Ben Stokes ended his ODI career on a losing note on Tuesday as England fell to a 62-run defeat to South Africa in the searing heat in Durham.
But while Stokes can now turn his attention back to being England's Test captain, the white-ball side have work to do in the remaining two matches of their ODI series with the Proteas.
The second match of the series will take place at Old Trafford in Manchester on Thursday.
|What:||England v South Africa, second ODI|
|Where:||Old Trafford Cricket Ground, Manchester|
|When:||13:00, Thursday 21st July 2022|
|How to watch:||Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Cricket|
|Odds:||England 4/7, South Africa 11/8|
Following his retirement from the ODI format, Stokes insisted the current schedule for England players has been "unsustainable" and that is arguably starting to show in results.
Since Jos Buttler took charge as England's new white-ball captain, the team have suffered five defeats in seven games, including the Twenty20 series with India, over the course of 12 days.
There have been some concerning performances along the way with the 10-wicket hammering by India the most notable and it is hard to back the world champions right now.
The combination of a new captain, challenging conditions and an intense schedule has put England on the back foot and they are worth swerving to win this second ODI at 4/7.
South Africa should be in good spirits after posting 333-5 in that first match and look the better match result bet at 11/8.
Chasing a decent score of 333 at Chester-le-Street, England started strongly, reaching 102 without loss but then they started to crumble and, in a flash, slipped to 199-6.
Paceman Anrich Nortje was the pick of South Africa's bowlers with figures of 4-53 but England also struggled against spin on the baked Riverside pitch with skipper Keshav Maharaj, Aiden Markram and Tabraiz Shamsi impressing with the ball.
Joe Root offered the most resistance for England with the bat, making 86 off 77 deliveries, but his recent performances against India cannot be ignored.
He scored a paltry total of 11 runs in the three-match series with India, twice going for ducks, and the better bet in England's top batter market could be Jason Roy.
Roy helped England get off on the right foot against the Proteas last time out, recording 43 runs, and he has averaged 40.29 in the format in 2022. He looks a value selection at 15/4.
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In the first match in Durham it was Rassie van der Dussen who stole the show for the tourists with his knock of 134 off 117 balls after some impressive showings in the warm-up matches against England Lions.
The 33-year-old has now made half-centuries in four of his last seven ODIs this year with another highlight being his unbeaten 129 against India at the start of the year.
He is worth backing at 7/2 to again be his team's top run scorer in Manchester.
But while van der Dussen is a fine top batter bet, another Proteas willow-wielder could be worth a look to be Player of the Match.
Markram was also handy at the crease at Chester-le-Street, scoring 77, while with the ball he finished with figures of 2-25.
And the off-break bowler could build on those figures at Old Trafford, which is known for being one of the more spin-friendly venues in England thanks largely to its big boundaries.
While van der Dussen could still outscore him, Markram looks primed to do enough with bat and ball to be named player of the match and looks a great bet in that market at 12/1.
England struggled to wear down South Africa's batters in the scorching heat in the first ODI in Durham with Matthew Potts even having to withdraw from the match after bowling a mere four overs due to the effects of the heat.
Overall it was an uninspiring performance with the ball for England but they should be boosted by the potential return of Reece Topley for the second ODI.
Topley was rested on Tuesday but the left-arm seamer is enjoying a great summer for England, having been named man of the match for his 3-22 in the final T20 against India before bettering that with figures of 6-24 against the same opposition in a recent ODI.
He is in fine form and is a great bet to be England's top bowler at 9/4.
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