Hashim Amla sees hosts England as bright prospects for Champions Trophy

The tournament starts next week and the hosts are slight favourites to claim a first global 50-over title despite sitting fifth in the one-day international rankings.

The Proteas top the International Cricket Council standings but were beaten by 72 runs in the first of three Royal London ODIs against England at Headingley.

England paced their innings perfectly in Leeds, reaching a ground record 339 for six, and hoovered up all 10 wickets in 45 overs to showcase their ability in familiar conditions.

"In the Champions Trophy you've got eight really good teams, but England being the home team does have their back," said Amla, who top-scored for the Proteas with an elegant 73.

"They are a good team as well, apart from being at home. In the last year they have played some really good cricket and we had a really good home series against them not too long ago. They bat and have a lot of bowling options so they are certainly one of the top teams in the tournament."

Amla shared a dressing room with England skipper Eoin Morgan at the recent Indian Premier League, with both men contracted to Kings XI Punjab.

While Amla was a mainstay of the side, topping the averages with 420 runs in 10 innings, Morgan was picked just four times, scoring a modest tally of 65.

The Dubliner was the match-winner on Wednesday evening though, making 107 in 93 balls to marshal the England innings.

"We all know Morgs, I don't need to sing his praises any more than that. We know what a quality player he is," said Amla.

"I spent a bit of time with him at the IPL and he's a quality guy as well. In an ODI, any time somebody gets a hundred it's going to propel you to a good total.

"You don't often get a guy coming in at four or five and getting hundreds so his innings was certainly a game-changer."

The sides meet again at the Ageas Bowl on Saturday.

  South Africa's Hashim Amla, right, believes home advantage could prove crucial for England in the Champions Trophy
South Africa's Hashim Amla, right, believes home advantage could prove crucial for England in the Champions Trophy