South Africa should seriously consider playing two specialist spinners against England on Friday.
It seems very likely that there will be a change in the batting order compared to the series against Australia and England prior to the World T20.
It looks to me as if AB de Villiers will move back to No 4, with Hashim Amla opening the batting with Quinton de Kock and Faf du Plessis coming in at three. I think Amla and De Kock form a good combination at the top of the order in what should be a very dangerous and effective top four.
De Villiers looks more dangerous when the ball is a little bit older and doing less.
JP Duminy, as the second spinner, will be an important player in the middle order. After India’s surprise loss to New Zealand it is clear that spinners will play a big part at the tournament.
I would therefore explore the option of playing both Imran Tahir and Aaron Phangiso in the starting XI against England, with the latter replacing David Wiese.
What the spinners have to keep in mind playing in India is not to give the ball too much flight, but instead bowl a bit quicker. Nathan McCullum is not the greatest spinner but he did this against India and did reasonably well.
I think South Africa are better off chasing in this tournament because they have a good batting line-up who can chase anything on their day. Dale Steyn and Kagiso Rabada will be my two seamers to start out with. Chris Morris would be the third seamer and then with Phangiso in the side you would have three spinners and three seamers in the side which could be a well balanced bowling attack.
As for England, they have to win this game after losing against the West Indies on Wednesday night. I have not been impressed by Jason Roy and think England need to make a change at the top of the order. He (and by extension England) doesn’t score quickly enough during the first six overs.
England have to do something about it because another defeat would put them under loads of pressure. You need to score at around 10 runs an over during the powerplay to get to that 60-run mark after six overs. It might make sense for them to move a pinch-hitter, someone like Ben Stokes for example, up the order to achieve that.
Looking at the rest of the team, I was impressed by Pakistan’s performance against Bangladesh and Chris Gayle’s hitting against England. There are no easy games in this format, which makes it vital to start well in this tournament because bouncing back from a defeat won’t be easy.