This seems to be a common assessment at the minute, but it’s a bit unfair. They’re more polarised, polarised England – steady upper order batting and then the three dementos at five, six and seven.
Admittedly, two of the dementos – Morgan and Buttler – have mostly failed in this tournament, but no-one has hit more sixes than Ravi Bopara. Add James Anderson’s wicket-taking and England are a reasonably watchable side providing you miss the first half of their innings.
There seems to be some debate as to whether Graeme Swann is actually injured or whether it’s just a face-saving excuse for dropping him. If it’s the latter, a dry Oval pitch might give rise to rapid rehabilitation. Let’s see if both he and Tredwell play.
If we’re evaluating boring teams, South Africa surely score quite well. Take out Amla and De Villiers and the batting seems to lack something, but not as much as the bowling lacks should Steyn be deemed unfit to play.
If you’re a neutral, look at it this way: should England win, the commentators will have more to talk about during the final’s long rain delays than if South Africa were to get through.