England upturn has impressed AB

18 May 2017 11:29:40 EST

South Africa captain AB de Villiers believes that hosts England deserve to be seen as one of the leading candidates to win the ICC Champions Trophy.

De Villiers and the Proteas will get a chance to take a detailed look at England when the two sides meet in a three-match one-day series ahead of the global tournament, which begins at the start of June.

They've done really well to come back from the 2015 World Cup.

AB de Villiers

And the star right-hander is full of praise for England, who have rebuilt their ODI reputation following a disastrous showing at the last World Cup, while also feeling his side have got what it takes to go all the way.

He told reporters: "We know these tournaments are very competitive - there are eight teams that want to win it and can win it, but we do think we've got a very good squad.

"But first things first, we want to win the series against England, a team that's been playing very good one-day cricket in their own country.

"They've done really well to come back from the 2015 World Cup. They're obviously a very talented bunch and they've earned a lot of respect.

"They will be one of the favourites for the Champions Trophy, but quite a few teams stand out - India won the last Champions Trophy and the Aussies are always a team to look out for."

The first ODI between England and South Africa, a day-night game, takes place at Headingley on Wednesday 24th May.

The Three Lions are 10/11 to win that game, with the Proteas 10/11, while South Africa are priced at 11/4 to win the series.

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