According to Kevin Pietersen, the Test series between England and South Africa which begins on Saturday is too close to call. The South African team lost the Test series 0-3 to India while England lost to Pakistan in UAE.
“Not that long ago I feared we would lose easily. But now it is too close to call. The two teams mirror each other,” Pietersen said in his column in the Daily Telegraph.
“South Africa will rely on two big fish in Amla and AB de Villiers. The rest of the batters have much to prove,” Pietersen said. “But it is the same for England.
“Their big fish are Cook and Joe Root. Nick Compton is back in the side trying to rebuild a career, Alex Hales is untried in Test cricket and James Taylor has never played in such bouncy, quick conditions.”
“There is a lot at stake for South Africa in the test series against England,” he said. “The public was very disappointed with performances in India recently. But the issues go deeper than just one series defeat.
“There is a lot of discussion within the South African sport at the moment about the impact of transformation.
England has been dealt with a big blow as James Anderson has been ruled out of the first test due to a side strain.
“South Africa have never enjoyed the Boxing Day Test experience in Durban and have shifted the fixture in recent years, but it is back to cash in on the holiday crowds and the many England fans who will be travelling to watch the series,” added Pietersen.
“This series will feel like playing in Barbados, where the majority of the fans are English. It is a home game for Alastair Cook’s team.”
Both teams must address their batting problems. England depends on Alistar Cook and Joe Root while South Africa rely on Hashim Amla and AB DE Villiers.