England bid to wrap up ODI series

England in training at the Wanderers

England prepare at the Wanderers, where they have played three ODIs against South Africa, losing two and winning one

England have another chance to seal the one-day international series with South Africa when the teams meet for the fourth match in Johannesburg on Friday.

Eoin Morgan’s team saw a run of five successive ODI wins come to an end on Tuesday when South Africa reached their target of 319 with 22 balls to spare.

Now they return to the Wanderers, where they won by seven wickets in the third Test en route to a 2-1 series victory.

“It would be great to do it in the one-dayers as well,” batsman Joe Root said.

Root scored 125 in Centurion in the third game as England made 318-8 but Quinton de Kock and Hashim Amla put on 239 for the first wicket to inspire an impressive South Africa run chase.

“We got outplayed on a wicket that did improve, against some very good batting,” Root told BBC Sport.

“We might not have been at our absolute best with the ball and in the field but over the last six or seven games we have played some excellent cricket in this format.”

Having lost to Bangladesh in the World Cup and failed to progress to the knock-out stage, England have produced some much improved performances since, under the coaching of Trevor Bayliss and Paul Farbrace, beating New Zealand and Pakistan, and losing 3-2 to world champions Australia.

“We’re obviously playing with a lot more freedom and at the back of the innings you have got people like [Chris] Jordan, [David] Willey and [Adil] Rashid at eight, nine and 10 so you can just keep going knowing that there are guys that can clear the ropes consistently behind you,” Root said.

Friday’s match – at a stadium known as the Bullring for its intimidating atmosphere – is likely to see a packed crowd and will be known as the ‘Pink ODI’ with pink stumps and South Africa wearing a pink kit to support World Cancer Day, which was on 4 February.

“It’s something I have not experienced before and I am really looking forward to it,” said Root, who made a century in the first innings of the Test match at the ground last month.

“I’ve heard they are banging on the tunnel when you walk out to bat and I am sure it will be sold out being the pink game here, so it’s really exciting to be a part of that and I’m looking forward to hopefully making some runs again.”

comments powered by Disqus