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Keshav Maharaj. Picture: RYAN WILKISKY/BACKPAGE PIX
Keshav Maharaj. Picture: RYAN WILKISKY/BACKPAGE PIX

Proteas stand-in captain Keshav Maharaj is expecting a stern test from buoyant England in familiar conditions during their three-match ODI series. 

SA start their tour to England with three ODIs — on July 19 in Durham, followed by two, at Old Trafford and Headingley respectively — before switching to T20s. 

The tour will end with three Tests — at Lord’s, Old Trafford and The Oval respectively — in which they will be looking to bring England down to earth after they thumped India by seven wickets with a record chase this week.

Before the Tests, SA managed to squeeze in two T20s against Ireland that is part of their build-up to the World Cup in Australia later this year. 

“I think our house is in order. Everyone is ready to go on Friday and there are no issues from that point of view,” said Maharaj who is captaining the side in the absence of injured Temba Bavuma. 

“England have done really well, take nothing away from their performances and obviously the new coaches have instilled their philosophies. We just have to focus on executing our game plans. 

“We just have to play cricket according to the way we want to play and how we have played over the past couple of years, especially in the shorter format of the game. Hopefully it will be enough to beat this England team.” 

Maharaj said England have been in good nick lately and they will provide his charges with a stern test.

“They have played exceptionally well over the last two to three years and they have found some rhythm to their play [so] it will be a good test. This will help us to see if our team wants to go forward and be the best in the world. 

“If we want to be the best, we have to play and try to beat the best.”

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