David ‘Bumble’ Lloyd has praised four South Africa players ahead of the white-ball series against England and says Eoin Morgan’s side must work out how to get ‘the best’ from Jos Buttler.
England begin a three-match IT20 series against South Africa on November 27, with three ODIs then taking place between December 4-9.
The World Cup champions will be coming up against an exciting and talented South Africa team, who boast Indian Premier League stars Quinton de Kock – who won the tournament with Mumbai – and Kagiso Rabada – who reached the final win Delhi.
Discussing the upcoming tour, Lloyd told Sky Sports: ‘As for South Africa, Kagiso Rabada is obviously quality but they seem to have ongoing internal problems with players defecting and all sorts.
‘I’m not sure if Temba Bavuma will play but he’s a nice little player, then there’s Quinton de Kock.
‘He’s a lovely lad, Quinton, and a very forceful, dangerous player. Lungi Ngidi is another one, he’s got a bit of pace.
‘But other than that, the intrigue for South Africa, and they keep very quiet about it, is AB de Villiers, a lad who is playing cricket all over the show, except in South Africa.’
It will be interesting to see where Buttler bats for England. The 30-year-old impressed at the top of the order against Pakistan and Australia last summer, but predominantly batted lower down during the recent IPL.
Bumble added: ‘One thing to keep an eye on in the T20 series is that England are looking for somebody to control finishing the game. It’s a tricky one because Eoin Morgan has to do what he thinks is best for the team.
‘We’ve just had Jos Buttler saying that he prefers to open in T20 but he’ll bat anywhere.
‘England have got that many top players in T20 cricket that to utilise Buttler as the finisher, so from 12 overs in, would be absolute dynamite because we’ve got other players to cover opening the batting: Jason Roy, Jonny Bairstow, Tom Banton.
‘They’ve got to get the best out of Buttler, that is so important.’
Lloyd also urged England to ‘get the balance right’ as they attempt to plan for next year’s T20 World Cup while also winning series.
England will hope to become double World Cup champions next year, having lost to West Indies in the last T20 World Cup final in 2016.
‘Preparation and looking forward to the World Cup is one thing but you need to balance that with needing to win a series,’ the ex-England star said.
‘You don’t use these matches as practice matches but you’ve got one eye on what’s ahead.
‘I’d have Ben Stokes staying where he is for England, around four or five with Morgan. You’ve got to be flexible and decide on a match-by-match basis, who is the best player to go in for that situation.
‘If they’ve got off to an absolute flyer then you can change it and put Buttler in at three or Stokes. Flexibility is vital in T20, you can’t be rigid with your batting order.’
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