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ENG vs SA 1st Test Fantasy Preview and MPL Top Picks

Match: England vs South Africa, 1st Test (ENG vs SA)

Date: August 17, Wednesday, 3:30 PM IST

Venue: Lord’s, London

The first Test between England and South Africa will be played at Lord’s in London from Wednesday, August 17. The England team done well under their new captain coach duo of Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum, defeating India and New Zealand in recent months. The only change that England have made from their squad for the last series against India is the return of Ben Foakes behind the stumps in place of Sam Billings.

South Africa, too, had done well in the recent past, winning five of their last six Test matches. However, they come into this game on the back of an innings defeat to England Lions. Temba Bavuma and Duanne Olivier have been ruled out of the entire series due to injury, while Kagiso Rabada is also doubtful for the first Test due to injury.

South Africa have a good record at Lord’s – four wins and one loss in their last six games at the venue since 1994, and will want to maintain the good record. The hosts, on the other hand, look a completely revamped and dangerous side under Stokes and McCullum, and will be looking for their third series win on a trot. The series will be a part of the ICC Men’s World Test Championship 2021-23 cycle. South Africa are currently on top of the table with a point percentage of 71.43 while England rank seventh with 33.33%.

Ahead of the first Test in London, let’s look at the head to head of both the teams, pitch report, weather update, top picks for your MPL fantasy team and more.

Weather update and pitch report for ENG vs SA, 1st Test

The surface at Lord’s will offer plenty of pace and bounce. The fast bowlers are likely to get maximum benefit from the pitch. In the past, a total of 142 Test matches have been played at this venue, of which 40 were won by the teams bowling first. The average first innings score is 311, while the highest and lowest total is 729 for 6 and 38 for 10.

The weather in London will be mostly cloudy with a high chance of rain. We could see the start of the game get delayed. Both teams will look to bowl first upon winning the toss.

England team news and predicted XI

Team news: The only change that England have made from their squad for the last series against India is the return of Ben Foakes behind the stumps in place of Sam Billings. Also, Ollie Robinson is back in the mix after recovering from his recent injury

Squad: Ben Stokes (captain), James Anderson, Jonathan Bairstow, Stuart Broad, Harry Brook, Zak Crawley, Ben Foakes, Jack Leach, Alex Lees, Craig Overton, Matthew Potts, Ollie Pope, Ollie Robinson, Joe Root.

Predicted XI: Alex Lees, Zak Crawley, Ollie Pope, Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow, Ben Stokes (c), Ben Foakes (wk), Stuart Broad, Matty Potts, Jack Leach and James Anderson.

South Africa team news and predicted XI

Team news: Temba Bavuma and Duanne Olivier have been ruled out of the entire series due to injury, while Kagiso Rabada is also doubtful for the first Test due to injury.

Squad: Dean Elgar (captain), Sarel Erwee, Keegan Petersen, Ryan Rickelton, Aiden Markram, Rassie van der Dussen, Khaya Zondo, Kyle Verreynne (wk), Duanne Olivier, Kagiso Rabada, Marco Jansen, Simon Harmer, Lutho Sipamla, Keshav Maharaj, Glenton Stuurman, Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje.

Predicted XI:  Dean Elgar (c), Sarel Erwee, Aiden Markram, Keegan Petersen/Khaya Zondo, Rassie van der Dussen, Kyle Verryenne (wk), Keshav Maharaj, Kagiso Rabada/Simon Harmer, Marco Jansen, Lungi Ngidi and Anrich Nortje.

Head to head record

England and South Africa have faced each other in 153 matches in Test cricket, out of which England have won 64 whereas South Africa have come out on top 34 times. 55 matches ended in a draw.

Total games – 153

England – 64

South Africa – 34

Draw – 55

Five players to watch out for

Here we list five players you must pick in your MPL fantasy XI for ENG vs SA 1st Test

Joe Root – batsman, England

Joe Root is currently the no. 1 batsman in ICC’s Test rankings. Root has been in an incredible form in recent times, having hit five centuries in his last seven Tests. One of the best Test batsmen in the world, Root has 10458 runs from 121 Test at a brilliant average of 50.76. He has hit 28 centuries and 54 fifties in the format. Root is a great choice for your MPL team’s captaincy.

Anrich Nortje – bowler, South Africa

Anrich Nortje recently picked up six wickets in three ODIs against England and will now look to produce similar performances against the same opponents in Tests. Nortje has an impressive record in the game’s longest format, having picked up 47 wickets in 12 matches at an average of 28.10. He needs only three more wickets to get to 50 wickets in Test cricket.

Jack Leach – bowler, England

Jack Leach was absolutely brilliant in the Test series against New Zealand. He picked up 10 wickets in the third Test – five each in both the innings. Overall, he finished the series with 13 wickets in four innings. Leach, in all, has 93 wickets in 26 Tests at an average of 32.36.

Dean Elgar – batsman, England

Dean Elgar needs 136 runs more to become the eighth South African to reach 5000 runs in the longest format. In 76 Tests, Elgar has 4864 runs at an average of almost 40. He scored three half centuries in four innings in his last Test match played in March against Bangladesh.

Aiden Markram – batsman, South Africa

Last week, Aiden Markram scored an unbeaten 88 against England Lions while also picking up six wickets. Markram has been in fine form across formats in the recent past, and in all has a batting average of 35.23 in 31 Tests

MPL fantasy XI – ENG vs SA, 1st Test

ENG vs SA – where and what time to watch the match live in India 

The England vs South Africa Test series will be televised on the Sony Sports Network in India. You can also watch the game on the Sony Liv app. The match will begin at 3.30 PM IST on August 17.

Check out our detailed guide on fantasy cricket for more tips and tricks. https://www.mpl.live/blog/todays-match-prediction/ 

Note: The players recommended here need not be a part of the Playing 11 on game day. Users are advised to do their own research also and follow official sources and create their teams. 

Umaima Saeed
A writer who primarily writes on cricket. As of 2021, she has covered cricket for more than a dozen publications.

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