South Africa vs England 3rd Test Preview – Betting Tips, Latest Odds, Team News and Predictions – 16/1/2020
South Africa won the first Test in Centurion. England won the second at Newlands in Cape Town. The four-match series is squared one-all – and the third at St George’s Park in Port Elizabeth is shaping up for another intense battle.
The tourists have plenty of momentum on the back of their thrilling win at Newlands, where all-rounder Ben Stokes was again instrumental during a Player of the Match display. The Proteas almost forced a draw, thanks largely to the defiance of opening batsman Pieter Malan, but ultimately it wasn’t to be.
South Africa vs England 3rd Test – Match Preview
Where: St George’s Park, Port Elizabeth, South Africa
When: Thursday, 16 January 2020
Start Time: 13:30 (IST), 8:00 (GMT)
South Africa vs England 3rd Test – Latest Odds
Bet365 have South Africa and England priced at 2.30 each to win the third Test. The draw is offered at 5.50. There have been five draws in the 30 Tests played at St George’s Park. Four of those draws have come in the last 20 Tests here.
South Africa vs England 3rd Test – Team News
South Africa have named an unchanged squad for the rest of the series, retaining all-rounder Andile Phehlukwayo, wicketkeeper-batsman Rudi Second and seamers Dane Paterson and Beuran Hendricks. One, perhaps two, of the four might enter the XI for the St George’s Park Test. The Proteas are constantly under political pressure to field more Black Africans in the XI. Phehlukwayo, then, could replace fellow all-rounder Dwaine Pretorius. Paterson has a penchant for generating reverse swing. If any ground in South Africa is going to offer reverse swing, St George’s Park is it. Paterson, therefore, could welcome a Test debut.
Among the batsmen, opener Aiden Markram is still injured, so Malan will likely retain his spot at the top of the order. There might be temptation to leave out the young Zubayr Hamza, but that’s largely unlikely. Second will have to wait his turn.
England captain Joe Root missed practice earlier this week due to illness. The tourists were limited by injury and illness during the first Test, but recovered for the most part for the second. The news of Root’s sickliness is a concern, but he has enough time to recover before the start of the third match. If he doesn’t play, Stokes will likely captain the XI and middle-order batsman Jonny Bairstow will return.
The veteran James Anderson has been ruled out of the rest of the series due to injury. This means fast bowler Jofra Archer will likely return to the XI, if not all-rounder Chris Woakes or pace ace Mark Wood. They are also still without the injured Rory Burns, leaving the inexperienced Zak Crawley to partner Newlands centurion Dom Sibley at the top of the order again.
South Africa vs England 3rd Test – Betting Tips
There are a few attractive bets among Bet365’s Man of the Match markets, while backing England to win at a ground South Africa lost at the last time they played a Test here is tempting as well. The Proteas, indeed, lost to Sri Lanka the last time they contested a Test at St George’s Park in February 2019.
Nortje for Top Team 1st Innings Bowler
Fast bowler Anrich Nortje has been impressive since debuting for South Africa in Test cricket last year. He is evidently back to full fitness after the issues that marred him ahead of last year’s Indian Premier League and the World Cup. Now is not really the time to rest him, as St George’s Park is the Warriors pace ace’s homeground in franchise cricket. This is not the paciest ground in South Africa, but Nortje has plenty of experience here – and will know how to extract the best from the deck. He will become all the more important to the Proteas attack if one of the other seamers is not firing on cue.
Patient Sibley to go big again for England
England’s last Test at St George’s Park was in 2004, when they all but banked on a first-innings century from opener Andrew Strauss in the first innings and a near ton in the second. They won the match, which swing bowler Simon Jones capped with a second-innings four-for. A lot has obviously changed since then, but there are familiar themes for England to follow again. Therefore, a big contribution at the top of the order – perhaps from Sibley again, especially if England bat first – and the ability of one of the bowlers to find some particularly challenging swing will be key.
South Africa vs England 3rd Test – Prediction
The overall rivalry is tough and the head-to-head battles even more so. It’s probable that this series will continue to seesaw, making for a great decider at the Wanderers in Johannesburg this week. Even if Sibley or whoever tons up for England, South Africa should have enough win the match regardless. They need to, too, after last year’s relatively shock defeat to Sri Lanka at this ground – and the heartbreak of the loss to England at Newlands earlier this month.
Best Bet: Dom Sibley at 5.00 with Bet365 in Top Team 1st Innings Batsman