Eoin Morgan has slotted straight in on Sky. Sitting with Ian Ward, Mike Atherton and Mark Butcher, it’s like he’s been doing this for a decade. Athers asks the former captain about when he dropped Jason Roy for the the 2017 Champions Trophy semi-final, essentially asking when might be the right time in this slump. “Keeping players for longer builds an element of trust,” he begins before taking us back to the 2015 reset. “We wanted players to feel comfortable taking greater risks. For that, you have to allow them to fail and fail and fail again and continue to back them.”
England: Jason Roy, Jos Buttler (c & wk), Dawid Malan, Jonny Bairstow, Moeen Ali, Liam Livingstone, Sam Curran, David Willey, Chris Jordan, Adil Rashid, Reece Topley.
South Africa: Quinton de Kock (wk), Reeza Hendricks, Rilee Rossouw, Aiden Markram, David Miller (c), Tristan Stubbs, Andile Phehlukwayo, Keshav Maharaj, Anrich Nortje, Lungi Ngidi, Tabraiz Shamsi.
Jos Buttler believes the pitch will remain “pretty much the same” throughout. He confirms Willey for Gleeson as the one change. “We’ve been searching for a complete performance all summer and there’s no better time to do that in a series decider.”
David Miller, playing his 100th T20i, says that the Proteas have two changes, Markram and Nortje in for Klaasen and Rabada, the latter out with an ankle niggle.
David Willey in for Richard Gleeson? We’ll find out at the toss in five minutes.
It feels like South Africa have been in the country playing white-ball internationals for a month or more now. Maybe that’s a function of their stretch starting just two days after a stack of matches against India, or that the Proteas women were over here touring at the same time. Perhaps its the fact that Jos Buttler’s team are playing their 12th game in the space of 24 days. Or maybe it’s just me. In any case… once more with gusto! Welcome to the third and final T20 international from Southampton on a very busy afternoon of sport around this United Kingdom.
The series is square at one apiece with the England camp have noting in the build-up to this decider that it would be timely for them to win the trophy here having failed to in their aforementioned summer series. They saluted easily in the opener by boshing 234-6 at Bristol thanks to YJ Bairstow’s 90 and Moeen Ali’s 16-ball half-century. The tables were turned in Cardiff when the visitors passed 200 with an unbeaten 96 from the returning man due to Brexit (long story), Rilee Roussouw.
It’s also of note that this is England’s final limited-overs match of the summer and a T20 World Cup is around the corner in October and November. So there’s quite a bit in this. Especially for Jason Roy, who has had a poor time of it throughout. I’ll be back with the toss and the teams shortly. And of course, you can drop me a line throughout the afternoon to the usual place, or tweet me if that’s more your thing.