Back

England to turn the screw

Frank Monkhouse | 17 July 2017

Root will inspire his boys to 2-0

England line-up for day one of their second test vs South Africa at Trent Bridge, Nottingham on Friday morning. The locals were convincing winners last time, taking a 1-0 lead, and will be confident of building on that this week.

As always, armchair fans can follow every bat and ball live on Sky Sports, and we have the needs of punters covered. Add real interest to the occasion with a bet at Coral – pick the match winner, top England 1st innings run scorer, man of the match, or a host of in-play markets right here.

Root’s approach simple yet effective

New England captain Joe Root got off to a flying start as leader of the national team, helping his men breeze to a 211-run victory in the first test, a result that never looked in trouble. The 26-year-old was given full credit by pundits and players for his workmanlike approach, remaining very low-key in the build up to avoid heaping unnecessary pressure on his boys.

Coral traders seem eager to keep the fans favourite close this week too, and he’s 11/4 to score most first innings runs for his side, while the Yorkshireman to lead by example with a man of the match performance will earn you 6/1. That price makes him favourite, ahead of Alastair Cook at 8/1. There’s plenty of match specials to hold your interest too. Why not have a go on Root to score 1st innings 50, England to claim 1st innings lead and to win the match. That’s a 3/1 play.

Proteas looked poor and unable to improve

England were impressive in the first test, and Roots took the applause for that, but it would be wrong to get too carried away and forget one simple fact – South Africa were terrible. The Proteas looked a shadow of the team we know they can be, and it’s unlikely they will recover enough in a few days to make the second test any more competitive.

A performance completely lacking in sharpness or desire, the beaten side looked, at times, like a group of men who really didn’t fancy it. Something has to change if they are to avoid another humiliation, and it has to change now. That fact wasn’t lost on our sports team, who see no quick-fix, offering 4/1 about the tourists leveling this one up at 4/1. The draw is more likely at 10/3.

Follow our summer of sports here