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Chance for England, South Africa to firm up World T20 plans

AB de Villiers to bat near the top of the order for home team; England expected to give Vince a game
England will enter its two-match Twenty20 International series against South Africa knowing that this is a rehearsal of sorts ahead of the visiting side's campaign in the ICC World Twenty20 2016 that will begin in India next month. The first T20I will begin in Cape Town on Friday (February 19).

England has no other matches, apart from the warm-up fixtures ahead of the World T20, before the mega event begins. South Africa, on the other hand, will have a three-match series against Australia after this series against England. 

Both sides go into the T20I series after a keenly contested One-Day International contest. South Africa came from 0-2 down to clinch the five-match ODI series 3-2. With England having triumphed in the Test series, both teams will be eager to end the tour on a positive note. Both sides are in the same group in the World T20, and are slated to meet in Mumbai on March 18.

During the ICC World Twenty20 2014, South Africa had slotted AB de Villiers in the middle order, but this time around, its tactics are set to change with Russell Domingo, the coach, confirming that de Villiers would come in higher up. "AB will bat near the top of the order at this event," confirmed Domingo. "For a couple of years, the experience wasn't what it is now so we felt we had to keep AB in that (lower) position." 

It was the talismanic De Villiers's century that sealed the fifth ODI for South Africa in a tough chase, and the team will look to its star batsman once again to pull off another win. South Africa's squad is the same one that will travel to the World T20. England, on the other hand, has two members in Liam Plunkett and Chris Woakes, who have not been named in its World T20 squad but are part of this series. Liam Dawson, the left-arm spinner, has flown down to South Africa to train with the England team and will be part of the squad that flies to India.
England will enter the series in a confident frame of mind despite the ODI reverse, having won a warm-up T20 against South Africa A in Paarl on Wednesday by 44 runs, with both Alex Hales (78 off 52) and Eoin Morgan (42 off 13), the captain, finding form. England is also expected to give an opportunity to James Vince, who wasn't part of the ODI side but played a role in England's T20I series win against Pakistan in he United Arab Emirates in November.

Both sides are packed with explosive batsmen and incisive bowlers, and both pack enough all-round strength to be a consistent threat across conditions. Whoever emerges triumphant in this series will thus gain a lot of confidence as well as momentum.
Teams (from):
South Africa:
Faf du Plessis (capt), Kyle Abbott, Hashim Amla, Farhaan Behardien, Quinton de Kock (wk), AB de Villiers, JP Duminy, Imran Tahir, David Miller, Chris Morris, Aaron Phangiso, Kagiso Rabada, Rilee Rossouw, Dale Steyn, David Wiese.
England: Eoin Morgan (capt), Moeen Ali, Sam Billings, Jos Buttler (wk), Alex Hales, Chris Jordan, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, Reece Topley, David Willey, Chris Woakes, James Vince.

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