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Root’s England will deliver

Frank Monkhouse | 9 July 2017

New captain aims to start with a bang

Lord’s provides the setting for the first of a four-test series between England and South Africa this summer. The hosts are expected to get off to a perfect start, and our sports team have them marked up as 8/15 favourites to win the series.

Coral are trading on a long list of markets in the series outright, and you can have your say on over 145 betting opportunities in the first test, including man of the match, top first innings run scorer and enhanced wincast. Click here to make your opinions count at Coral.

Joe champing at the bit

All eyes will be on Joe Root as he emerges from the shadows to take his place as England captain for the first time on Thursday, making him his nation’s 80th captain. Taking over from Alastair Cook, who stepped down earlier this year, fans expect the talented batsman to shine on the big stage, and he’ll be champing at the bit to get started.

26-year-old Sheffield born Rooty is tipped to hit the ground running, literally, and Coral traders have belief in his ability, offering 11/4 on him to be England’s top first innings run scorer. That price makes him joint favourite, alongside Alastair Cook, ahead of the likes of Keaton Jennings and Gary Ballance, both knocked up at 5/1.

Ballance is back, and ready to impress

Captain fantastic is sure to be a popular play in the run scorer betting, but those after a bit more for their stake money can take him to put in a man of the match performance, an outcome that will bag believers an impressive 7/1. Root to top score in an England win – that comes out at 5/1 when betting with Coral.

England have recalled batsman Gary Ballance, and that goes as a major plus for the home side. He hasn’t been seen at this level since October, but is another who will be eager to impress. The perfect way to do that would be to help push his side to victory, and there’s plenty to like about the 20/1 on Ballance being named man of the match. England to win the first test is a 10/11 shot going in to the week.

Plessis misses first test

South Africa’s preparation was hampered by the news that captain Faf du Plessis will not take part in the first test, the 32-year-old missing out due to family reasons. The birth of the star’s first child saw him jet home, and it’s now clear he won’t return in time for Thursday’s start. Will his men suffer for that absence?

Coral think so, and are offering a meaty 11/4 on South Africa to claim a first test win, setting the pace for the rest of the series. A draw deserves careful consideration at 5/2, while those eager to play the long game can back the upset over four tests, The Proteas available at 7/2.

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