ANI Photo | World Cup: England opt to field against South Africa; Ben Stokes returns, Temba Bavuma ruled out

England captain Jos Buttler won the toss and opted to field first against South Africa in a block-buster clash of the World Cup 2023 at the iconic Wankhede Stadium here on Saturday.
Stand-in skipper Aiden Markram will lead South Africa in the absence of regular captain Temba Bavuma. Bavuma is not playing due to illness. Ben Stokes is back for England, Gus Atkinson and David Willey also came into the playing XI.
Speaking at the time of toss, Jos Buttler said the ground is good for chasing totals. “We are going to bowl first. Generally a good ground for chasing, that’s the reason behind it. It’s not about looking back, need to look forward. Need to be at our best. Stokes comes in, Willey and Atkinson come in for Woakes and Curran. This wicket favours pace, so we are focussing on that. Everyone is eager to get going. Need to be true to ourselves. We need to play our brand of cricket.”
South Africa stand-in skipper Aiden Markram said they will try to match the standards set in their first few games. “Bavuma is ill, so Reeza comes in. Nice opportunity for him. There might be a little bit in it (pitch) during the powerplay. Sort of motivates you a bit. Not focussing too much on it. It’s about reaching those standards set by us. Reeza has been knocking on the door for a while, he comes in. It’s a fantastic opportunity for him.”
England (Playing XI): Jonny Bairstow, Dawid Malan, Joe Root, Ben Stokes, Harry Brook, Jos Buttler(w/c), David Willey, Adil Rashid, Gus Atkinson, Mark Wood, Reece Topley.
South Africa (Playing XI): Quinton de Kock(w), Reeza Hendricks, Rassie van der Dussen, Aiden Markram(c), Heinrich Klaasen, David Miller, Marco Jansen, Gerald Coetzee, Keshav Maharaj, Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi. (ANI)

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