South Africa will look to stage a comeback in the 3rd Test while England will look to take the lead!
England will win the match!
After losing the 1st Test of the series against South Africa, England made a strong comeback in the 2nd Test at Cape Town and won it by 189 runs on the last day. It was a terrific display of Test cricket where we saw both teams doggedly fighting it out until the very end and England went on to register a famous win. The 4-match series is now wide open and tied at 1-1. The stakes will now be very high for the 3rd Test at Port Elizabeth where we can expect another riveting encounter.
South Africa put in a tenacious batting display on the final day of the 2nd Test to secure a draw and that should give them confidence. However, the loopholes in their middle-order are a worry and would need to be sorted out before the 3rd Test.
England would be elated with this comeback win. They now have confidence on their side and even though they have lost James Anderson for this series they would be confident of repeating their heroics from the last game.
South Africa's biggest issue right now is the inconsistency in their batting order. They are too dependent on the likes of Dean Elgar, skipper Faf du Plessis and Quinton de Kock. The rest of the batting unit seems inexperienced and hasn't been able to shed the load off the seniors. However, Rassie van der Dussen's patient 68 in the 1st innings of the last Test would give the team some confidence and if he can continue being a solid presence at No.5 then South Africa would have a better chance.
Opener Pieter Malan also impressed with a gritty 84 in the final innings of that Test and if Zubayr Hamza too can step up then the team would hope to put up a much better batting display. South Africa's bowling is much better sorted. The unit is being led by Kagiso Rabada who is coming off 5 wickets in the last game. He is ably supported by the experienced Vernon Philander who is playing his final Test series and giving it his all.
Anrich Nortje has bowled with heart and fire and has been a revelation. He will be the fast bowler to watch out for in this game. Keshav Maharaj has done a decent job with his spin but would need to be much better to trouble this England batting unit.
Pieter Malan, Dean Elgar, Zubayr Hamza, Rassie van der Dussen, Faf du Plessis (c), Quinton de Kock (wk), Dwaine Pretorius, Vernon Philander, Keshav Maharaj, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje
|R van der Dussen||68||187||7||0||36.36|
Zubayr Hamza, Faf du Plessis, Anrich Nortje, Dean Elgar, Quinton de Kock, Pieter Malan, Kagiso Rabada, Dane Paterson, Keshav Maharaj, Vernon Philander, Rassie van der Dussen
England looked much sorted in the last game and would be eager to carry forward that confidence into this Test. The last match was a perfect team performance by England where so many players contributed to the win. Ben Stokes’ outstanding all-round show, James Anderson’s superb five-wicket haul, skipper Joe Root’s solid fifty and Dominic Sibley's terrific century were the highlights of the Test for England. Even Ollie Pope, Sam Curran and Stuart Broad made their small but vital contributions.
The loss of experienced seamer James Anderson would be a big blow to England in the 3rd Test. The team management is all set to select Mark Wood in the team for this game and Jofra Archer is also available for selection after recovering from his elbow injury. It remains to be seen who is selected from the two and how they perform but it is likely that Stuart Broad will have to take the bulk of the load. Sam Curran has done a decent job and Ben Stokes has been bowled his heart out as usual.
From the looks of it, England's batting has more firepower than their bowling and skipper Joe Root along with the other batsmen would have to again take much of the responsibility. Ben Stokes, who has always done well against South Africa, could be the game-changer once again.
Rory Burns, Dominic Sibley, Joe Denly, Joe Root (c), Ben Stokes, Ollie Pope, Jos Buttler (wk), Sam Curran, Jofra Archer/ Mark Wood, Stuart Broad, Dominic Bess
Joe Root, Mark Wood, Ollie Pope, Stuart Broad, Zak Crawley, Jos Buttler, Sam Curran, Dominic Bess, Ben Stokes, Dominic Sibley, Joe Denly
The pitch at St George's Park in Port Elizabeth is a good Test surface. It will assist the seam bowlers in the morning sessions and will also be good for batting during the mid-day. Batsmen who will show patience will thrive and bowlers should also enjoy movement off the surface. The weather forecast for the match is sunny and humid for most of the days with some showers expected on the 4th day.
St George's Park in Port Elizabeth has become one of the most renowned Test venues in the world. The first Test match played here was way back in 1889 between South Africa and England.
The highest total achieved here is 549-7 by Australia against South Africa but totals of 500-plus have only been achieved here on 3 occasions. So don't expect a run feast in the 3rd Test.
The team winning the toss is likely to bat first. Setting a good total in the 1st innings and then putting pressure on the opposition should be the way to go as batting last on this pitch will be a tough task.
In the last 5 Tests between South Africa and England, the Proteas have lost 3 games and won twice. Their performance in the 1st Test came as a welcome surprise as South Africa is still in the rebuilding phase. But England has shown they take this format seriously and would have a slight edge going into this game.
South Africa has a good team and will have an obvious home advantage. However, their batting unit isn't performing consistently and skipper Faf du Plessis is struggling with form. Unless they put up another amazing team show and bowling unit really fires, they could struggle again. That being said, South Africa might put up a great fight and Kasiso Rabada can produce something special to clinch a win.
England has a much-sorted team and are performing collectively. Their bowling has good variety and batting looks solid. Thus, back England to win the 3rd Test and take the lead in the series.
England will win the match!