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UK: 'Favourites' England ready for South Africa in Cricket World Cup opener03:36

UK: 'Favourites' England ready for South Africa in Cricket World Cup opener

United Kingdom, London
May 29, 2019 at 16:24 GMT +00:00 · Published

A day before starting their Cricket World Cup 2019 campaign, the captains of England and South Africa fielded questions from the media gathered in London on Wednesday.

Co-hosts of the World Cup, England have the "favourite tag" resting on their shoulders thanks to their number one position in the International Cricket Council (ICC) One Day Internationals team rankings.

Responding to this, England captain Eoin Morgan said: "The level of expectation and favourite tag is there for a reason, over the last two years our form at home in particular has been outstanding and that's the reason it's there."

On the other hand, South Africa continue to battle the chokers-tag because of letting down their team in crucial games on the international stage.

Fully aware of the burden such a legacy puts on the team, South Africa's captain Faf du Plessis spelled out his plan to tackle the pressure saying: "as a captain it's part of making sure we can try and put the noise to one side and just relax as much as we can. Try to have fun, control the things that we can do: practice hard, practice well, have a good culture, good language and then completely release the outcome and hopefully that frees up the players to play their best cricket".

The England captain also spoke about the special session his team and staff had with England's national football team manager Gareth Southgate, drawing parallels between the two team's World Cup campaigns, saying: "They are where we were two years ago and we started exactly where they did, recognise what had happened in the past, drawn a line under it, tried to do thing differently and move forward and enjoy the challenge of that."

England's chances look solid on paper, especially as South Africa will be missing out on pace spearhead Dale Steyn's services because of injury, in the opening match of the ICC Cricket World Cup which will be played at Kennington Oval in London on Thursday.

UK: 'Favourites' England ready for South Africa in Cricket World Cup opener03:36
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Description

A day before starting their Cricket World Cup 2019 campaign, the captains of England and South Africa fielded questions from the media gathered in London on Wednesday.

Co-hosts of the World Cup, England have the "favourite tag" resting on their shoulders thanks to their number one position in the International Cricket Council (ICC) One Day Internationals team rankings.

Responding to this, England captain Eoin Morgan said: "The level of expectation and favourite tag is there for a reason, over the last two years our form at home in particular has been outstanding and that's the reason it's there."

On the other hand, South Africa continue to battle the chokers-tag because of letting down their team in crucial games on the international stage.

Fully aware of the burden such a legacy puts on the team, South Africa's captain Faf du Plessis spelled out his plan to tackle the pressure saying: "as a captain it's part of making sure we can try and put the noise to one side and just relax as much as we can. Try to have fun, control the things that we can do: practice hard, practice well, have a good culture, good language and then completely release the outcome and hopefully that frees up the players to play their best cricket".

The England captain also spoke about the special session his team and staff had with England's national football team manager Gareth Southgate, drawing parallels between the two team's World Cup campaigns, saying: "They are where we were two years ago and we started exactly where they did, recognise what had happened in the past, drawn a line under it, tried to do thing differently and move forward and enjoy the challenge of that."

England's chances look solid on paper, especially as South Africa will be missing out on pace spearhead Dale Steyn's services because of injury, in the opening match of the ICC Cricket World Cup which will be played at Kennington Oval in London on Thursday.

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