The Proteas international summer begins with a T20I series against England that gets underway on Friday 27 November at Newlands.
Due to the ongoing global nastiness, the match will take place behind closed doors with only essential personnel allowed into Newlands.
Proteas vs England: First T20I preview
England come into the series with the benefit of a full summer programme behind them. While they have the edge in terms of match practice some of their players are likely to be close to going stir-crazy after months in the so-called bio-bubbles.
Two Proteas tested positive for the dreaded virus earlier this month leading to them being isolated from the squad and the cancellation of their intra-squad warm-up matches. The players were not named and it is unclear if they will take part in the opening match of the series.
The only guide to form we have on the Proteas is from those who have spent time in the Indian Premier League.
Skipper Quinton de Kock was a consistent source of runs for the eventual 2020 champions Mumbai Indians, Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje put in star turns for the Capitals while Faf du Plessis put in a good shift in a struggling Chennai Super Kings setup.
David Miller’s only participation was cut short when he was run out without facing a ball in the Rajsthan Royals first game and didn’t play again.
Lungi Ngidi also found opportunities limited after bowling a particularly expensive over for CSK against the Royals.
Those who weren’t picked for the IPL have been doing duty with their franchise teams in the CSA 4-Day series.
England have the benefit of players coming out of the IPL as well as others who up until recently were in action domestically.
Coach Chris Silverwood has hinted that England will persist with using Jos Buttler as an opener in the shortest format.
The team otherwise boasts a tremendous amount of top-order firepower and plenty of great bowlers to back that up.
The pace attack should be led by Jofra Archer and Mark Wood with Adil Rashid around to grab a few wickets through the middle overs with his leg-spin.
Proteas vs England: Squads
Quinton de Kock (c), Temba Bavuma, Junior Dala, Faf du Plessis, Bjorn Fortuin, Beuran Hendricks, Reeza Hendricks, Heinrich Klaasen, George Linde, Keshav Maharaj, Janneman Malan, David Miller, Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje, Andile Phehlukwayo, Dwaine Pretorius, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, Lutho Sipamla , Jon-Jon Smuts, Glenton Stuurman, Pite van Biljon, Rassie van der Dussen, Kyle Verreynne.
Eoin Morgan (c), Jason Roy, Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler, Moeen Ali, Jofra Archer, Sam Billings, Sam Curran, Tom Curran, Chris Jordan, Dawid Malan, Adil Rashid, Ben Stokes, Reece Topley, Mark Wood.
Pitch report – Newlands
Traditionally Newlands offers a little more for bowlers than most grounds around South Africa with any score of 150 or more usually taking some getting.
The last T20I played at the venue saw Australia post a record-high score for Newlands in the format. The tourists managed 193 for 5 while the Proteas were bowled out for a record-low 96 in response.
Recently at Newlands scores have trended higher and new records could be on the horizon.
The largest target chased down at Newlands in a T20I was the 179 hauled in by Australia in 2016.
Start-time and where to watch
The match gets underway at 18:00 on Friday 27 November and will be broadcast on SuperSport’s Cricket channel and on SABC 3.
You can stream the match over the DStv now app and site (Limited to DStv subscribers).
For viewers outside of South Africa consult local listings.