With just three wins in their last nine white ball matches England find themselves needing to pick up their form before the T20 World Cup in October.

England will be hoping to go one better than their recent ODI series draw against South Africa earlier this month and register a much-needed series victory.

We preview the first match and the series below.

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The Squads

The first match gets underway on Wednesday 27th July in Bristol. Having played three ODI matches in the 10 days leading up to this series England have rested some key players. Joe Root and Ben Stokes are the two players rested as England look to manage their game time before the World Cup.

Despite notable absentees England are still favourites to win the first match of the series at 8/13 while the visitors South Africa are underdogs at 13/10.

Captain Jos Buttler will need to lead by example as one of the most talented and experienced players in the squad. He hasn’t found his best form with the bat in recent months but is still the 11/4 favourite to be England’s top scorer on Wednesday evening. His talent with the bat is unquestionable and he will be hoping to showcase his abilities once again in this match.

With Jonny Bairstow being in the form of his life batting against the red ball he has struggled to produce that level of performance in limited over cricket this summer. He is another one of the experienced players in the side and as a proven run scorer at 10/3 to top score he will expect to be right up there with England’s top batsmen in the first match.

Despite being underwhelming with the bat in white ball cricket this summer England have had something to celebrate with some excellent bowling performances. Reece Topley has worked his way back into the white ball sides and has impressed with ball in hand throughout the summer. With 11 wickets in his last four matches he is backed as the favourite to be England top bowler in Bristol at 11/4.

Adil Rashid is one of the most talented spin bowlers that England has ever produced and at 7/2 it wouldn’t be surprising if he were to be the top wickets taker for his side. With five wickets in his last two matches he will hope to continue his fine form with the ball.

This series sees the return of fast bowler Kagiso Rabada for South Africa after he was rested for the ODIs. He returns as the favourite to be his sides’ top bowler and at 5/2 he is expected to hit the ground running in the first match.

Quinton de Kock showed some master strokes in the ODI series proving why he is rated as one of the top batsmen in world cricket. The star opener is 5/2 favourite to be South Africa’s top batsman in the first match and he has already shown this summer why he is more than capable of putting up a significant score with the bat.

The series

With a line-up consisting of some of the most talented players in the world, England are the odds on favourites for the series at 4/9. Having struggled for form recently a whitewash would take a great effort at 9/4 with a 2-1 victory looking more likely at 13/8.

South Africa are the underdogs at 7/4 but with top players in the squad they cannot be discounted. If South Africa are to win the series a 3-0 whitewash looks unlikely at 8/1 but with the likes of de Kock and Rabada in the side at 2-1 series victory is very much possible at 5/2.

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