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25.08.2018 14:23
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Jos Buttlers batting, stopping AB de Villiers, and Adil Rashids return... Nick Knight gives his keys to success in Englands ODI series in South Africa. Look to the left-armersWe dont know for sure if theyre going to play, but England have the two left-armers in Reece Topley and David Willey. Their limited time in the team so far has gone well, and are both very skillful bowlers, although in perhaps slightly different ways I hope Willey gets the new ball if he does play, he has shown previously he can swing it and pick up early wickets, and they will be absolutely crucial on what I think will be pretty flat pitches. Hes a fantastic competitor, and even if he is hit for boundaries, he marches back to his mark and is up for the next delivery. He has been an excellent addition to the team. David Willey had a succesful spell with the Perth Scorchers in the Big Bash over the winter Topley is a very skillful bowler and although he perhaps doesnt quite have the swing - although he proved he could in the series win over Pakistan in the UAE - he mixes his pace well and often picks the right ball to bowl at any given time. He has a great deal of potential, and so it is worth investing time in playing him in a series like this, particularly with the World T20 only a month away. Id imagine hed be a strong candidate for inclusion in that squad.Stifle South Africa starsAB de Villiers is the number one player in the world in the ODI rankings, and by some margin. He will be the focus of many discussions by Englands bowlers, theories and thoughts about how to best go about bowling at him. He failed to score many, or any, runs towards the end of the Test series, but he has had a little break, and knows how successful he has been in one-day cricket, and knows he has the game to suit the one-day format. He is fearless. He will switch very quickly to the white-ball game, and will unquestionably be a huge threat. James Anderson traps AB de Villiers lbw for his third successive duck in the Test series Hashim Amla too has a crucial role. While the fireworks in the middle of the innings can be provided by De Villiers, Amla set things up, gets the team off to a good start, still managing to score very quickly. He is a player too who likes to score hundreds, and bat through the innings, a nice foil for the attacking middle-order coming in, particularly De Villiers. Thats why England need early wickets, they need to get rid of Amla early so he cant control the innings. That will be crucial.Relying on RashidAdil Rashid is absolutely pivotal to the series. His economy rate, though still important, is less so than the wickets he takes. In the modern one-day game, you can easily rack up targets of 350, so your spinner can end up going for 70-80 runs, but Rashid needs to be judged on whether he can break a partnership in the middle overs. Adil Rashid also had a brilliant time of it in the Big Bash with the Adelaide Strikers If De Villiers and Amla are going strong for example around the 25-30 over mark, can Rashid get the breakthrough? Can he bring a new batsman to the crease, even if he is getting hit around? His role becomes absolutely crucial, especially in an inexperienced bowling line-up.He has obviously proven he is in good form with the way he played in the Big Bash in Australia. That experience would have been great for him, to have been out there away from the team, making his own decisions in pressure situations, with big crowds and on a big occasion. And the fact that he has done well will help him mentally as he now comes back into international cricket. Im sure the team will look to him to make the difference.Flexible approach Watch Jos Buttler score the fastest one-day international by an England player, off just 46 balls, against Pakistan in Dubai That hundred Jos Buttler scored in Dubai - Englands fastest ever ODI hundred - was a whirlwind innings. I was at the ground, and it was incredible to watch. He is such a phenomenal one-day player, who feels very confident in the white-ball game. It is really important that England are smart with the way he is introduced into the batting line-up, and not leave it too late.They need to have a flexible outlook, where after 20-25 overs they start thinking about whether now is the time to bring Jos in, rather than keeping him back at his usual batting position. They showed they were happy to do it in the UAE, and I hope they continue to remain flexible, because he is kind of player that the opposition side wants to see sat in the dressing room for as long as possible. Watch Ben Stokes score the second fastest double century in history on day two of the second Test against South Africa in Cape Town Same with Ben Stokes, he too might end up batting in a floating position. At this stage he has had more success in the Test match arena than he has in one-day cricket, both with bat and ball, so its an important series for him to really cement himself in the one day set-up, but an innings like his in Cape Town during the Test series will naturally give him and his teammates a tremendous amount of confidence moving forward.Opening upAlex Hales is in a similar situation to Jos. Mentally he is much further along with his game in one-day cricket because he has played that much more and has had a greater deal of success in the shorter format, while is only just starting out in his Test career. He knows the way he wants to play, so dont be surprised if he comes out and scores runs in this series because he is more comfortable with the approach and tempo required to be successful at the top of the order in this format. Alex Hales struggled when opening the batting during the Test series against South Africa He has a good combination going between him and Jason Roy, because almost from ball one, Roy -when he is in his best form - seems to find the middle of the bat and the boundary, whereas Hales seems to like to give himself just a little bit of time to get in.Roy also hit a magnificent hundred - his first in ODIs - in Dubai. That first big hundred in international cricket will make him believe that he can make those significant scores when it matters most. He is a supremely gifted ball striker and surely will have gained a lot of confidence from that. Watch Englands five-match ODI series and two-match T20I series against South Africa live on Sky Sports, starting with the first ODI from 11am, Wednesday, Sky Sports 2. Or watch without a contract on NOW TV Also See: Jason Roy interview SA v Eng rewind England fixtures/results Live cricket on Sky NFL Jerseys China . The 17-year-old native of Marystown, N.L., pulled out of Skate Canada International last month in Saint John, N.B., with the same problem. Wholesale Jerseys Free Shipping . Vaives lawyer Trevor Whiffen claims the former 50-goal man wasnt provided with a copy of the claim beforehand and that he would not have agreed to the allegations made against the NHL had he been asked to review its contents. .J. -- New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz will miss the rest of the season after having surgery on his left knee. Cheap Football Jerseys . -- Brandon Jennings made the most of his first game with the Detroit Pistons on Sunday night. Cheap NFL Jerseys . There are surprises among the Vezina candidates, but most of the others are standard top-tier performers, even if the two Hart Trophy runners-ups have never been quite as good as they have been through the first half of the season. JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Theyve been dubbed The A-Team, a fitting nickname for more reasons than the obvious.Allen Hurns and Allen Robinson are one of the best receiving duos in the NFL. They might even be the best in Jacksonville Jaguars history, better than that other tandem that started giving defenses fits two decades ago.I have the same feelings about those guys that our fans do, said retired Jaguars receiver Jimmy Smith, a five-time Pro Bowl selection. We are all hopeful that these guys are the second coming. Lets get it right, though: I dont want these guys breaking my records, but I want them to win. Im sure Keenan (McCardell) feels the same way.Smith and McCardell have plenty of breathing room in the record books -- at least for now. But if 2015 was any indication, Hurns and Robinson will end up holding many of Jacksonvilles receiving marks by the end of their careers.Hurns caught 64 passes for 1,031 yards and 10 touchdowns in his second season. The Jaguars rewarded him with a four-year, $40.6 million contract extension that included $20 million guaranteed.Robinson was even better, notching 80 receptions for 1,400 yards and 14 scores. Robinson set a franchise record for TDs by a receiver and made the Pro Bowl in his second year.Jacksonville hadnt had a 1,000-yard receiver since 2005.So what will they do for an encore?The Jaguars arent even sure, but they wont be surprised by anything. After all, Hurns and Robinson were the most accomplished receiver combination aged 24 or younger in NFL history last season.The work ethic and the want-to attitude for those two guys is unbelievable, quarterback Blake Bortles said. They obviously hear all of the hype and all of this stuff about each other and about themselves individually, and it does not bother them one bit. They come to work every day and want to get better, want to be a part of this team and want to make us successful.Its impressive and fun to be around every day.The A-Team has individual strengths, too.Hurns, signed as an undrafted rookie from Miami in 2014, is durable, dependable and versatile. Hes missed just one game in two years, dropped one pass last season, and plays from the slot as well as he does outside.You can run a lot of different routes and you get great, great matchups, Hurns said.Robinson, a second-round pick from Penn State in 2014, has freakish athletic skills, including the ability to make circus catches near the sideline and outjump defenders downfield.Hes unbeliievable, Bortles said.dddddddddddd He has a mind and a motor that doesnt stop, and even though he put up good numbers last year, he is going to continue to work his tail off and wants to be better each and every year. He is a guy you love playing with, and I definitely love to throw it to him because he is a playmaker.Other things to know about the Jaguars before they open the season Sunday against Green Bay:BETTER BORTLES? Bortles ranked second in the NFL (behind Tom Brady) with 35 TD passes last season, but he also led the league in fumbles (14), interceptions (18) and sacks (51). So theres plenty of room for growth. The third-year starter spent a week in California working with mechanics guru Tom House and believes being in the same scheme for a second straight year will help. The numbers and stuff that we were able to put up were great, but I didnt think we did it consistently, he said.DEFENSE SPENDING: After firing coordinator Bob Babich and promoting Todd Wash to replace him, the Jaguars spent more than $125 million in free agency on Malik Jackson, Tashaun Gipson and Prince Amukamara, and used the teams first four drafts picks on that side of ball. It was a massive makeover to one of the leagues worst units. Now, the Jags have the second-highest paid defense in the league and raised expectations. One concern: Theyre counting on Dante Fowler Jr., who missed his rookie season because of a knee injury, and rookie Yannick Ngakoue to generate a consistent pass rush.WOE LINE: Jacksonville allowed an NFL-high 122 sacks the last two years, a glaring weakness on an improving offense. The team believes Brandon Linder returning from a shoulder injury and moving to center will solidify things up front. But the big concern is the left side, where offensive tackle Kelvin Beachum is coming off knee surgery, and Luke Joeckel has little experience at guard.FANTASY WATCH: Bortles, Hurns and Robinson are Jacksonvilles top fantasy plays, but tight end Julius Thomas and running back Chris Ivory should be viable options. Thomas is healthy again after missing much of last season with a broken bone and torn tendon in his right hand. 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