South Africa cannot afford to underestimate Ireland, especially on their own patch. The first ODI of the series marks the first time the Proteas will play an ODI in the Republic of Ireland.
Ireland vs South Africa | Sunday 11 July 2021 | The Village, Dublin | 11:45
To Win Match
South Africa 1/8
George Dockrell has developed into a solid allrounder who reinforces the Irish middle order on top of his spin bowling.
Joburg-born Curtis Campher is likely to be fit to face the country of his birth, and his return adds a certain flair to the Irish middle-order.
Former Proteas coach Graham Ford won’t have directed too many of the current South African team but will have an insight into how the team will play. Ford and ODI skipper Andrew Balbirnie will need cunning to craft the Proteas demise.
Ireland have handy bowlers, but will need their batsmen to stand up to the Proteas pace barrage to give them any chance. With the recent retirement of Irish cricket icon Kevin O’Brien, the value of having the experience of former skipper William Porterfield in the set-up is as crucial as ever.
The Proteas have jetted to Ireland directly from the Caribbean and might still be acclimatising to the conditions.
South Africa are bottom of the Cricket World Cup Super League and should be targeting a clean sweep to ensure they don’t complicate their journey to the 2023 World Cup.
Aiden Markram and Quinton de Kock are in great form and should front the Proteas challenge with skipper Temba Bavuma likely to come in at first drop.
Rassie van der Dussen struggled in the West Indies and could use some time out in the middle and runs on the board.
Kagiso Rabada looks to be getting back to his best, which is not great news for Ireland.
Verdict: South Africa 1/8
The Proteas should have this one. With some of the Proteas’ top order in such good touch at the moment, it might be worth backing a hundred to be scored in the match at 8/10.