South Africa v England 4th Test: Changes made for dead rubber
Sam Barnard, Assistant Sports Editor | January 20, 2016
South Africa v England
- Fourth Test
- January 22nd-26th
- Play starts: 08:30 GMT
- SuperSport Park, Centurion
- Live on Sky Sports 2
England to stick sword into already-down Proteas
The omens don’t look too good for South Africa, who are to lose their world number one Test-ranked status, as not only do they go into the final match of the series 2-0 down but they have also never beaten England in Centurion.
They may have only faced each other here four times in this form of the game, but the tourists have won once (in 2000) and while the other have been draw. Back Alastair Cook’s men to triumph and ensure a whitewash thrashing at 11/8 with Coral, or another share of the spoils is at 11/4.
South Africa, though, will be determined to not let that happen, and in a bid to avoid that have called up their very own opener Cook (Stephen) for his international debut, after dropping Stiaan Van Zyl. The 33-year-old is 9/2 to be best first innings batsman for his team, who are 13/8 match outsiders.
Amla and De Villiers have happy Centurion memories
Hashim Amla (3/1 in the Proteas’ batting market) and succeeding skipper AB de Villiers (11/4 favourite) both have find memories at this ground against England in the past 10 years, meanwhile, having hit hundreds here in 2009 and 2005 respectively.
Though, they will have to once again face the highly in-form Stuart Broad, who slaughtered the South Africans last time out in the second innings with a match-winning spell. Back the new number one Test bowler at 9/4 to be best with the ball in the first innings this time.
Broad, however, will not be backed up by Steven Finn this time around, after the giant seamer suffered a side strain. His replacement call-up Liam Plunkett has also since picked up an injury, meaning one of Mark Footitt, Chris Woakes and Chris Jordan will battle for a place in the XI.
In-form England stars to thrive once again
The rest of the England team should stay the same, and Joe Root will be hoping to build on his terrific century in Johannesburg. Young Yorkshireman Root is 11/4 to be best visiting batsman in the first innings once more.
Captain Cook is a 7/2 chance, while double hundred hero Ben Stokes can be backed at 8/1.
One man who has highly impressed this series for the South Africans is Kagiso Rabada. The 20-year-old paceman carried on his fine form to take a five-for in the first innings to help restrict England to 323 last time out, and could do nothing the Proteas’ woeful batting collapse.
Rabada is 9/4 to be best bowler for the hosts once more, joint-favourite with Morne Morkel, while Chris Morris (7/2) looks set to continue in attack in Dale Steyn’s continued absence.
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Coral’s top tip: Being a dead rubber, a draw looks the best outcome at 11/4.