Likely rain increases possibility of draw in second Test for England
With the weather forecast in Yorkshire anticipating heavy afternoon showers later in the week, the chances of a draw in the second Test between England and South Africa have been given a significant boost.
England must win at Headingley if they want to claim victory in the three-Test series, after falling 1-0 behind through their heavy defeat at the Oval.
However, rather than backing England at 2/1 in the cricket odds to level the series, the 11/8 on the draw looks far more of a likely outcome.
According to the Met Office, the showers could be heavy, thundery and prolonged later in the week and with the second Test beginning on Thursday, more time could be spent in the dressing room than out on the pitch.
Some sunny spells are also predicted, but South African batsman Jacques Rudolph believes that this will only aid scoring runs, rather than taking wickets.
Rudolph previously spent five years at Yorkshire and so has good knowledge of how particular overhead conditions can impact the Headingley pitch.
He feels that Headingley is a nice place to bat when the sun is out, while even if there is a bit of swing, players can achieve big contributions if taking their time to play themselves in.
This will suit South Africa, with Hashim Amla, Jacques Kallis and Graeme Smith all registering centuries in the first Test, which in turn prevented Rudolph from benefiting from any time in the middle.
Amla will be especially keen to continue where he left off at the Oval when scoring 311 not out and it is no surprise that England bowler Graeme Swann has labelled his as the key wicket.
Like England, South Africa are also 2/1 to secure victory in the second Test and as a result win the series.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.