any Aussies putting their ten pence worth.....I wonder why that is.

  • TheCricketEmpireStrikesBack on August 23, 2012, 21:00 GMT

    The rule for cricket and film making is the same - don't do a sequel if you have a flop the first time. "We are Number 1 - The Sequel" is certain to be another failure for England. Much better to stick to the Kevin drama with lots of suspense, many twists and turns in the story, betrayal, victims all round and with a climactic if predictable ending. Any suggestions for a title? "The trouble with Kevin" or perhaps "The Man Who Scored Too much".

  • Creggar on August 23, 2012, 20:54 GMT

    I'm not saying this because I'm a massive fan of Parnell, but you have to say he'd be unlucky not to get a go after some really good performances recently. But to get him in you have to loose Tsotsobe or McLaren. More likey to be McLaren but you'd have to have an awful lot of faith in Parnell's batting. Even better still, Albie Morkel could recover in time!

  • LeftBrain on August 23, 2012, 20:50 GMT

    Should be a good contest, England looks like a normal side whenever Broad is not around. Recently they beat Pakistan in ODI after going down 3-o in tests so a different ball game altogether should bring an interesting contest. Having said that, I will put my money on SA any day. They are just better team with players who perofrm in the field rather than in press romms or social media.

    Title of this article is still misleading though, I would add to @AnujKu's comment by declaring that Sachin is no. 1 team in the world too. He is no. 1 in every area of cricket even no. 1 wicket keeper ever.

  • Sachin_the_god_forever on August 23, 2012, 20:26 GMT

    @ahmed hussain can you please tell me the top two teams?ok one is SA..where is the other?you mean ENGLAND.?..lol

  • Sachin_the_god_forever on August 23, 2012, 20:22 GMT

    what england is a current no.1 odi team?joke of the decade..:))

  • JG2704 on August 23, 2012, 20:19 GMT

    @SICHO on (August 23 2012, 19:30 PM GMT) For once I agree. It really does get tiresome

  • SICHO on August 23, 2012, 19:30 GMT

    @AnujKu, can't we just have a series without anyone mentioning India. This is a series where we(SA) take on England thats that. If India are no.1 in ODI cricket then why aren't they showing it by being no.1?

  • Htc-Android on August 23, 2012, 18:21 GMT

    this is the best bilateral series i've ever seen. whoever wins the test,ODI,t20 series will reach the No.1 ranking. i expect SA to win it 3-2 or 4-1. they look really stronger. england looks without KP. kieswetter and samit patel are not reliable batsmen.

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on August 23, 2012, 17:44 GMT

    Dare I say it... England side looks stronger on paper! *gasp* Should be a fun game. P.S. @Andrew McGlashan, thanks for the weather forecast :-) I really think it's appropriate for UK cricket!

  • mE_wE on August 23, 2012, 17:40 GMT

    "Ian Bell, meanwhile, has proven a more-than-able replacement for Kevin Pietersen" not a fair assessment, i guess. No offense to Bell he is a pretty good player by any international standards, but it just would be a ridiculous to count on Bell as an able replacement for KP in any format. Saying that , i still think the ODI's would be evenly contested. Cheers ENG, SA !!!!!!

  • Wexfordwonder on August 23, 2012, 17:37 GMT

    Feel sorry for Parnell if the team turns out as predicted. He had a great game in the warm up. Rest Steyn I say.

  • cover_drive12345 on August 23, 2012, 17:30 GMT

    looking forward to seeing de Villiers captain and bat, as his full potential was not reached in the tests. South Africa have a strong team, hopefully they can carry in their winning streak!

  • AnujKu on August 23, 2012, 17:25 GMT

    Belive me, even if they battle for No.1 position, the No.1 side in ODI's is India. Closely followed by AUS and then SA. But I think India is clearly the topper in ODI's.

  • Uppercut07 on August 23, 2012, 17:21 GMT

    graeme swann doesnt even have 100 odi wickets yet, but already has an autobiography published??? Overrate much???

  • fasih123 on August 23, 2012, 17:10 GMT

    Woakes should play.....no need for samit

  • BokkeForever on August 23, 2012, 17:04 GMT

    Hope the Saffer boys have their heads in the game after their success in the test series. We have a bad history of going off the boil. Hopefully AB can keep the boys focussed!! Should be a good series though. Go Bokke.

  • on August 23, 2012, 16:45 GMT

    Finally a great and another meaningful one-day series between the two top teams, should be a great and closely thought series but I still think England will win this 3-2 at least considering how much they have improved in that format compared to 4 years ago mind you they beat South Africa 4-0 last time back in 08 after they again lost that Test series as well. Can't wait to see players like Tsotsobe, Du PLussis, Botha etc in action.

  • yorkshirematt on August 23, 2012, 16:39 GMT

    "ANOTHER NO.1 BATTLE COMMENCES" And it will end axactly like the last one, only with an even bigger margin of victory for the tourists.

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  • yorkshirematt on August 23, 2012, 16:39 GMT

    "ANOTHER NO.1 BATTLE COMMENCES" And it will end axactly like the last one, only with an even bigger margin of victory for the tourists.

  • on August 23, 2012, 16:45 GMT

    Finally a great and another meaningful one-day series between the two top teams, should be a great and closely thought series but I still think England will win this 3-2 at least considering how much they have improved in that format compared to 4 years ago mind you they beat South Africa 4-0 last time back in 08 after they again lost that Test series as well. Can't wait to see players like Tsotsobe, Du PLussis, Botha etc in action.

  • BokkeForever on August 23, 2012, 17:04 GMT

    Hope the Saffer boys have their heads in the game after their success in the test series. We have a bad history of going off the boil. Hopefully AB can keep the boys focussed!! Should be a good series though. Go Bokke.

  • fasih123 on August 23, 2012, 17:10 GMT

    Woakes should play.....no need for samit

  • Uppercut07 on August 23, 2012, 17:21 GMT

    graeme swann doesnt even have 100 odi wickets yet, but already has an autobiography published??? Overrate much???

  • AnujKu on August 23, 2012, 17:25 GMT

    Belive me, even if they battle for No.1 position, the No.1 side in ODI's is India. Closely followed by AUS and then SA. But I think India is clearly the topper in ODI's.

  • cover_drive12345 on August 23, 2012, 17:30 GMT

    looking forward to seeing de Villiers captain and bat, as his full potential was not reached in the tests. South Africa have a strong team, hopefully they can carry in their winning streak!

  • Wexfordwonder on August 23, 2012, 17:37 GMT

    Feel sorry for Parnell if the team turns out as predicted. He had a great game in the warm up. Rest Steyn I say.

  • mE_wE on August 23, 2012, 17:40 GMT

    "Ian Bell, meanwhile, has proven a more-than-able replacement for Kevin Pietersen" not a fair assessment, i guess. No offense to Bell he is a pretty good player by any international standards, but it just would be a ridiculous to count on Bell as an able replacement for KP in any format. Saying that , i still think the ODI's would be evenly contested. Cheers ENG, SA !!!!!!

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on August 23, 2012, 17:44 GMT

    Dare I say it... England side looks stronger on paper! *gasp* Should be a fun game. P.S. @Andrew McGlashan, thanks for the weather forecast :-) I really think it's appropriate for UK cricket!