Fresh off a Test series win and an ODI series draw, England complete their tour of South Africa with a three-game T20 series.
With the T20 World Cup scheduled for later in the year, teams will be fully focussed on finding the correct formula in order to claim the trophy in Australia.
England are the 11/4 favourites to claim a second title down under and will be keen to right the wrongs of the most recent tournament where they were pipped at the post by the West Indies in a stunning final.
Here is our look ahead to their series against the Proteas, who are twice semi-finalists in the T20 World Cup.
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England hoping to continue limited-overs form going
The 50-over world champions, England, will be hoping to double up in Australia later this year, but with just 12 T20s to go before the World Cup starts there isn’t much time to find a settled side. England stars Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler are back after being rested for the ODI series.
Chris Silverwood and captain Eoin Morgan are putting a huge amount of thought into this tournament and considering that there are a number of spots that are still up for grabs, you should not be surprised to see a few younger faces in and around the squad after some impressive displays over the last couple months.
Jonny Bairstow and Jason Roy proved that they are a brilliant opening partnership, and both are 5/2 to be England’s top run-scorers in the series. Jos Buttler, by his own admission, wasn’t anywhere near his best during the Test series, but with a few weeks of rest and recuperation, he could be the one to punish the Proteas’ attack and looks a solid wager to be the leading run-scorer at 3/1.
England are still trying to figure out where to put Buttler in the order given he has been at his destructive best when opening in the IPL, but for country, Silverwood and Morgan could be tempted to drop Bairstow down the order in order to have Buttler open with Roy. If those two get going, no attack in the world would stand a chance.
England are third in the world rankings with South Africa a couple of spots further down in fifth and given the visitors’ prowess in the shorter form, it’s unsurprising they are 4/7 to take the series.
South Africa looking to build on encouraging ODI series
The prospect of taking on the World Cup winners would not have been a particularly pleasant prospect for Quinton de Kock and his South African side, but they have handled themselves well and fully deserved a draw in the ODI series.
Even though England’s side wasn’t the strongest, De Kock and the Proteas’ coaching team should take great heart from their performances.
South Africa are in good T20 form with four series wins in their last five with the other being a very acceptable draw in India.
As such, the 11/8 around them winning this series might represent a bit of value. Often dubbed as cricket’s ‘nearly men’, they still need to show they can perform on the highest level which is one of the main reasons they are 8/1 to win T20 World Cup later this year.
In terms of this series, Quinton De Kock looks the obvious choice to be the top-run scorer at 15/8. He was brilliant for spells in the Test series and his world-class century in the first ODI led South Africa to a very impressive victory. David Miller is a player that could catch the attention of plenty of punters this year, especially if he can perform the way he has done in the past.
Miller had an underwhelming Big Bash campaign with the Hobart Hurricanes until he took the Adelaide Strikers’ bowlers to the cleaners with an unbeaten 90 off just 48 balls.
His only innings against England in the ODI series produced an unbeaten 69 from 53 deliveries and if he can continue that form here, the 8/1 on him being the top South African run scorer could be a brilliant choice.